Belle, Jak and Mal are all now at school full time. Belle has entered KS2 and seems to be enjoying her return. In the first week she was elected to be part of the student council and even being given homework on the first day didn’t dampened her enthusiasm. Mal and Jak on the other hand were neither, excited or happy about starting school full time, but after the first day they settled quickly and our morning routine is not nearly as difficult as I first anticipated.
Because the children settled in school wonderfully we thought they deserved a back-to-school treat, we decided that this would be a surprise trip to Diggerland.
In the UK there are four Diggerland theme parks, these are located in Kent, Devon, Durham, and Yorkshire, the latter being the closest location to us.
Diggerland has to be one of the UK’s most unique attractions, as it offers both children and adults the chance to ride, drive and operate full size construction machinery.
We arrived at Diggerland at just after opening time, parking was free and we had no problem finding a space in the large car park. On entering the park we could see that Diggerland Yorkshire is a relatively small/medium park but it is packed full of diggers of all shapes and sizes. There are 18 rides and attractions (excluding the coin operated rides), each one of the attractions displaying interesting facts such as cost and weight of the machinery used for the ride.
We had only been in the park for a couple of minutes when we were ‘dragged’ to our first ride of the day, The Mini Tractors.
This is a super attraction were you get to drive a mini tractor around a tire laden track. The tractor seated four, but even so we had to take the journey around the track several times so each of our children had the opportunity to sit in the front.
From here we could see the Mini Landover’s and this was our next stop
This was a really cute ride where the boys were allowed to go in their own car, although Jak refused and rode shotgun with Belle. There was only two Landrovers on the circuit at anyone time and they went at such a low speed so I felt confident in allowing Mal to drive his own Landrover.
After the little independence Mal had on the Landrovers there was no stopping him, he wanted to ride on his own every time, which was a slight problem as some of the attractions had a minimum height of 110cm to drive/operate the machinery and he is a little under. The next attraction we visited was the Go Karts, the height restriction was only 90cm so the boys were able to ride alone.
Mal, belle and Jak loved driving the Go Karts, and Mal was pretty pleased with himself when he finished his laps first.
After the Go Karts we had planned to go on the JCB 3CX but the boys saw the sign for the Diggerland train and that HAD to be our next port of call.
This ride took us on a short tour of the park. Me, Rob and Belle sat in the main part of the train and Mal and Jak sat in the train barrel right at the back, the barrel was something like a little carriage pulled along by the tractor or main train.
The circuit took us pass some dinosaurs, old vehicles and some really funky giant garden gnomes. It was a great ride that was enjoyed by all. Next to the Diggerland train and opposite the ride we had planned to go on before the train, was the Landrover Safari. There was no queue for the Safari so this was the next ride to thrill the boys.
On this ride the Landrover could only take four passengers so I stayed behind and waited for the thrilling tales of where they went and what they saw.
They arrived back with tales of the jungle animals they had spotted and how cool the ride was. Whilst riding in the Landrover the queue for the large JCB 3CX had reduced to only one couple waiting, so we took this opportunity to wait in line.
This attraction seated up to three, so we had to ride in two parts, me and the boys first and Belle and daddy second. The ride was operated by one of the park staff and we sat on small seats right behind the driver. The operator was such a chatty fellow and we felt at ease as soon as we got in, he did however warn us the ride was bumpy and we should perhaps hold on tight. HE WASN’T WRONG!!!! OMG at some points I thought the machine was going to either get stuck or tip over, the boys of course weren’t phased at all. We did make it back over the huge mud mounds and deep ditches though without any problems, except perhaps a slight nervous breakdown by myself. When we got off it was Belle’s and Robs turn, whilst they had their turn the boys and I walked on to the Fun Factory where the boys could run riot and I could sit and have a coffee.
The Fun Factory
The fun factory is a large hall filled with picnic tables, arcade machines, table games and two soft play areas. The boys didn’t want to leave here, but it was getting late and the rest of us were feeling peckish, perhaps the on-site food hall being just upstairs didn’t help.
