Things to do in Kent

If you’re looking for fun things to do in Kent or exciting family days out in Kent, then you’ve come to the right place!

Families always struggle with planning the perfect getaway or day out, however, this time it’s our turn to plan it for you. From the best accommodation, the best places to eat and of course the greatest attractions to visit; we’ve got you covered.

Family having fun at Diggerland Kent with staff member
Rochester Castle view beside the river - historical activity Kent

Historical Things to Do in Kent

If you want historical things to do in Kent, then we recommend visiting Medway. The towns of Rochester, Gillingham and Chatham are rich in history and culture.

Let’s rewind to the 12th century, when Rochester Castle was built around the time of 1127 by William of Corbeil, the Archbishop of Canterbury, with the help of Henry I. This historical masterpiece has undergone siege after siege over the last few centuries, even enduring an onslaught from King John in the 1200s, then falling into ruin in the 17th century.


Now undergoing a restoration project, the castle is open to visitors and once you’ve climbed the stairs of the tallest keep in Europe, you’ll experience stunning views of the landscape across the River Medway. What’s more is that you’ll even be able to see the diggers at Diggerland!

Just across the stone cobbled pathway from Rochester Castle, you’ll find Rochester Cathedral, a building full of beautiful architecture. The Cathedral has been a place of Christian worship since AD604 and is the second oldest district under a Bishop’s control in England. The newly renovated crypt is home to the Textus Roffensis, the only record in the world of King Æthelberht’s laws from 600 AD!

The Medway towns for many years served a great purpose for protecting the country against enemy lines, with the Chatham Naval Dockyard and the military presence and barracks located in Gillingham. Keep reading to find out more!

Interior of Rochester Cathedral - Fun historical thing to do inKent
Diggerland Spindizzy - fun things to do in Kent

The Greatest Attractions to Visit in Kent

Diggerland Kent Construction Theme Park

We couldn’t write a blog post without including Diggerland, could we! Family days out in Kent just wouldn’t be complete without visiting the only UK Theme Park for kids and adults alike to ride, drive and operate real JCB and Komatsu diggers.

There are thrills, spills and so much more fun to be had at Diggerland in Kent. Test your coordination and concentration skills whilst using a mini wrecking ball on the end of a digger arm to knock down Skittles. If that sounds too easy, then have a go at operating a digger to hook a duck, or perhaps see what you can find with the Buried Treasure attraction.

Be sure to sign up to the Diggerland newsletter for the latest news, special offers, competitions and much more by clicking here.

Historic Dockyard Chatham

Just a 20 minute drive or so from the Diggerland Kent Theme Park, you will find the Historic Dockyard Chatham. If you’ve experienced all of the diggers that you possibly can with a day at Diggerland, then turn your attention to ships and submarines, and see what’s on offer when you climb aboard!

HMS Ganet - Things to do in Kent History
Royal Engineers Museum - historical things in Kent

Royal Engineers Museum

Once you’ve experienced diggers and ships, it’s time to move on to tanks! There are plenty of them to see at the Royal Engineers Museum, based in Gillingham.

The museum tells a wonderful story, focusing on the Royal Engineers and how they’ve helped the British Army survive for over 300 years.

The Best Places to Eat after your Diggerland Day Out in Kent

When visiting Diggerland, there’s the Dig Inn cafe with a vast selection of meals and snacks from which to choose. A 5* food hygiene rating and reasonably priced food and drink, the franchised café at Diggerland Kent Theme Park is loved by all who visit.

Rochester high street has a fantastic array of independent coffee shops, tea rooms and restaurants, including Tiny Tim’s, Crepe & Co., Cathedral Pie House (traditional pie & mash, anyone?), The Cheeseroom and Brettington’s Lobster & Steakhouse.

The Best Places to Stay when You’re Not Quite Ready to Leave

Just a 5 minute walk from the Diggerland Kent Theme Park, located within the Medway Valley Leisure Park, you have a Premier Inn, which is perfect for family stays. Better yet, the Leisure Park boasts some great chain restaurants including Frankie & Benny’s, as well as a cinema and even a bowling alley!

If you’re wanting more luxury, focus your attention to the Bridgewood Manor. On the outskirts of Chatham, just a stone’s throw from the beautiful BlueBell Hill Village (surrounded by nature trails and a breathtaking viewpoint), this hotel meets all of the families needs. A luxury spa, a gym and a bar will keep Mum and Dad happy, while the indoor pool awaits the kids who haven’t quite burned all that energy off at Diggerland.

