Pontins Southport Holiday Park
431 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Not fit for purpose
"Just came back today 7/7/18. We arrived on the evening after a long hot car ride. The reception area wasn't friendly and not very informative. When we did find our deluxe apartment amongst the concrete 2 storey buildings we were horrified to find in this day and age the steps we had to climb where concrete and gaps so very unsafe for my autistic daughter who has poor muscle tone and my 2 year old who is still a bit unsteady on his feet. The room we was given smelt of damp the curtain in the room was hanging off half the cutlery was missing the tv was old and no remote and volume button broke. The beds were put next to the windows which aren't double glazed or safety glass all wardrobe doors were removed. The sofa bed had sharp staples on the back and my husband cut his hand on it. The worst part was at night kids were running pass our window screaming at 11pm also fighting broke out on the play field in the middle which also was late on. This scared my child. The food is rubbish and taste less and very limited menu. The rides outside and in the arcades were old and noisy and in need of making safe as sharp holes were visible.
We got there on the 6th at about 6.30pm and left the next morning at 8.pm no one slept and my children were very grumpy and my daughter's stress levels were high and here self harming was high ie hitting and nipping herself.
All I will say is this if you go please have low expectations and you may enjoy it but it wasn't for us."
- Travel date: Sun 1st of July 2018
VERY 1970S NO COMPARISON TO BUTLINS OR HAVEN
"Went there for one night as gradparents had took the grandkids away and i was missing my daughter sad i know lol
Pulled up got through security drove round to apartment talk about run down grottty 1970's chalets they were terrible in dire need of a total revamp no hoovers in chalet so you have to spend half the morning on hands and knees with dustpan and brush if like after us the little ones are messy eaters!!
Swimming pool basic kids found it boring so we went to splash world in southport town and changing rooms dirty.
walked in main entertainment centre you could only describe the room as working mens club top entertainment NOT!! and as for lighting, stage etc spectaculor NOT!! toilets all graffited need decorating,although beer was ok not flat or overpriced.
Ate at the queen vic mum had to send her dinner back as her chicken was freezing in side but warm outside daughters mash and beans cold
We are not normally ones to complain but the whole experience of this place is drfeadful and full of shell suit people lol
THE WHOLE PLACE NEEDS KNOCKING DOWN AND REBUILDING IT IS LIVING IN A TIME WARP
if you want a good family holiday in uk go to a butlins site they obviously turn their profits back into their parks whereas this place can only just keep the park running although i cannot see how
I recommend Butlins -1st choice Minehead and 2nd Skegness not been to Bognor ,or go to Haven Devon Cliffs but dont book through them do your research and get a private caravan as they are half the price and you can sleep in luxury we normally go for the gold plus caravans"
- Travel date: Wed 20th of August 2008
Holiday From Hell
"Just returned from what I can only describe as a 'Holiday from Hell'.
Arrived Sat 19/07/08, booked for a week, but it was so bad, that we booked out on Thurs 24/07/08!!.
We stayed in 2 separate budget apartments, one with one bedroom and the other with two. The whole place looks as though it has never had any maintenance since it was built. The rooms were shabby and filthy. We didn't even have any pans when we arrived. We requested these but they didn't arrive until late Monday evening, so we had to use our spending money on eating out. The mattresses were obviously the cheapest ones going and you could feel the springs. The sofa bed was just as bad!! The bath and shower were a joke. The bath was basically a shower tray with the addition of a seat. The shower is one like you would find in a swimming baths, where you have to keep pushing the button. One room's shower lasted 4 seconds before the water stopped, the other lasted about 30 seconds, and the flow was so slow, that you had to move about to get wet! One room also had bare electric wires in the bathroom wall - that surely wouldn't pass the health & safety rules? One of the fridges was VERY smelly. The oven in one room was permanently hot even though it wasn't switched on - another health & safety issue!
As for the evening entertainment, we didn't bother, as the room was similar to a school canteen, with basic plastic chairs and very old, shabby tables. The table tops and floor were also filthy. You couldn't actually see the pattern in the carpet for the stains on it and your feet stuck to it as you walked, and the drinks prices were rdiculous! We had 3 teenage boys with our party and the daytime activites are very limited to say the least. The ones available were Â£5 a go, but were not worth it. The swimming pool DOES NOT have slides as advertised, unless you count 2 miniature ones suitable for toddlers. In fact none of the facilities advertised in the brochure are true for Souhtport, they appear to be a lot bigger and better in the brochure than they really are!
