Diggerland in Castleford, Yorkshire has been on our list of things to do list for a few years, but the entrance price and Little M’s height had been holding us back…
Like many children, Little M has a keen interest in Diggers and Tractors and how they work. So we were confident that it would be a winner for him and with Mrs M and I also allowed onto the vehicles it had something for almost of all of us (sorry Baby A).
Mrs M had discovered from her research that 1m is what Little M needed to achieve before he could go on the majority of the rides. This also coincided with a half-term 50% off offer ahead of the ‘theme parks’ winter closure.
Diggerland is advertised as ‘The Ultimate Adventure UK Theme Park Experience where children and adults alike can ride, drive and operate REAL diggers, dumpers and other full-size construction machinery’.
Before entering the park, Mrs M and I had been discussing how far everything would be to walk to, particularly with Baby A in the pram, so I have to confess, my ‘Theme Park’ expectation v’s the reality of a field with some static tractors was a bit of a surprise.
Little M and I first climbed aboard an enormous JCB digger to start moving some earth around. It quickly became apparent why Diggerland is so popular and is a ‘Theme Park’ experience.
Both of us were as pleased and excited as each other. It is what child and adult dreams are made of. After years of playing in sand with little diggers – there we were scooping earth and swinging around in an actual lifesize digger!
There is a great mix of rides from the high octane ‘SpinDizzy’, bone-shaking ‘GroundShuttle’ and 50ft high ‘SkyShuttle to the more technical ‘Skittles’ and ‘BuriedTreasure’. The most enjoyable aspect for us all were the rides where you can drive your own DumperTrucks and Mini Landrovers.
Watching Little M set off with minimal supervision along a narrow pathway in a miniature car was one of those ‘he’s growing up so fast’ moments. I was hoping he would be 17 before I discovered that cocktail of emotions! 🙂
This is where I think perhaps the description of a theme park doesn’t do Diggerland justice! Where else can you drive your toddler around in a dumper truck or can they operate heavy machinery… where can adults do that? It is an entirely immersive experience and is one that we as a family won’t forget for a long time.
Food at Diggerland
On-site there is a cafe with a reasonable food offering; although it is located around two coin-operated mini gocart tracks, which required some clever avoidance. The food was good, but we did land around peak time, so there was quite a queue and wait for some of the food. If you arrive just before midday, you can also enjoy their breakfast menu.
Alternatively, there are picnic tables, and we did see a few families eating inside, so you can always bring your own to help keep costs down.
Once you are inside, there are a few coin operated extras such as the dodgems and the indoor and outdoor race tracks. Other than that, you are free to experience all of the rides as many times as you wish.
Without the 50% discount, it would have been almost £60 for us to go as a family and with one of us taking turns to watch Baby A and many of the driving experiences for two people, it would probably have been more cost effective for one adult and one child to attend. It is a perfect candidate for a #dadsdayout.
We also went at the end of the season, which meant it was cold with the risk of rain. This is my perfect weather condition for any day out and when dealing with muddy tractors is probably more authentic. It also meant that it wasn’t as busy, so there was minimal queuing and maximum enjoyment.
Best Age to visit Diggerland
They advertise it for under8’s to over80’s, and that is probably right. There is something for everyone. At 8 Months, baby A did have a brief explore of the indoor soft play area, and with a small footprint, it isn’t a treck for the more elderly.
From 4yrs – 7yrs is where I think the real magic happens – oh and then for big kids like myself and Mrs M.
The structure of the park and the variety of ride types has been thought through. There is something for everyone and an authenticity to the park that makes it very special. You are driving, riding or digging on challenging terrain where your co-pilot is sat on your knee!
Little M was significantly more competent then I expected and was better at digging than I was. He was challenged and learnt alot. He also went on a ride three times that Mrs M said she would never do again!
Diggerland was a fantastic day out, which justifies its entrance fee with a memorable and interactive grown-up day out for big and little kids. It is unique in so many ways and will be booked into the diary for next year.
Diggerland is not a cheap day out, however, if your child is over one metre tall and loves diggers and tractors, it is a day out they will remember for a very long time!