We all know how hard it is to please children of multiple ages. For us, that’s trying to please a 5 year old all the way up to a 12 year old. So when I spotted that the UK had 4 theme parks dedicated to diggers, I knew this was a place we had to visit.
Diggerland is an adventure park where all of the attractions, rides and experiences are based on diggers and machinery. There are 4 Diggerland theme parks in the UK in total, located in:
The first Diggerland to open was in Kent, where Hugh Edeleanu decided to use his fleet of 2.5K machinery to open to the public a theme park where adults and children alike could enjoy being in control of construction equipment!
Diggerland Kent opened in 2000 and is located in Medway Valley park, just off the motorway junction. Since then, it has been so popular with families of children with multiple ages. The park consists of over 20 different rides and drives and most are suitable for most of the family!
On arrival, I noticed that there was lots of parking available and checking into the park was super quick and easy. You will notice that there are no park maps, however all the rides available at Diggerland are presented on the wall as you walk in. I quickly took a snapshot of this if we needed to refer back to it. However, once you enter the park, you’ll see that it isn’t huge and it very easy to navigate round, so a map isn’t really needed.
As soon as we walked in we were greeted with the super impressive SpinDizzy! This ride is so thrilling to watch and ride (I chickened out!) as riders sit in a super-sized digger bucket, get lifted up and tossed and spun around to their hearts content. This is a ride for those over 100cm’s so all my children got to experience this and was favourited by both my 9 and 12 year old!
Near SpinDizzy was a set of 3 different types of experiences on a digger. There was:
Skittles: where operators had to knock over the skittles with a mini wrecking ball.
Dippy Ducks: where you had to fish for ducks using hoop at the end of the arm.
Buried Treasure: where you have to scoop up dirt to find the buried treasure!
All three experiences are using the Komatsu PC14 mini diggers and my children loved it. To ride, children had to be over 80cm to ride with an adult or 110cm to operate the machinery alone. All my three really enjoyed this as it took a lot of concentration but was rewarding when they got to complete a task! It does take some skill!
I was keen to ride the Diggerland Train next so that we could see some more of the theme park as it takes up to the top end of the park. The Tractor Train had small seats which tagged along at the back of the tractor which was super cool. We all enjoyed the bumpy ride!
One experience that the children did several times (and including my husband!) was the JCB robots. Whilst slow, these machines were great to navigate in the mud and they all found it super fun to ride. Little ones under 110cm can ride with an adult!
I jumped on the next ride; Terex 1 tone Dumpers at Diggerland with my 8 year old daughter who isn’t quite tall enough to drive it herself (over 140cm can ride alone) but this piece of machinery was great and I have never driven something like this before! All 5 of us were riding on 3 at one point – it was a fantastic experience!
My 5 year old loved the Go Karts and rode these at least 4 times! Suitable for children from 80cm (with an adult) all the way up to adults, this was a great family experience to do together, although a little slow foe us oldies!
Dig Around was a fantastic ride where an adapted JCB 8060 is what makes this a unique carousel. And it goes both forwards and backwards! This was another ride perfect for children over 80cm and perfect for adults too!
My favourite experience for my 5 year old was getting to drive a real, full-size JCB 3CX, Backhoe Loader! To drive this, you have to be over 110cm. The was awesome and both myself and my other two children got to sit in the back for the bouncy ride! The ride operator was super friendly too!
I was a little conscious that Diggerland may not be suitable for my 12 year old, but I was wrong – there was lots for him to to where he could join his younger siblings however there was also some experiences that were only suitable for him. Including all the rides above (and more!) here are some of the rides that are suitable for the preteens in your family.
If your preteen is over 140 cm and under 17 years old, then this experience will be unique for them. Here, they can get behind the wheel of a Mitsubishi Pajero and go for a joy-ride around their special 400 metre course in one of their Diggerland Police 4WD SUVs. Brilliant and an experience that you would pay a lot of money for elsewhere.
Another experience for the over 14ocm’s, was this fun challenge using an adapted four wheel drive, AVANT 200 Series Loader with a hydraulic boom fitted with a unique grapple that has been specifically designed for the new ride. This was called Stack Attack where the challenge was to stack as many tyres on top of each other as possible!
We unfortunately didn’t get chance to do this experience, but this looked super fun for those kids over 140cm and up to the age of 16. The Crazy Carts are all electric and allows the ride to go up to 20kmph in a safe arena!
At Diggerland Kent, you will find:
– A large restaurant where food can be purchased from a large menu including bakery items, hot food, beer and wine and hot drinks
– 2 sets of toilets including a disabled toilet and baby changing facilities
– Large carpark including disabled parking
– Small amount of outdoor picnic areas
– Seasonal ice cream truck
– Gift Shop
The kids loved Diggerland! And I was really impressed too. The adventure park is really unique and you wont find anywhere else in the UK where both adults and children can experience riding and driving some fantastic JBC machinery. Whilst the park wasn’t as huge as some theme parks like Alton Towers or Legoland, it certainly had a lot packed into the space and I thought I could see some expansion work happening which would be great! We visited in February half term and there was no queue wait times so I would recommend considering going in low season.
The kids were also super happy to find a soft play which meant that when it did drizzle we had somewhere to escape too and time to rest our legs and grab a coffee.
The rides all seemed very safe and secure and I loved how we had never experienced some of what they had on offer before. What I thought was super unique was the entry boards into each ride. Not only did it list the height requirements and what/who is was suitable for, it was shared how much the machinery/ride cost and how much it weighed!
The only negative thing I would mention was that there didn’t seen enough picnic tables (perhaps they provide more during the summer months) and we could have done with more seating in the indoor soft play.
Finally, I really love how the park is considering becoming more greener as an attraction and now offer electric car charging points on site!
So. whether or not you or your child is a lover of diggers, this place is a must for big families with children of multiple ages as it really does please all! We loved it 🙂
*We were gifted press tickets in exchange for this review. All words and opinions are my own*
Thanks for reading xxx
Hi and welcome to The Willow Tree. I’m Michelle, also known as Shel and I am a mama to three beautiful crazy kids – I have two handsome boys and a wild and wonderful girl.
I really wanted a concrete place to share my love for travel, in particular Disney and offer my readers a chance to gain some knowledge around what we love to do as a family of 5.
I share our family adventures which include days out, travel advice and tips, holiday reviews, restaurant visits and of course, our love for Disney, including Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney World.
Life is about creating memories, and here we are sharing them with you