For family days out in Kent and things to do in Kent, we’ve got you covered. A day at Diggerland can be coupled with a local stay, that has more than plenty to keep the whole family entertained!

Looking for perfect Family Days Out?

With the final school term coming to an end soon, parents have the same fear every year, what are they going to do with the kids all day? Here at Diggerland UK Theme Parks, we are open 7 days a week through July to August, making it the perfect time to venture out as a family and spend quality time together doing something completely unique. Whether your closest park is Kent, Devon, Durham or Yorkshire, we are sure you will have a day out to remember.

Why are our parks perfect for Family Days Out?

The stress that children face at school now is unfortunately a big problem, seen in an article from The Guardian, it states that children as young as 10 are panicking over SATs with worries of failure, and GCSE students experiencing intense anxiety over the uncertainty of their futures. There is never a better time to remind your child to ‘just do their best’, and to remind them that life is about experience too.

Diggerland offers the perfect opportunity for the whole family to de-stress and to have some fun, to try something new and to spend more quality time together, operating and driving real diggers! It could be time to make learning fun, or simply give your children a break from learning all together, especially with Summer holidays coming up. Our Diggerland Parks are aimed at children aged 4 -14, but the whole family even have an enjoyable day out!

A Family Day out at Diggerland doesn’t just mean the kids, a recent Age UK article tells us that almost 2 million older people feel ‘ignored or invisible’, don’t let this be the case with your family! On family days out to Kent, Devon, Durham or Yorkshire, don’t forget to ask if your older relatives would care to join you too, Diggerland is for everyone to enjoy.

With 20 different rides and drives within all 4 Diggerland UK Theme Parks, there is something for everyone to do, whether you’re digger mad or not. Adults can show the children how it’s done when it comes to operating a Giant Digger or a competitive go on the dodgems.

Family Day's Out at Diggerland

If you’re visiting in a large group of 10 or more, and turn up on the day to any of our Diggerland Theme Parks, you can make the most out of our group booking rate and pay:

  • £19.95 per person for anyone over 90cm
  • £11.95 per person for anyone who is over 65
  • Anyone under 90cm will enter for free!

You can also gain further discount by booking at least 14 days before the day of your visit and pay only £15.95 per person instead. If you would like to make a group booking, please ring our bookings and admin team on: 0871 22 77 007.

Family Days out to Diggerland can be tiring, especially with young children, so why not take advantage of our on-site eatery, Dig Inn. Located at each of the 4 theme parks, Dig Inn offer a selection of hot food, cold food, refreshments and snacks, perfect for the whole family to choose from. Whilst you enjoy some downtime, let your children run wild, and let off some steam in our indoor soft play area before you head back out into the park for another walk around and buckets of fun on the construction machinery.

Our indoor play area is great for taking a break from the park during rainy days, as well as lunch time when all your children want to do is run around and enjoy themselves, and especially great for any children visiting that are under 90cm who may be too small to go on the majority of the rides and drives.

We look forward to seeing you at Diggerland at some point over the Summer Holidays!

Diggerland at Plantworx 2019

Diggerland are very excited to say that we exhibited our unique rides and drives at the UK’S Largest Construction Machinery Convention – PlantWorx 2019, and what a major success it was!

 

PlantWorx is a Construction Equipment Association (CEA) event based in Peterborough. The event is organised for businesses to showcase their craft amongst other like minded people, bringing all of those in the construction industry together. The event showcased some brilliant new plant technology, and the wet weather throughout the three days didn’t dampen the people’s passion for machinery!

 

In amongst the bustling, busy PlantWorx crowd were our big brothers, H.E. Services –  showing us all why they’re the world leaders in Digger Hire! Supporting H.E Group were more of our family, BuyADigger. Alongside us all were some fantastic construction and heavy machinery companies such as John Deere, JCB and Hydrema. It was a dream day for all of us construction fanatics.

 

Displays at PlantWorx 2019

The exhibition had some wonderful displays such as:

  • The Simulation Zone – The Zone consisted of six screens replicating a working construction site, designed to give you a complete immersive virtual experience!
  • Classic Plant Display – We took a step back in time to see the archives of the classic machines, that inspired us to design the modern machines we see today.
  • Primary and Secondary Engineering – A perfect example of the wonderful things on offer in the Modern Age of STEM degrees.

