Hi-de..oh! Britain’s iconic holiday parks fail to impress

Pontins and Butlins worst holidays parks in UK
By Linsey McNeill
Home » Hi-de..oh! Britain’s iconic holiday parks fail to impress

Britain’s iconic holiday parks including Pontins and Butlin’s have been beaten by small and independent brands in the latest Which? survey.

The consumers association asked more than 1,700 customers about their experiences at UK holidays parks over the past two years, asking them to rate their visits based on 11 criteria – and Pontins came out bottom.

The 78-year-old brand, which was acquired by Britannia in 2011, was given a run of two-star ratings for customer service, accommodation, cleanliness, facilities, activities, food and drink and value for money.

Pontins, which has closed multiple sites in recent years to leave it with just two, received an overall customer score of 56%.

Butlin’s also came in the bottom five with a customer rating of 67%, placing it just above Park Holidays UK, Away Resorts and Largo Leisure Parks.

Customers gave Butlin’s just two stars for its customer service and food and drink, but three stars for the accommodation and cleanliness and four for quality and variety of children’s activities and entertainment.

Haven Holiday Parks and Center Parcs, the most visited brand in the survey, tied with a customer score of 69%.

Center Parcs received largely favourable reviews but just two stars for value for money, as well as for the variety of free facilities on offer. 

One respondent said ‘the overall holiday was good, but everything was so expensive’, while another complained that ‘activities should be included in the price’. It received four stars for overall customer service, communication, quality of accommodation, cleanliness, and the quality of facilities and activities and for the quality and variety of children’s activities.

Haven received a mix of three- and two-star ratings, including three stars for overall customer service, quality of accommodation and value for money.

Top of the table was Potters Resorts, with a score of 87% for its two all-inclusive resorts in Essex and Norfolk, followed by Forest Holidays, which has 13 locations in the UK, with a score of 80%.

Tied in third place with a customer score of 77% were Bluestone Wales and John Fowler Holiday Parks.

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