Over the weekend we packed up the car and headed off for a day out at Diggerland, Devon. We received complimentary entrance for four people in exchange for our honest review of the park.
Upon arrival we were greeted by a very smiley chap who explained the pricing structure; admission is £19.95 on the door for anyone over 90cm. Children under 90cm are free of charge. If you pre-book your tickets online I believe you can save around £3. There was no charge for Mabel, however Elsie was smack bang on 90cm and we were given the choice whether or not to pay for her. If we didn’t pay for her there were around 9 rides she’d be able to go on, if we did pay for her then that number jumped up to around 15.
We opted not to pay for her in the hopes that the 9 rides she could go on plus the play area and soft play would keep her happy.
One of the first things I noticed about Diggerland was how clean it was. After a nearly two hour drive we all need to visit the toilets first off and they were lovely; clean and bright. The baby change was also kept clean and tidy and I liked the addition of mini toilet seats and sinks for the younger guests.
The restaurant has a microwave, which we used to warm Mabel’s milk up, and plenty of highchairs. It’s the small things like a microwave which make parents lives so much easier so thank you, Diggerland!
There’s plenty to keep the whole family busy at Diggerland – our kids favourite ride was definitely Spindizzy – a gigantic digger which spins you back and forth in its genetically modified digger bucket. Word of warning – don’t go on after lunch! It was a lot of fun and the guy operating it was great with the kids and explained that if the kids felt worried or sick then to give a thumbs down sign to him and he’s stop the ride immediately.
Besides Spindizzy there were plenty of more gentle rides and things to do. I don’t think the kids could quite believe they were allowed to sit on actual diggers as Florence turned to me and said “We actually have to sit on it…on our own?!”
The play area was good and a welcome break for the kids who needed to run off a bit of steam after the car journey down. Again, there is something for everyone including little Mabel who loved using the water tables on a particularly hot day. I was expecting to see dirty, old water in the tables but it had obviously been put in fresh that day as it was beautifully clean. Besides the water tables and sand pit there was a Little Tikes area which had lots of the little cosy coupe cars for pre-schoolers to use. A lovely touch.
If you go to Diggerland try to make time for Sky Shuttle – it provides fantastic views of the park and surrounding countryside. This was one of the rides Elsie came on and she loved going up high and waving at Daddy down below.
There are some coin operated rides that the little ones can use but we didn’t feel the need as there is just so much included within the admission charge.
Just before leaving for the day and heading home we watched a stunt show whereby a large digger performed a couple of tricks – which were actually pretty impressive! My eldest, Logan, was particularly enthralled! Elsie loved seeing Duggy and Dotty the park mascots and gave them a big wave and smile.
We opted to take a picnic with us, as a big family we find it helps to keep the cost down, however the cafe on site seemed to have a fairly extensive menu and the food I saw being served looked and smelt lovely! We did buy a couple of cold drinks and some ice creams and the prices were very reasonable.
If you do plan to take a picnic there are plenty of benches and grassy areas to sit outside. You won’t be allowed to eat your own food within the restaurant – fair enough I’d say. We managed to find some shade in the play area as it was an absolutely scorching day. We left our picnic in the car (only a two minute walk from the play area) and were able to fetch it when we needed it – just make sure you grab a hand stamp on the way out.
Inside the restaurant you’ll find some soft play equipment and a bouncy castle which is great if the adults fancy 5 minutes peace over a coffee! It all looked clean, tidy and well maintained.
Diggerland is a great way to spend a short day whilst in Devon. I don’t believe it ever gets completely overrun with visitors and so wait times are always pretty minimal – ideal when you’ve got kids in tow.
The entrance fee seems a lot at first but I feel that by pre-booking online and allowing younger children in for free it actually works out quite good value for the length of time you could potentially spend there. Also – where else can you just hop on a digger?
The park is clean, tidy and well cared for. The staff were patient, helpful and great with the kids. We’d not hesitate in recommending Diggerland to anyone with (or without kids)!