Diggerland Durham review

Our rating 
4.2 out of 5 star rating 4.2
User rating
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In a nutshell

A toddler-friendly theme park where all the rides are made from real-life diggers kids can ride and operate. There are go-karts, crazy karts and mini land rovers too, so plenty of fun for the whole family
Fun for kids
4.5 out of 5 rating 4.5
Fun for parents
4.0 out of 5 rating 4.0
Worth the money
3.5 out of 5 rating 3.5
Facilities
4.0 out of 5 rating 4.0
Family friendliness
5.0 out of 5 rating 5.0
Pros: Original, fun, exciting, manageable, friendly staff, reasonably priced food
Cons: Small, repetitive rides

When we visited:

On a sunny day in August

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What age and family is Diggerland Durham best for?

Best for: Diggerland will suit those from age 3 upwards. As with most theme parks, there is a minimum height requirement on all rides.

You will only be able to go on the Train and Children’s Play area if you are less than 80cm tall.

There is a little bit more choice if you are between 80cm and 90cm, but to really enjoy most of the rides, your child needs to be at least 100cm tall. Visit the website and check beforehand if you are concerned.

Still good fun for: Age 3-4. There are still activities you can take part in if under 100cm tall and between the ages of 3 and 4

The soft play area was great fun, the children ended up spending at least 2 hours indoors here.

Avoid if: Your children are less than 80cm tall. It probably won’t be much fun telling them they can’t go on most of the rides

How much does it cost?

Tickets cost:

  • £23.95 for all children over 90cm and adults up to the age of 65
  • £11.95 for Over 65s
  • £19.95 pp for groups of 10 or more
  •  £79.95 per person for an annual pass

Will I be spending lots of money once I’m in there?

Once inside, most activities and rides are free. There are some coin-operated rides and games and the Dodgems cost extra (not quite sure why they can’t be included in the ticket price).

I always try to avoid the additional costs. I told my children that first we will go on all the rides that we don’t have to pay extra for; if we have time, we will consider those.

There is a gift shop you have to go through to exit, but you don’t have to buy anything if you don’t want to.

I thought it was quite good value and spent a little on small souvenirs – and a Diggerland night suit for less than £7 that my youngest refuses to part with!

Food and drink is very reasonable which helps.

How long will we spend at Diggerland Durham?

I travelled up to Durham for an overnight stay and we arrived at the attraction at 10.15am the next morning, just as it opened.

We were done by 4pm, the kids felt satisfied that they had been on pretty much everything multiple times over. So one full day is plenty.

What’s it like for families?

I visited Diggerland as the only adult with 3 children – Tara, 4, Mili, 7 and Arjun 11. It was much smaller than I had imagined but this was its charm for me.

I felt safe when my 4 year old ran off to her favourite ride – the Spindizzy – which was the first ride we all went on and it made me feel so sick!

I could keep an eye on her from one end of the theme park while I went on another ride. I can’t imagine this happening at any other theme park. It felt safe and cosy.

We all had a great time operating the diggers and driving them. There was enough for us to do even with all the different ages and we barely had to queue for more than 5 minutes for any ride. That made it much more fun and relaxing for me.

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What to bring:

You won’t really need a pushchair here as it is small enough to visit without one. Sun cream and hats will be essential on a hot day as will wellies on a muddy wet day.

Because many of the diggers are in mud, you will get dirty on a wet day. Take a coat or fleece just in case.

Even though the sun was out when we went, it’s all very open so can feel cold very suddenly.

What are the queues like?

There are barely any queues. Even for the most popular ride – the Spindizzy – we only queued for a few minutes.

It made the day so much more enjoyable and we were able to go on our favourite rides over and over again.

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What are the food and drink facilities like at Diggerland Durham?

I was happy to find that there was child-friendly food on offer. Inside, in the soft-play area was a lovely little restaurant serving up hot dogs, chicken nuggets etc with plenty of choice of drinks for adults and children alike.

Prices were very reasonable – around £3-4 for a meal. Adults can sit and have a coffee or lunch while the kids play close by. Well thought-out and family friendly.

What are the toilets like?

There’s just one set of toilets in between the gift shop and the restaurant, but this was adequate for the size of the attraction.

There were no queues for the toilets. There was one toilet for disabled users.

Pushchair/wheelchair access and special needs:

There isn’t much walking to do so pushchairs are not essential. But if you bring one, there is easy access.

Carers of disabled visitors get free entry to the attraction. The rides are available for all people to use, however judgement has to be used by the visitors as to whether they can comfortably enter and exit the diggers and rides.

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What to do before you go to Diggerland Durham:

The main thing to do before you go is check the height chart to see which rides you can and can’t go on. Apart from that, it is small enough to be able to work out once you arrive.

Opening dates and times:

From March to October, Diggerland Durham opens between 10am-5pm. During the other months is it 10am-4pm.

However, in some months it is only operational at the weekends so do check on the website and prebook tickets before you travel to avoid disappointment.

Worth a long car journey?

My four-year0old daughter adored Diggerland so for her, the train journey to Durham was worth it.

Thankfully, there is another Diggerland in Kent closer to us in London so that will be on my list for 2019.

Because of its unique theme, it is worth the journey if you or your little one are fascinated by diggers.

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Tips for getting to Diggerland Durham:

  • We got a bus from our hotel to Langley Park, close to the attraction, which involved a very short walk
  • Otherwise you can drive and park in the free car park
  • From Durham train station, Diggerland is just 10 minutes away by taxi or 25 minutes by bus

MFM verdict:

We loved it! I didn’t think I would enjoy it or want to ride a digger but it was so much fun.

There are some games you can take part in such as Skittles and Dippy Ducks where you sit in a digger and operate the machinery to pick things up and knock things down.

I was hopeless at this while my son mastered it. But we all enjoyed having a go. The children all had their favourite rides that they went on over and over again without queuing.

All in all, it was a really fun day out. The staff were very friendly and helpful, I felt they were keeping a close eye on the children during the day.

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Intro to me:

I travelled to Durham by train with my 3 children – Tara, 4; Mili, 7 and Arjun 11 at the end of August on a sunny day