Ever fancied trying your hand at operating a digger? Even if you haven’t I bet you know a kid who has, and now that you’re thinking about it you’d probably quite like a go too.
At the start of this month we were offered a family ticket to visit Diggerland Durham (they also have parks in Kent, Devon, Yorkshire and Worcestershire) in exchange for an honest review. My son had been once before a few years ago with his grandparents and he had been dying to go back but I was always concerned L would be too small to go on anything yet and we were going to wait another year. I checked the website though and once they are over 0.9m there are only 5 out of the 20 rides they can’t go on, and happily she is 0.92m so we said yes in a heartbeat.
With Keith being away I didn’t fancy taking two kids round a theme park on my own so roped my mum into coming with us, much to the children’s excitement.
The weather on the day was pretty grim and windy and we did wonder if we should have booked a different day but the sun made the occasional appearance and it actually didn’t detract from our enjoyment at all and we had a great time.
Little Tikes and Soft Play
Diggerland have recently added a Little Tikes area for the younger children to play and let off some steam with a sandpit and diggers and some great ride-ons. In Durham this is conveniently located right next to the cafe and the soft play area so you can sit and have a drink and let the kids run wild for a bit. There was a also a Little Tikes playhouse that L was completely in love with and kept hiding out in. Every time I tried to take a picture though she would reach out and close the shutters on me!
After a long car journey we started off in this area so they could release some energy having a bit of a run around while it was still quiet, although even when we came back in at lunch time it wasn’t too busy and as soon as they had wolfed down a few bites of food they were off to run around again.
The theme park itself is quite small and well laid out in a rectangular shape so it’s really easy to walk around and not have to worry about little legs getting tired. You could easily make your way round the park and try out all the rides in half a day but we weren’t in any hurry and made a full day of it.
All the rides have a height chart in front of them letting you know whether your child will be able to go on alone or whether they will need to be on your knee. M was able to go on everything (bar two rides) by himself but L had to be on our laps for almost all of them but I don’t think she minded too much.
You can find a full list of rides here and you can search by height too so that you know in advance which rides are suitable.
We had a great time playing hook a duck with a small digger, it is so much harder than it looks, and M’s favourite was controlling the big diggers and digging the biggest hole I’ve ever seen, in fact he went on there a few times.
Another favourite with both kids were the go-karts and I think we went on them 3 or 4 times in the end. L’s absolute favourite was the merry go round where the seats were digger buckets.
My favourite may have been the driving the JCB Robots. It was so muddy after all the rain we’ve had and there were giant puddles to try and steer through, another one that’s much harder than it looks but so much fun.
We also went on a ‘safari’ and a ride that takes you up 50ft and leaves you there a while. The views from that high up were pretty spectacular but it was pretty chilly given the wind.
Another favourite was when we all got to sit in the back of a JCB while M took the drivers seat around a purpose built track, he did really well, especially given how muddy it was.
There is a cafe on site called the Dig-Inn that serves basics such as chicken nuggets and chips or baked potatoes and is reasonably priced. As I mentioned earlier its really well placed with the soft play and Little Tikes area so you sit a while and let the kids run riot. There are also picnic benches located throughout the park itself so I think if I were going again I’d take a picnic and save the cafe for a warm/cold drink and a nice sweet treat later on (although we ended up doing this at the end too).
As with all attractions these days there was an on-site shop for the kids to get a souvenir. M and L had £5 each to spend and I did wonder if they’d be able to get much for that but I was actually pleasantly surprised that there was quite a lot of reasonably priced toys for any budget.
Tickets on the day are £19.95pp for Adults and children over 90cm. Children under 90cm are free and adults over 65 are £9.95. Personally I thought this was a little expensive given the size of the park, costing the average family £80 for a day out but given they replace all the machinery every 2/3 years it’s perhaps understandable, I don’t know many theme parks that do the same. My advice would be to either book online in advance saving up to £2.96pp (adds up to a saving of £11.84 for a family of four), or keep a look out for voucher codes in local papers. The County Durham Essential Summer Guide is currently running a voucher for 25% which you can take along on the day (they don’t accept voucher codes online and you have to have the original voucher with you), so if you had one drop through the door recently ‘dig’ it out (sorry). Alternatively, Diggerland have offered a Family Ticket to one lucky winner so why not enter below x
It may be a little expensive but I have to say we had a really great day out. L got a little tired and bored at one point but a trip to the soft play with Grandma kept her happy (there may have been ice-cream involved) while I took M on a few more rides. It’s certainly a very unique theme park and its the only place you can get to experience riding and driving really diggers. It’s a fun day out for all the family and sometimes it’s hard to tell who is having more fun, the kids or the adults.
The staff were all great and really engaged with the children and unlike most theme parks there was very little, if any, queuing. The only times we had to wait were when a ride was already running, we never had to actually queue up in a line at any point.
Overall, I would highly recommend a trip to Diggerland and I imagine we will have to head back there one day with Keith so M can show off his skills.
Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for your chance to win a family ticket valid at any of the Diggerland UK parks. Good Luck x
Diggerland Family Ticket giveaway