Can you have a seaside caravan holiday for £100?
Can you visit the seaside for a weekend and only spend £100? We send the Walton family to Skegness to find out
Words & photography Paul Walton
The beauty of seaside resorts is that they usually have the same sort of attractions at each one meaning it's easy to budget what you're likely to spend a weekend. And sure enough, Skegness on the Lincolnshire coast is no different.
At 60 miles from our Peterborough home, it's just far enough away to feel like my family, and I have had a break. Close enough not to break the bank on fuel. The round trip would eventually cost approximately £40.
Great campsite, low cost
The campsite we'd booked on to, Woodthorpe Leisure Park, is a beautiful and well-maintained site, which at £15 a night was a bargain (add an extra £2.50 per night for awnings). With the campsite being such good value left plenty of money for entertainment and yet like all good seaside resorts Skegness' best feature is free.
You'd think in his digital age of games consoles and tablets kids wouldn't be as excited by the beach as we were in our youth yet our two boys – aged ten and seven – still love it and Skegness' is long, broad andclean.
It's one of the reasons why the town became popular with holidaymakers when the railway reached there in 1875 and Butlins opened its first holiday camp there in 1936.
It was the railways that came up with the slogan "Skegness is so bracing" about chilly winds that can blow off the North Sea. Thankfully on the weekend of our visit in mid-April, the weather was reasonably warm and calm.
The sea and sand can hold their attention for only so long and, following a few hours in the surf, we went to explore the town's pleasure beach. Like many of these provincial seaside theme parks, it's looking a 'little tired' round the edges today, but the big wheel and dodgems were fun. Plus between £1 and £2 per ride (paid using tokens) they didn't break the bank.
After an evening on the site, we returned the next day (leaving the car at the same all day car park that's a short walk to the front and cost a mere £3). We spent a few hours in the many arcades on the seafront where a bag of coppers will keep my kids amused for hours.
We also couldn't come to the seaside and not play crazy golf. It wasn't cheap at £12 for the four of us, but even though my youngest son won by a considerable margin, it was still worth it.
Is £100 budget possible for a weekend?
The final total for the weekend was around the £100 mark (excluding the excellent fish and chips on the seafront), yet we'd had a very busy two days. There may be classier places to visit than Skegness, but I doubt very few will offer as many varied activities for the money as this one.
Crazy golf £12
Pleasure beach £10