Over half term we were lucky enough to be invited to spend a day at Diggerland in Rochester, Kent. It’s about a 20 minute drive from us so very accessible. We hoped to have good weather and the sun shone for us. We were gifted four tickets and we paid for one extra child. There are several Diggerland sites in the UK in Devon, Durham, Yorkshire and of course, Kent. Children under 90cm go free, Daniel was proudly above it.
What does the entry price to Diggerland cover?
You can use all the rides in the park, plus the soft play. There were token operated Dodgems (£1 per token = one car) and some coin operated cars but I would say don’t bother with those, there is so much to do. We did pay for Dodgems tokens and had two goes on them, for some reason Dodgems are irresistible.
As it was February, even though it was half term there were very little queues and we didn’t wait long for any rides. There is a carousel with digger scoops you sit in and the ‘Spin Dizzy’ ride which is the only thrill ride, it spins you high up and backwards – I only went on once and it was a bit too spinny for me, but William (9) loved it and went on another 2 times without me. Most of the park is for younger children, I’d say the maximum age is around 15. One or two of the rides were too small for William, he was too tall, but he was thrilled to be able to drive a real car and drove us round a little track twice (with an attendant in the passenger seat). He felt so grown up.
The go karts were very popular, the picture below shows Daniel (4) in his own go kart, but he wasn’t able to keep his foot on the pedal, so I balanced precariously on the back and held it down for him. They loved ‘racing’ each other.
If there has been rain recently, prepare for mud! The main paths are fine but some of the tracks are very muddy. Our children didn’t have wellies on and they were fine. Several of the diggers and cars are designed so that the children can drive them themselves which makes them the best ride ever for them. I think the height was 135cm for them to drive themselves. The small safari cars Daniel could drive, he looks like me, leant forward with his nose pressed against the wheel.
We (I) stupidly thought it would be as warm as it had been the previous days so I didn’t bring a coat for me or the boys thinking jumpers would be enough, but it’s on a hill and there is a bitter wind. We were so cold! After sampling a few rides we sought the warmth of the soft play house and a hot cup of tea. There’s a cafe if you need it and of course toilets. We took a picnic lunch and ate it on the benches provided.
The soft play kept everyone amused and has slides and a bouncy castle too. It’s all included. I can see in the Summer that the area would be quite busy and there weren’t that many benches for the adults. We got a seat no problem this time. There’s also a little outside area to the soft play with about five different cosy coupes, a play house and several toy diggers. Phoebe spent ages playing with the diggers and transporting stones.
There is a wide variety of things to do, the small diggers you can get in and either fish out ducks from a pond or knock down skittles. Then there are bigger diggers that you can dig up muck with. I got great satisfaction with that one. There are two builder characters that make an appearance and you can get photos with them.
One last go on the dodgems and we were done. We arrived at 11 and left at 4 when the park was closing. You can easily make a day of it. The children enjoyed it all equally, from age 4 to 9 and both the boys and girls. It’s something a bit different to the standard theme parks, and it promotes independence and motor skills. They offer party packages too if you have a digger enthusiast. My favourite rides were the Diggerland train where you get driven around the park with the kids trailing behind in carts, and the Groundshuttle where you sit in the scoop of a digger (on chairs) and get bounced around a mud track. Have you been to Diggerland yet?