 

While PlantWorx brought everyone in the industry together, Diggerland brought buckets of fun and education for everyone with our Mini Diggerland. One of our mantras is aimed at getting kids and young adults into more vocational subjects, and this was the perfect opportunity for us to provide, not only children but adults too, a whole new experience. It was a complete success and thanks to our fantastic team, it was a very welcome addition to PlantWorx Student Day.

PlantWorx 2019
Looking for Group Visits in Kent?

Are you looking for fun family days out in Kent, but you’re part of a big group and worried it will be too expensive? At Diggerland UK Theme Park, we can offer group visits in Kent, Devon, Durham and Yorkshire for great discounted rates. You can then enjoy a family day out with your friends and family without worrying about it breaking the bank!

At Diggerland, we can offer varied group visit packages, which depend on the day you are planning on visiting plus how many people you are looking to visit with. We currently offer:

 

Pay on the day during normal opening hours

If you are part of a group of 10 or more, and turn up on the day to any of our Diggerland Theme Parks, you are entitled to pay:

  • £19.95 per person for anyone over 90cm
  • £11.95 per person for anyone who is over 65
  • Anyone under 90cm will enter for free!

 

Advanced booking during normal opening hours

To make the most of our group booking discount, plan your group visits in Kent at least 14 days in advance, and call our bookings team to pre-book your tickets for the below prices:

  • If you are a group of 10 – 49 you can enter Diggerland for £15.95 per person
  • If you are part of a group of 50 or more individuals then the price will be £13.95 per person, perfect for larger school trips, so make sure you get the word out!
  • Anyone under 90cm will enter for free and any visitors over the age of 65 will pay the same as the section above.

 

Advanced booking during school half term

Even though we are closed during school term times, we don’t want to limit the fun you can still have at Diggerland. Have you ever thought about booking group visits in Kent and have exclusive access to the rides and drives?

Perfect for stag dos and hen dos, school trips, birthday parties and even corporate events, make the most of a 2 hour and 30 minute time slot from: 10:00am till 12:30pm or 1:30pm till 4:00pm. To book an exclusive visit to any of our Diggerland Theme Parks, prices would be:

  • Groups of 25 – 49 are £15.95 per person
  • Groups of 50 can enter at £13.95 per person
  • Again, any visitors over 65 will pay £11.95 per person, and anyone measuring under 90cm will enter for free.

 

Don’t forget that the group booking discount price is not just for school trips, if you are part of a large family, or you’re celebrating a hen or stag do, or perhaps a birthday and you’re looking for group visits in Kent, then the price is for you too! Ensure you take a look at what our birthday parties at Diggerland offer, to get the full Diggerland experience for your child.

If you would like to make a group booking, please ring our bookings and admin team on: 0871 22 77 007 and get booking today, we can’t wait to see you!

Birthday Parties in Kent, Devon, Durham & Yorkshire

At our Diggerland parks we can host birthday parties in Kent, Devon, Durham and Yorkshire. Not only will you be winning the heart of your child but all of their friends. Your child will experience a day out to Diggerland, and exclusive use of our themed party room.

Are you looking for a special place for your child’s birthday this year? Then look no further. Fancy a spin on Spindizzy or a competitive race on our Go Karts, then Diggerland is definitely the place to burn some energy.

 

What does a Diggerland Birthday party involve?

Upon booking, you will have a selection of time slots available to choose from for each of our Diggerland Theme Parks. The time slots last 2 hours and 45 minutes and will include:

  • A dedicated party host who will greet you on arrival to the park. (Just to make you aware the party host will be available to ask questions and show you around.They will not be around the whole time you are in the park, as they will need to set up the party room).
  • All birthday parties booked will be sent out Diggerland themed party invites.
  • Upon arrival, you will have access to the 20 rides and drives within the theme park for the initial 2 hours, and then 45 minutes in the party room for fun and food!
  • Upgrade your birthday party and receive Digger branded cup cakes for £1.50 per person.
  • All children will receive a Diggerland theme park branded lunch bag, which will include their party food in.
  • The party food general contains a sandwich, piece of fruit, chocolate bar, crisps and a drink for each child to enjoy.

Don’t worry adults we haven’t forgot you! We have an on-site eatery available, so you can purchase hot food, cold food and refreshments.

To remember the day at Diggerland, all children will receive a souvenir certificate and a balloon to show off to their friends at school too!

 

Booking Policy

When booking your birthday parties in Kent, Devon, Durham and Yorkshire, you will need to book the minimum number of 10 children (£19.95 per person), and you will be entitled to 5 adults who can enter free of charge. Any additional adults will be £10 per person.

