Today's Weather for Cliftonville

Sunday, 15 April 2007


The unseasonably warm weather sparks a bit of a holiday mood, and with it some nostalgia.

(Click on image for readable size!)

In 1955 Butlins acquired 4 hotels in Cliftonville: The St Georges, The Queens (previously known as the Highcliffe), The Norfolk & The Florence. The original plan was that each would aim to attract a different clientèle: one families, one young children, one the retired and elderly and one those without children.

The Queen's Highcliffe Hotel

The following year another was added, this time The Grand Hotel (previously known as the Cliftonville Hydro).

The Cliftonville Hydro

All hotels were located close to each other and were marketed jointly as The Cliftonville Hotels. Later the separate classification for each hotel was dropped and they were all operated along similar lines. Guests were allocated a particular hotel but were free to enjoy the facilities at any of the others. At some point a sixth hotel was added, The Princes, which later became used for staff accommodation.

The Queens Hotel had a small indoor swimming pool with underwater viewing windows. This pool was later used as a dolphinarium with a pair of dolphins and sealions.

The Queens was demolished in the late 1970s.

By the 1980s only three hotels remained under the Butlins Cliftonville banner, the Grand, the Norfolk and the St Georges. All three were connected by an underground tunnel and had a total of 254 rooms between them. All three were later marketed jointly as 'The Grand Hotel'

The St George's

The Hotels were sold in 1999 to the Grand Hotel Group, but were resold in January 2004 to a local businessman who then announced plans to demolish two of them and convert the site into flats.

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