Whilst we were on holiday with Verdant Leisure at their stunning Heather View Leisure Park in County Durham a couple of weeks ago we had some lovely days out. I’m going to try to write about them all over the coming weeks, but today I wanted to share our trip to Diggerland.
We headed to Diggerland on the 1st day of our holiday, after all the driving that is. L woke up at 5.30am ready for his trip. I had mistakenly told him about Diggerland before we even left for holiday and had spent weeks explaining why he couldn’t go immediately, so it was hardly a shock that he was ready to go.
Being half term we were slightly concerned that it would be really busy, so weren’t all put off by the slightly grey but dry weather. Anything that might keep other people at home was a plus for us! Turns out we need not have worried.
Diggerland is a compact park, really easy to get around and not much walking. It was also very quiet. We arrived when it opened, as did a handful of other families. But everyone went their separate ways to different rides. Even as the day progressed we never had to queue more than a few minutes for a ride, if at all.
Tickets for adults and children over 90cm cost £19.95 on the gate or £16.99 of you pre-book. It is an expensive day out. Less so than other theme parks though and at just over 1m there were two rides L couldn’t go on, two he chose not to go on and few rides that had an additional cost we avoided but other than that he was able to go on everything, so I felt it was actually really good value. All the ride heights are online, so you can see what your child can go on by themselves, go on with adults or not use before you arrive, no nasty surprises that way.
So we dug, we hooked ducks, we bowled, we went on a Jeep safari, we went really high, husb spun (until he was actually green), we rode and we had so, so much fun. L is normally quite a shy boy and whilst he gets very excited about days out like this, often when we arrive it all just becomes a bit too much for him. He jumped into Diggerland with his whole self though, going on rides, chatting to people and doing things on his own! He let the staff help him into rides, he drove a car by himself, he even (if briefly) used the bouncy castle at the soft play on his own. For most children this isn’t a big deal, but for him, it is just amazing and it was a pleasure to see.
He took turns going on the rides with us, normally he would be all about his Daddy at something like this. But luckily for us he was quite fair in sharing his time and the rides between us. So I got to dig a big hole with an excavator and drive a mini dump truck. Two things I never thought I would do. L loved riding in the Backhoe tractor, backhoes are his favourite. He really loved the Jeep Safari as well. We did it twice and he chewed the drivers ear off gabbing about all the different animals.
All of the staff we were met were great. Good at explaining how everything worked. Really friendly. So knowledgeable. It was vital as a lot of the rides rely very heavily on the staff. Whether they are driving the car or tractor you are in or just explaining how all the digger controls work. It was lovely to see all of them having a good time.
I liked that once you paid to get in there were only a handful of rides that incurred an extra charge. The games in the arcade area that is indoors with the cafe and soft play are all coin operated. There are also a few £1 operated rides outside. I would have liked to have seen the outdoor rides all in one area that we could have avoided but other than that it was all covered and you could ride as often as liked and pretty much have as long a turn as you wanted, although I’m guessing that was because it was quite.
We ate at Diggerland as well, we couldn’t get over how cheap the food was. We bought a bottle of drink and got a chicken nugget & chips kids meal, that came with a drink, I had a toasted tuna mayonnaise baguette and husb had pie and chips with gravy. I got change from £10. I could not believe it! Snacks and sweets were more expensive. Fair enough. But for three of eat to eat a hot lunch for less than a tenner, that’s flipping amazing. The food was basic, but well cooked and tasty. Spot on.
We spent a good five plus hours at Diggerland. L had an amazing time. So did husb, I think he loved driving and working the machines as much, if not more than L. I would visit again in a heartbeat, though most likely the Kent ark. It is still a distance for us but an awful lot closer than Durham! This was the perfect day out for a tractor and digger mad little boy.
Disclosure – we were provided with tickets in return or our honest review.