In 1936, Billy Butlin changed the face of British holidays.

His aim was to make the British seaside break accessible to all. It started on a short visit to Barry Island where Billy felt sorry for families staying in drab guest houses with nothing much to do. He wanted to create a “place of colour and happiness” where quality activities and entertainment would be provided so that families could really enjoy their time together.

So in 1936, Billy bought a plot of land in Skegness (where the resort is to this day) and set about making this dream come true.

Billy not only pioneered a whole new way for British families to enjoy a seaside break, he was also a pioneer in the world of service. He wanted families to feel really looked after and cared for while they were away, and so he built a team that set the standard for providing brilliant service to his guests. You might know them as Redcoats.


Scanning back over 80 years, take a look at how our history unfolds and explore how Billy Butlin started his career as a travelling showman, progressed into holiday camps and grew his business into the iconic brand that it is today.


Billy Butlin promised someone to look after you always, and today we still believe it's the service you receive that really makes your break special. Find out about the birth of the Redcoat at Butlin's.


Our attachment to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity started back in 1938, and to this day we continue to support them with our fundraising efforts.


Located on the doorstep of some of Britain's loveliest beaches, discover our three seaside resorts and what makes them special.

More about our breaks