Lunch at the Dig Inn
From the Fun Factory we headed upstairs to The Dig Inn for a bite to eat.
The restaurant served a mixture light snacks and main meals, the prices were quite reasonable and our family of five ate lunch for just over £20 which was very good. It was extremely busy and we did have to wait for around 20 minutes (on top of the queuing time of 15 min) for our food to reach the table. The restaurant also only took cash payments, which could have been a problem had we not known before our visit. After we had eaten we set of to explore the park once again.
The first ride we came to after leaving the Dig Inn was Dig-a-round. This is a carousel type ride where the seats are inside the bucket of a digger, then the whole thing is controlled by a large digger located in the center. Belle went on the Dig-a-round alone. The ride started off with riders being spun forward, it then spun backwards, then forwards again but this time with the seats raised outwards, and backwards again before coming to a stop. Belle enjoyed ride this so much and pencilled in to ride again later in the day.
After the Dig-a-round we moved to the next ride the Dumper Trucks
This ride was fabulous, but the height restriction did mean the all the children had to ride with an adult, which the boys weren’t particularly happy about. The Dumper trucks were relatively easy to control around the makeshift track, and although they couldn’t take charge, all the children did enjoy it.
From the Dumper Trucks we went on to another set of diggers, these were separated in to several games, Hook-a-Duck, Skittles and dig for treasure. We decided to wait in line for the Dippy Ducks (hook-a-duck) as this looked so much fun.
This is Hook-a-duck with a difference. The mini diggers had been adapted to have a small hoop at the end of the arm of the digger, and this was to be used to hook the ducks in the water just in front. Again the Boys were too small to operate alone so they rode with us adults. Jak who rode with me did a much better job of hooking the ducks then I was able to do, but the champion was Belle who hooked all her ducks in under 3 minutes.
From the Dippy Ducks we could see the Ground Shuttle, it looked fabulous, and it was something we could all sit together on, so that was our next stop.
This ride consists of a purpose-built carriage that seats around 15 people, this is mounted on the front of a Manitou Telehandler.
Once we were all seated (right at the front of course) the carriage raised approximately 15ft above the ground and the large machine moved off around the 15 minute course rocking and rolling over the ridges and troughs that had been gouged into the ground. It was so much full and again another ride enjoyed by all. From here we headed over to the Sky Shuttle.
This attraction is pretty difficult to miss. Riders sit in a carriage similar to the Ground Shuttles, but instead of lifting off the ground and moving forward, it just goes up, 50ft up! Belle was excited about going on this ride, and with her dad, got on board to take in the views over the park.
The boys and I waited below in the queue for what would be our last ride of the day, the Dirt Diggers
Here you get to sit in the digger and control the arm, the aim being to dig the biggest hole you can. Very similar to the Dippy Duck in controls and again the boys were too small to operate alone, but this didn’t dampen their enthusiasm at all
By this time, we had been at Diggerland for about 5 hours, and there was still quite a few of the rides we hadn’t been on such as Spin Dizzy and the Skittles but everyone was quite tired and agreed to call it a day.
The exit from the park leaves through the gift shop where the children were able to collect a free certificate stating they are now ‘genuine junior digger drivers’.
We stayed in the gift shop to look around and we did notice that the prices were very reasonable.
Diggerland is a wonderful, and unique day out, filled with thrills and adventure. There is lots to see and do for all ages and I would certainly recommend a visit, especially if you have any digger fans in your family.
Entrance prices are..
Adults to age 65 & children 90cm or over
|Age 65+ (ID Required)||£9.95pp|
|Groups of 10 or more||£16.99pp|
|Children under 90cm||FREE|
There are however several ways to save on these prices.
- Booking your tickets online before and save 15% on the entry ticket.
- Sign up for the Diggerland email newsletters as they sometime send special offers and discounts out.
- Check out Diggerlands social media account as they do run competitions for admission tickets.
Further information can be found on the Diggerland website