The typical clientelle whilst we were there, were the kind that just sat in their room or on the doorstep drinking all day long, whilst letting their kids run riot - and believe me they did! From 7am in the morning to 2am the next morning, there would be children from about 2 or 3 years old running round, shouting and making a nuisance of theirselves. Luckily we didn't actually see any of them come to any harm, but it wouldn't surprise me if that happened, as they weren't being watched and were running up and down stairs and all over the site. We did actually talk to other people whilst we were there and discovered that a lot of them had gone on the 'Sun' newspaper cheap holidays, so had only paid about Â£60 for the week. If we had only paid that amount, then we would have accepted the conditions, but we had paid between 3 and 4 times that amount - and that was so called 'half price'.
So if you're thinking of booking a holiday at Pontins Southport in budget accommodation, do yourself a favour - DON'T DO IT - BOOK SOMEWHERE ELSE>"
- Travel date: Tue 29th of July 2008
Great family holiday especially for kids
"Just got back from a week at Pontins Southport and loved it! Me, my husband and our toddler have all had a great time.
we were dreading it after reading some reviews on here and took cleaning stuff with us what a waste of space in our bags!
We were staying in the budget apartment and it was spotless, had enough pots and pans to cook a meal and was close to all the entertainment. It was well laid out and in good repair.
Electric is not as big an expense as people made it out to be we were there for 4 nights and used every appliance in the place (including heaters for a couple of hours a day) and used less than 2 pound of electric, the only thing we found was that the switch to change between water heater and cooker, if left in the heater position drained electric but if switched to the cooker position it didnt so turn it off after you use the water.
The Blue coat shows were amazing tas was the childrens entertainment they must have put in some serious practice! All the staff are all really friendly and all the kids there seemed to really enjoy it. I was amazed to see no trouble at all despite the large quantities of guests and lots of alcohol, it was just a really good atmosphere.
Food and drinks are similar price to most bar chains so make use of the big sheet of vouchers you get given in your welcome pack for the 3 for 2 drinks and BOGOF deals.
plenty of activities on site for older kids maybe age 8+ but younger kids wont be able to take part in a lot but there is plenty to do off site too.
The beach 2 minutes from the main gates is lovely and clean and a nice free day off site.
15 minute walk into Ainsdale village will get you to the train station and a return ticket to southport is about Â£2 per adult they run every 15 mins during the day. or a bus runs in high season from the yellow bus stop opposite the main gates every half hour or so costing about Â£3 return per adult.
Doesnt take long to get there and there is loads to do in southport (pier, beach, arcade, fun fair, shops, bowling, cinemas, gardens to picnic in, etc....)
the las bus back is at 5:20pm we missed it by 5 mins because we couldn't find the bus stop (its on lord street opposite the Scarisbrick hotel) so we ended up having to get a taxi back and were pleasantly surprised that it only cost Â£6.50 we were expecting to pay a lot more.
In short Pontins Southport is a great place for your holiday if you have kids of any age stop worrying about the accomodation there is nothing wrong with it enjoy your holiday and make the most of everything around you. We will definately be going back again and writing a nice letter to the staff there."
- Travel date: Fri 25th of July 2008
Tatty, dirty, sad, web site exaggerates, but 3 year old enjoyed it
"Booked here for a long weekend. Very cheap, but could only get budget room. Had read reviews so went armed with cleaning products! Filthy room...carpet was covered in crumbs, dirt etc. BUT...they got cleaner to us within 5 mins. Room was tattly and grimey though. (Lots of surface cleaning...but don't look under the beds or in corners or even in the soap dish..yuck! ) Wind rushed through all the cracks and window was clearly broken, as someoen had wedged stuf fin it to keep it closed. Beds old and I avoided looking at them too closely. But quite quiet at night, so got good sleep. Whole place is grubby and in need of TLC. It's a real shame because location is lovely and it has potential. Web site made it look like lots of activities...but not the real case. They can get 2000 people in there and you'd never fit them in! (Next week is going to be full apaprently...good Luck!). We had people asking us where all the facilities were and we had to tell them "this is it!. No decent family restaurant. fast food and pub food (expensive too). 2 venues for evenings, but little child friendly one didn't have much going on. Amusements were OK. Pool large, but a bit dirty (changing rooms small and grimey). Some of the outdoor things looked Ok. Small indoor play area for kids which was OK, but the Little Tykes area (for under 4s) was in a broom cupboard and had Shrek belting out so loudly...my 3 year old ran out of it. Web site made this look much bigger.
