We were very lucky to be invited to spend a day at Diggerland. I'm not gonna lie, Husband was the most excited closely followed by Little E. Our nearest Diggerland is in Kent so we set off last Sunday on a surprising mild October day for a quick drive round the M25.
We arrived at a surprisingly tarmaced car park (free) with a proper entrance reception. I am not gonna lie. I was expecting a churned up field or such like and was wearing wellies but normal outdoors shoes would have been fine. Some women were even wearing heels...
Diggerland does pretty much what it says on the tin but they have been very clever about it. Obviously there are a LOT of diggers but they have converted lots of them to make really fun rides for adults and kids. It isn't just about the digging.
Little E was just over a metre which meant she could take part in all 18 rides. Yes, all of them! It was so refreshing to be able to say 'Yes, you can go on everything! Even that big spinny thing!'. For a few of the rides she had to sit on an adults lap but that wasn't a problem as Husband and I were raring to go but it could be a problem if you have 2 children and only 1 adult. If they are under 80cm there really is no point in going as they will be bored stiff and upset about not being able to go on anything. Luckily Little I is still young enough to find watching everything from her pram or our arms fascinating. You can check out the ride restrictions for different heights here
There are 3 kinds of attraction:
- Rides which are diggers converted into fairground style rides.
- Drives where you actually drive or are a passenger.
- Digs which are static diggers that you can control to dig a big hole, hook a duck or knock over skittles.
Little E really liked the rides and drives but wasn't much interested in the digging! In fact after 1 go she had enough. I suspect if she was a boy or slightly older that would be a different story!
One thing which really stood out for me was the attitude of the staff. Everyone was fantastic. The staff in the Dig Inn couldn't have been more helpful and the staff manning the rides were friendly and helpful even when Little E kept crashing her car the staff were patient and actually walked around the course with her! Fantastic customer service.
The dancing digger show was a bit of fun. It was short but the kids loved it, esspecially when they pretended the digger was going to tip over. Again the enthusiasm of the staff made it into something a bit special.
We ate at The Dig Inn, the on site eatery. It is themed aptly like a greasy spoon cafe and offers all day breakfasts, burgers and jumbo hotdogs alongside freshly made rolls and jacket potatoes. It was very reasonably priced (the meal for the 3 of us was £16) and served to our table promptly. The quality was good (not greasy!) for the price and considering we were at a theme park it exceeded my expectations. The portions were big. Husband couldn't eat all his hand cut chips which is saying something. The dining area was impeccably clean and you can see the food preparation area from the restaurant and it was spotless. If we go back we'd eat there again without a doubt.
The whole park was very clean and tidy. The pathways are concrete so my wellies were a bit redundant but it got me into the spirit of the place! The toilets were clean and, the most important test, the baby change was immaculate. One of the cleanest baby tables area I have ever used out and about. Considering the park is based on mud that's impressive!
Entry to the park isn't cheap (£19.95 per person on the door, bit cheaper if pre-booked online and free if the child is under 90cm) but when you consider the amount of machinery they have there and the cost of fuel to run them (plus the insurance costs which I imagine are huge) you can see where the money is going. The only downside is the additional costs such as the bumper cars, coin operated kids rides and the mini kids cars. Whilst they are a small part of the park they really aren't necessary and it is confusing to kids when some stuff is free and some isn't. We had a small child continually asking us to go on them not understanding they cost extra. I'm kinda of the mindset that you either charge a flat entry fee or you charge per ride. I'm not a fan of mixing them up.
Because we went late in the season queues were non existent so we spent about 3hrs at the park. I imagine in the holidays it would be packed and, like any theme park, you'd spend a lot of time queuing. Also there was very little shade so be aware if you go on a hot day. The rain held off so we didn't venture into the indoor soft play but it looked good with a bouncy castle and would provide some much needed shelter if the heavens opened.
Overall we had a great time and Little E has not stopped talking about it! We would definitely recommend a visit on a quiet day for something a little bit different.
To find out more visit diggerland.com
We were sent tickets for Diggerland free of charge for the purposes of this review but all opinions are our own.