April 23, 2017

Days Out >> Diggerland Devon Review

diggerland review

Did we dig it?

Alfie has always been obsessed with diggers, bin trucks, cranes and all things Mighty Machine which has been his all time YouTube favourite for as long as I can remember. We've also been ambassadors for JCB kids this year and this has only fuelled his enthusiasm and love for all things construction, or rather destruction further.

While we were in Devon recently we were kindly invited for a family day out at the Devon Diggerland site, featuring their brand new collaborative area for smaller tots with Little Tikes. We've always wanted to go to Diggerland so it was a great end to our busy week in South Devon and the perfect time to go.

is diggerland good value for money?

Diggerland have 4 parks in total, based in Kent, Yorkshire, Devon and Durham with a park on it's way to Worcestershire soon too. Entry is free for kids under 90cm and anyone over that will need to pay £19.95 each for entry with discounts for over 65s and carers. The Devon site is one of the parks that have just introduced a new tots area with Little Tikes, so we were keen to explore this and see what the kids thought.

We arrived at Diggerland just before opening and my first impression is that it's very unassuming. There is a big yellow digger to mark the entrance and an arch to mark the entrance, accompanied by a couple of digger scoop flower beds.

We entered through a fairly old looking building with a small soft play area, bouncy castle, cafe and arcade. We left this part in case the weather turned for the worse so that we could grab a coffee and the kids could play.

Once we got into the park itself, we first encountered some small car rides and quad bikes which the kids excitedly ran to. These rides though are coin operated which had we just paid out the £60 to enter, may have been a bit disappointing.  We told the kids we would come back to that later and started to explore the real deal, the diggers and play areas!

Little Tikes

I first took Soph to the Little Tikes section for a play as she was a little grumpy from the journey and needed to warm up a little. This section was smaller than we had expected but contained everything the kids needed and they both ended up loving the water tables and mini fishing games. This was a great opportunity for a sit down at the picnic tables around the play area and grab a coffee while they played.

This part of the park is a great addition for smaller toddlers that perhaps may be too small for a lot of the other rides and although it's small, it does keep their attention and features some amazing Little Tikes toys that kids will love. As kids under 90cm are free, this means they can still enjoy a day of play while older siblings get stuck into the bigger rides. There is a big traditional play area too so all ages are more than catered for.

I had no idea there were so many designs of the Cosy Coupe cars! Soph loved the taxi and the dinosaur one is just genius. I have memories of riding in these as a kid and I think they are just one of the best timeless kids toys and a great addition to Diggerland.

Both kids adore playing in water and would probably have happily played in here for a whole day. Soph loved the little fishing games and of course Alf was all about rescue missions and putting the toys through their paces!

The Main park

Although I'd seen pictures of Diggerland, when you actually get there and see real gigantic diggers that cost more than your own house, being controlled by children it's just bonkers, but in the best possible way!

We started out on the small diggers which all have a game theme. One is a hook a duck game, one for bowling and one for carefully scooping rocks out from water. This part was great fun and really took some concentration. This part is a really good way to get used to mastering the controls before moving on to the bigger machines.

The park has a number of different rides on offer which are made from diggers parts or ones where you are actually seated and strapped into the scoop itself for a ride spinning round, going sky high or for a bumpy off road experience.

How crazy are these rides!!?

We also had the chance to ride in a 4x4 to look for animal cut outs with another track set up for kids to drive, mine were both too young but it looked like the most fun ever for older kids and young teens!

We were able to try out a few smaller building site vehicles and Alf at 5 and pretty short was able to drive a few things and go on pretty much everything. Soph was just on the line for 90cm and could go on most things on our laps, enjoy the playground and of course the Little Tikes play area.

Thoughts on Diggerland

At first we were a little shocked at the price of entry, but as the day went on we began to see that it's not actually bad value at all when you think how much a single ride at a fair would cost, and all the diggers blow anything at a fun fair out the water. This really is an experience and it's really like you've been let loose on a building site  (a safe one), you get to dig up huge clumps of mud and slam around clumsily in a digger with the added bonus of not getting in trouble!

I really don't think I've seen Alf so happy as I did when he was in control of a 100k+ digger all by himself and getting to drive a back hoe loader! Diggerland is not like anything we've done before, it was a great day out and after initially thinking it was small there, we ended up staying nearly 6 hours and only left because us grown ups were exhausted. The kids left in tears because they wanted to stay after having a great time.

Although we were initially a bit peeved by the coin operated activities, they really are just an added bonus to your visit and are better than your average coin rides with real mini cars and working quads. Luckily we had some pound coins so they had a few goes and really loved it.

The cafe has some well priced food and drinks and take card payments with a 75p charge under £10. The staff were all super friendly, really chatty and lovely, really good with kids and obviously very well trained safety wise with every ride being manned and a quick lesson before each go. They chatted to us about our holiday, really engaged with the kids and couldn't have been lovelier. 

We visited on a mild cloudy day and were thankful it wasn't too sunny as it meant a quieter park and no queueing for rides whatsoever! Not bad for school holidays. We felt the play area and inside parts were a tad run down and let the park down a little, but also felt they were just an added extra really with the main attraction being the AMAZING diggers and Little Tikes play area.

As a pretty low income family I'll be honest and say we would have maybe been put off by the price, but now I've been (we were given complimentary tickets this time) I absolutely would pay to visit again and I think considering its unlike anything else we've done and made a little boys dreams come true, it's well worth every penny! I must say too that us grown ups had a whale of a time as well and I actually said 'this is the most fun everrrr' while I ripped chunks out the ground with a giant JCB! I would have paid the entrance price just for the big digger experience alone. Seriously, so much fun.

A fun family day out with something for all ages, picnic areas, refreshments and plenty to keep you entertained for a day out.

A huge thank you to Diggerland for inviting us for the day, it got a big and thumbs up from us all. If you'd like to read more about Diggerland and all it has to offer, you can visit their website at www.diggerland.com.

Have you been to Diggerland yet? Please leave me a comment 
and let me know your thoughts!

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diggerland review

1 comment:

  1. It does sound like a really fun place! I would love to go with my little ones, I'm going to go measure them now!