Hugely disappointing. I don't see whay cheap hols have to be dirty hols...I'm surprised they get away with it. I would have been gutted if paying properly for it or there for longer. We left Sunday mornign instead of Monday as had enough. I thought there would be much more to it. HOWEVER, my 3 year old loved it, as he got addicted to the amusements and liked the pool."
- Travel date: Mon 21st of July 2008
Lovely family holiday centre - Southport Pontin's
"I recently spent a long weekend at Pontins Southport. I visited the site 13 years ago and found it was tatty and grubby, but after being offered a free chalet as part of a Pontins marketing campaign, I decided to try the centre again and was pleasantly surprised with what I found. The site has much improved, has much more to offer now and is just perfect for families looking for a traditional holiday camp break.
The chalets are in blocks and rows as they are at butlins. They are basic but very clean and tidy, with large fairly enclosed grass areas for children to safely play. Where the site lacked up to date modern accomodation, (which happens to be every bit as good if not better than Butlins), it made up for in the amount of free activities, beautiful seaside/nature reserve location and well designed site layout.
It was little things that made holidaying at the centre most enjoyable. The pub/restaurant could be accessed from the main clubroom and amusements and had large french doors opening onto patio drinking area, which looked onto the large grass areas with activies such as crazy golf, climbing wall/abseiling, playground and much much more.
There was a nice clean indoor swimming pool and paddling pool with slides and had tables, chairs and loungers around the edge for spectators to sit and relax. (seems an insignificant detail, but at a lot of parks now, spectators cannot actually sit at the poolside and you can feel detached from other family members in the pool)
The entertainment was not quite to a Butlins high standard, but the children seem quite happy with it and there was entertainment more suitable for adults until very late at night.
My only critisism of the site was the restaurant fascilities. There were plenty of places to eat and the food was of a fairly good standard and very reasonabley priced. However, on the occasion we visited the site, they had obvious staffing problems and couldn't cope with the volume of customers, resulting in closing the restaurant very early and closing the fish and chip shop, so they could staff the burger bar!
My overall experience of this Pontins site was very good and if they could just deal with the staffing problems in the restaurants, I would rate this site as above average for a fun but relaxing family holiday.
My holiday was free, but when concidering the Pontins tariffs compared with other holiday centres, I will definatey be paying to holiday at pontins again!"
- Travel date: Tue 8th of July 2008
"Pontins Southport was very run down. The window frames and doors were rotten and flaking to the extreme. Some of the apartments had been given a quick clean but were filthy round the edges of the floors. We had dishes in the cupboard that were still dirty and toast on the floor. The activity centre needed a good refurbishment aswell. There were lots for the under 6 to keep them amused . I didn't think the entertainment staff were very enthusiastic and they looked as if they didn't really want to be there. Some of the songs they had the children dance to were really inapropriate for young kids. When did it become acceptable for young kids and pre-schoolers to be singing and doing the actions to the bum tittie song ????"
- Travel date: Wed 28th of May 2008
do not go
"I have been to pontins all though my life as a child we went twice a year to all different ones I have very good memories A couple of years ago took kids then age 4 and 1 to prestatyn yes needs updating but had a good time, been to butlins since far far better but it comes with a price, last year had a deal for 60 quid little get away in feb half term just the job, how wrong we was, it was so bad only stayed for 3 not 4 nights,on arival the reception was very old and tried looking , your feet stuck to the floor only stayed for 3 nights cause kids were enjoying it, the bar shuts to late, loads coming back to chatlets about 2ish shouting and swearing banging on lots of doors had to phone sercurity in the end at 5.30 after one had put a window though cleaners then came at 600 to clear glass got no sleep that night. Next night more of the same without broken glass. only went in pool once as it was dirty the changing rooms were dirty the baby pool was dirty lots of sand even walking around was puddles of dirty water all it needed was some to brush it every hours or so. I would never go back to southport again. I am giving pontins another try this feb half term again only cause its as cheap as chips trying brean sands and I am keeping my fingers crossed."
