If you live in Newcastle you can't fail to have noticed the Baltic on the…
A few weeks ago, on the last day of the season, we paid a visit to Diggerland, Durham. We had lots of fun driving about in big JCB’s, digging up big piles of earth and driving about in 4×4’s. Both children and adults can drive and no driving license is required. Diggerland, Durham is found in Langley Park which is just off the A1. It is a scenic drive to get there and the park itself is on a hill. It is advisable to wrap up warmly, even on a Summer day it can be cold. We were there in late November and were very lucky with the weather, it was a lovely dry sunny day.
Walking into the park there are rows of diggers, everywhere the eye can see. We had chosen a great day to visit as it was not very busy so we did not have to queue very long for the rides. In order to get our bearings we took the Diggerland train around the park. This was a good way to see what was available and what we wanted to go on.
There are plenty of things to see en route like a tank sitting on top of a hill which was a talking point. The first ride we tried was Robot Driving where you get into small JCB’s and drive them round a very muddy track. It was challenging getting the digger round the muddy trail but also great fun. It takes a lot of concentration as well.
Next we tried digging a hole, which is harder than it looks. My son managed to scoop up several shovelful’s of dirt and soon was digging a hole like a professional.
As well as large JCBs there are also normal rides like the Dodgems. These are not included in the admission price, you have to buy tokens from the shop if you want to go on these. They were a big hit with my son and his friend.
There are also go-karts available and my son had great fun whizzing around the track, racing his friend. The diggers in the background are not part of the park but are available for hire.
We were soon back to driving diggers and took this giant JCB on a trip around a mud track. My son was able to drive it himself, but a member of staff was on hand inside the cab in case of problems. We learned some interesting facts about how much the digger weighed and how much it would cost to buy while we drove it.
My son then took a 4×4 for a spin. The 4×4’s are just available for childen to drive, they won’t start if an adult gets in. My son was most impressed by this and drove happily around the trail.
A bit later we went on the Landrover Safari, a member of staff drives the landrover along a very hilly dirt trail. As well as being fun we learned a lot. My son found out what JCB stands for as well as lots of interesting facts about them. In case you don’t know JCB stands for Joseph Cyril Bamford who was the founder of the firm.
My son was persuaded to try the GroundShuttle, he was hoisted high in the air and then set off into the distance driving along a very bumpy and muddy trail. He said it was great fun. We finished the day with a ride on the dumper trucks.
Then we went on the Diggerland Tractors which reminded me of Bob the Builder diggers.
There was still quite a bit we hadn’t been on but we were getting cold so decided to go. We had a thoroughly enjoyable day and loved driving the JCB’s. If you want to have a meal there is an indoor area with the Dig In cafe with an adjoining indoor play area and also a picnic area. In the play area there is a chance to play on computer digger games. You could easily get out of the cold and relax for a while here. On the way out is a shop with a wide range of digger toys and clothes to buy. As we left the boys were given a certificate to show they were expert digger drivers which was a nice touch.
Diggerland is a great place to spend a day out. At the moment tickets are £19.95 for people over 90 cms in height and under 65. Over 65’s pay £9.95 and if you are under 90 cms admission is free. There are often discount codes available on-line and if you book on-line in advance there is a discount. You can find more information on the Diggerland website.