In preparation for my youngest boy turning four I made the ‘error’ of asking, a couple of months ago, whether he would like to visit Diggerland for his fourth birthday. The error being that I asked too far in advance, and I was badgered for two months with “are we going to Diggerland today?” making me wish I’d never mentioned it! As his birthday approached, I looked into it a bit more and found I was also actually quite excited about going!
So the day before his birthday, on the last Sunday of the summer holidays, we (myself, husband and two boys aged 4 and almost 6) made the two hour journey across the Pennines to Castleford in West Yorkshire. We arrived at 10am, the opening time, and were pleasantly surprised at the lack of queue. We virtually walked straight in, to be met with the sight of a LOT of diggers, literally every size and shape – Bobby was in heaven!
On first glance, both my husband and I worried that there might not be enough to keep the boys entertained – we were wrong! There must have been about 20 different activities to do from digging for treasure, a dig-a-round (merry-go-round), formula fun (children’s go karts), a train through the woods to being spun in the mud on a 4×4 safari. There are giant diggers, shuttle rides (up high and on the ground), dodgems, go karts – really everything you can do with a digger! There is also an indoor soft play area, if the weather doesn’t hold.
The boys favourite ride was without doubt Spin Dizzy; being strapped into a specially constructed, super-sized digger bucket and getting hoisted up and tossed around, literally spinning and being lifted, and spinning and lifted, and then spinning the other way … do not go on just after lunch!
Our favorites were those where the boys were able to drive themselves. Both had a go at the mini land rovers and then Freddie was able to do the JCB Robots (you have to be over 110cm) and we were so proud – he was brilliant, and loved it!
We ended up spending almost 5 hours there, and had a great time. Here are my top tips:
- It’s called ‘Diggerland’ so there’s going to be mud! Wear suitable footwear, the ‘boot wash’ by the toilets should have given me a clue!
- There is a café/restaurant on site which serves the usual sandwiches, hot meals, hot drinks etc, but there are also plenty of picnic benches outside.
- It’s been open for 10 years, and in places is a bit tired (the toilets in particular) but the kids won’t notice, so relax and enjoy it!
- Check on height restrictions before you go to make sure you maximise the enjoyment – you don’t want to get there to find your little one disappointed if they can’t go on rides. Our youngest is 1m and could go on the majority.
- Be prepared for the shop as you leave – there are some great goodies for digger-mad kids!
Nb: Emma and her family received complimentary entry into Diggerland in exchange for this review.
Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!
Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.