- Travel date: Mon 28th of January 2008
"Well booked this and hoped for the best, all I can say is nightmare!! The whole place needs updating, the beds had coated plastic mattresses and you kept sliding around, we didnt get much sleep. The entertainment started too late, the queues for the free things were unreal with an hour wait at times. Kids aged approx 12 were smoking and drinking and nobody seemed to care. However the staff were very good and we had no complaints there. I could see they were doing some work to overhaul the rooms, but will take a lot more. We wont be back!!!"
- Travel date: Wed 7th of November 2007
Pontins, Ainsdale. Give it a go.
"Well i was dreading my visit to Pontins in Ainsdale after reading the awfull reviews but what a lovely surprise i got. I honestly cant fault it. I can only assume theres been vast improvements since the last reviews. So i had to put a possitive one in. We booked a *club* chalet, i didnt fancy a *budget* one and it was lovely. Spotlessly clean. Crispy white sheets and towells, lovely bathroom with shower, living room with comfortable bed settee and television, kitchen with fridge micowave, oven, and bedroom with twin beds. There was a welcome pack with tea, coffee, sugar and milk, washing up liquid and dish cloth and shower gel in the bathroom. The chalets have their own garden areas so the children can run around and you can watch them from your balcony (we were on the 1st floor.) The entertainment for children is spot on and the blue coats are brilliant with them. Theres so much for them to do from morning till night. The adult entertainment seemed good although i didnt bother with that as i was there just for the children. We took food with us (fussy eaters) so i cant comment on the meals there but i didnt hear any complaints and the restaraunts and cafes seemed busy enough. I was also very impressed with the security there too. The whole place is great for familys and children. Dont be put off by the negative reviews, some of them are old and someone even commented about *dirty windows*. I mean, come on, theres so much going on there, whos bothered about the windows. I dont know what some people want. Its not a 4 star hotel, its a holiday camp for children so its not going to be spotless everywhere but go for the club chalets and you wont be disapointed. Ive been going abroad for years but this was the best laugh ive had in ages. No check in, no passport control, 20 mins in the car and we had a ball. If you want to see your kids living it up, go for it."
- Travel date: Sun 2nd of September 2007
Stop moaning - you get what you pay for !
"We last went to Pontins Southport on August bank holiday 2006. I feel I must write to defend Pontins against all the reviewers which claim that they 'would never stay there again '. Basically we had a really nice weekend and all in all, as with anywhere you get what you pay for ! We only paid about 110 pounds for a budget chalet for 2 adults and 2 children. I will say if you are happy to put up with the basic accomadation then this place is for you- as with us- we were never in it anyway ! The entertainment was good for the kids and cabaret was ok during the evening- the pool could do with a revamp but it's clean and has some little slides and stuff for the kids so they were quite happy. This isn't our main holiday so maybe we are not as fussy as we could be. But if you want a cheap and cheerful holiday and you're not too fussed about living like kings then i'd say - go for it .We are going again on 24th August till 27th 2007 for the B.H Weekendand we are all looking forward to it !"
- Travel date: Tue 14th of August 2007
"After all the bad reviews I had read before arriving at Pontins, Southport, I had very low expectations and I was actually dreading going. Me, my partner and our 1 year old daughter actually had an amazing time. All the staff are very talented, friendly, great with the kids and helpful. The entertainment was spot on and all the kids loved it and got involved, we all looked forward to the evening entertainment and the shows the staff put on were really entertaining for all ages. They give you a timetable of everything that's on for that week you stay for, which was really useful. The accommodation wasn't the best but it had everything you needed to eat, sleep and get ready in, what else would you need it for when there is so much to do on the park? The surrounding area, the beaches, town centre and coasts were beautiful and perfect if you fancy a day out away from the park. The actual park had many play areas, a very good swimming pool, football pitch and lots of bouncy castles for the kids to go on and that's not even everything available! I think the reviews I first read about Pontins were really unfair and came from people who had extremely high expectations for what they paid for. You get more than what you pay for with the staff and entertainment. Honestly, don't be put off by the bad reviews, we throughly enjoyed our stay and will return next summer. Your holiday is what you make of it, if you don't go out and participate in all the things they provide then that's your problem. Again, we really enjoyed it and was really pleasantly surprised."
- Travel date: Fri 26th of May 2017