IT’s been a week since we returned from Butlin’s Minehead and already the children are asking when we can go back.

Admittedly we arrived with some trepidation expecting nuggets and chips on the buffet and cheesy entertainment on tap. What we got however, far exceeded our expectations.

On checking in we were directed to the West Lakes Village, a short drive or walk away from the main reception. Set in landscaped gardens around two lakes, these slick holiday homes are a very modern version of the iconic Butlin’s chalets originally created by Sir Billy Butlin during the resort’s heyday in the 1930s.

The company worked with Mumsnet to design spaces that would be perfect for 21st century families, creating welcoming open plan living areas and setting the chalets around village greens with playgrounds close by.

The highlight of our chalet was a decked outdoor terrace overlooking the lake. Our children soon made friends with the resident ducks who discovered there were rich pickings to be had from our balcony.

Inside the two bedroom chalet was spacious, bright, modern and spotlessly clean. A well equipped kitchen, dining and living area provided a great open plan space to relax in between the weekend’s activities. Nice finishing touches included a game of Twister and a pack of cards for the children to enjoy. Both bedrooms had comfy beds, ample wardrobe space and stylish décor.

The chalet would be ideal for a self-catering break, however we were booked onto the Premium Dining Plan, which means breakfast and dinner in the resort’s buffet restaurants were included. We dined in The Deck restaurant which was a paradise for picky eaters and their parents. Brightly lit and filled with wipe clean it’s not a place you’d go for a romantic candle lit meal for two, however it’s ideal for families.

There was a huge range of food on offer, including live cooking stations, a salad bar and hot and cold dessert buffet. As well as the obligatory chicken nuggets in the children’s section, there was curry, noodles, pasta and even a roast to choose from.

On the first night we piled our plates high, so much so that my daughter ended up spilling baked beans, chips and pasta all over herself. Within minutes a member of staff came over the clear up the mess and cheer up my tearful child and calm was restored. Indeed throughout our stay we were hugely impressed by the friendliness of the staff, particularly those working in the restaurant.

Breakfast was a highlight of our weekend, particularly the pancake making station which my children visited repeatedly to the amusement of the ever smiling pancake maker extraordinaire behind the counter.

At the heart of Butlin’s Minehead, is the Skyline Pavilion, a vast fun palace featuring shops, restaurants, amusement arcade games and a stage on which the likes of the Teletubbies, Angelina Ballerine, Fireman Sam and Mr Men perform throughout the day. Given the usual price of theatre tickets for a family, this represents great value for money.

On the morning of our second day we caught the Rise and Shine show featuring the Butlin’s mascots Billy and Bonnie which is guaranteed to put a smile on the even the grumpiest morning face. My daughter has since watched it repeatedly on YouTube and remembers the words to the songs.

In the evening shows are performed in the Centre Stage theatre. We went to see the brilliant Whittington Rocks pantomime which was a huge hit with the children. A Butlin’s take on the classic Dick Whittington tale, it features a hilarious pantomime and some great song and dance routines to current chart hits.

The shows are performed on a professional theatre stage but seating is around tables and there are bars at either side serving drinks throughout the performances, so it’s a relaxed set up for families with young children who are not keen on sitting still for long.

The beauty of Butlin’s is that there are activities scheduled throughout the day, including a wide range of sports that children can sample. My son enjoyed a fencing class and bravely took on the 30ft climbing wall. Also on site is Splash Waterworld, a vast indoor family waterpark with high speed flumes, a lazy river and shallow areas for toddlers to paddle in. Inside the temperature is subtropical so even if it’s pouring with rain outside you can transport yourself to warmer climes. One of the highlights of Splash World at Minehead is the Family Riptide Raft Ride in which adults accompany children on a raft ride full of twists and turns. My seven year old wasn’t patient enough to wait in line however we were assured by the staff that it’s a lot quieter later in the afternoon. We spent a happy hour floating along in the lazy river between trips to the wave pool.

We took a trip to the onsite fairground for a final dose of fun before bidding farewell to Butlin’s. Back home however we all found it a little tricky adjusting to real life without constant entertainment on tap. And if the children have anything to do with it, we’ll be heading back for more.

To book a Butlins break call 0330 100 6648.

Butlin’s Minehead, Warren Road, Minehead, Somerset, TA24 5SH