Please note that children under the height of 90cm will not be counted in the group of 10.

To ensure your party is definitely booked and taking place you will need to pay at least 10 days before the visit date.

Why should you book a birthday party at Diggerland?

  • Diggerland birthday parties are completely unique!
  • You will be the best parents EVER (according to your children!)
  • Make a day of it. You can visit the park again once the party room has finished.
  • Meet Duggy and Dotty!
  • Your child’s name will be displayed in admissions for all of our customers to see when they come in.
  • Allow your children to experience construction machinery completely under the safety of our marshals.

What are you waiting for… book your birthday parties at Kent, Devon, Durham and Yorkshire Diggerland theme parks today!

Birthday parties in Kent

Diggerland is excited to announce that a new Drive-In cinema will be launching this May, 2019.

Diggerland and Urban Entertainments will be screening the Drive-In premiere of the original Star Wars: A New Hope on May 4th, (Star Wars Day), May the Fourth Be With You!

Urban Entertainment is the UK’s and Middle East’s premiere provider of Drive-In Cinema and will be managing the events at the Diggerland venue, in Castleford, West Yorkshire.

Since 2011, Urban Entertainment have grown exponentially and are now the largest outdoor cinema company in the UK, Europe and the Middle East, specialising in Drive-In Cinema, Outdoor Cinema and Live Broadcasting Events, so cinema goers can be assured that they will be in good hands at the Diggerland venue this 2019 and beyond.

The screenings will be shown on a huge 40 foot outdoor cinema screen whereby movie goers can sit back in the comfort of their car, relax and enjoy their favourite film.

The schedule is packed with new and old classics, hand-picked by a team of very experienced movie buffs. Screenings include The Greatest Showman, Bohemian Rhapsody, A Star Is Born, Mary Poppins Returns and Top Gun to name just a few.

Gates open at 8pm and the film will start just after sunset. Food and drink will be available to purchase on the evening.

Tickets are now available, priced at £25 per car and can be booked via www.urbandriveincinema.co.uk.


Opening hours for Diggerland Theme Park!

Calling all parents, grandparents and energetic children!

With the Easter holidays nearly over and the majority of children heading back to school after the half term, we know that some parents may start to feel the relieved! Some families may still be off for April, so why not take a trip to one of our Diggerland theme parks.

Visit a Diggerland Theme park for Days out in Kent, Devon, Durham & Yorkshire. We are open 7 days a week until 28th April. You can visit us from 10am – 5pm and have a whole day of digger madness!

Now is the perfect time to cash in those family days out and redeem any Gift Vouchers that you may have lurking around at home. Please note any Digger or Racing Experience Days for adults, will need to be pre-booked with our Bookings team, give us a call on: 01634 711 711.

 

If you want to treat your friends and family to Gift Vouchers for Diggerland, these can also be bought online, or you can arrange these over the phone with us. Choose from General Admission, Dumper Racing or an individual JCB experience!

Three reasons to go to Diggerland this Mother’s Day

Mums and dads are well aware of the countless hours of attention children demand on a daily basis. Whether it’s looking after tots with tummy troubles or blitzing the kitchen after some messy cookie baking, the bulk of a parent’s time will naturally be spent doing things with and for their tiny tearaways (even when those ‘tearaways’ are no longer so tiny!).

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, a recent survey commissioned by Next has sought to find out exactly how much time and energy mums, in particular, dedicate to their children. The results tell us many things – particularly that mums deserve a bit of fun this Mother’s Day!

The survey looked at all the ways in which our mums provide support to their kids – from ferrying them to and from birthday parties, taking time off work to care for them when they’re sick, or listening to those dreaded two little words, ‘I’m bored’, around 12 times a month.

Sometimes it’s difficult to come up with an activity which is enjoyable for both the parents and the children. Luckily for you, Diggerland ticks this box! If you’re a thrill-seeker at heart or looking for an excuse to act like a big kid again after a potentially gruelling week at work, Diggerland could be the perfect destination for you and your family on Mother’s Day.

Why Diggerland?

1. It’s cheap. Our current Mother’s Day offer means mums go free when accompanied by one full-paying child – making it a fun-filled day out which doesn’t break the bank.

2. You can share new experiences with your children – like riding a JCB! You might not see much of your children during the week because of conflicting work and school schedules, but riding around together on JCBs, dodgems and dumper trucks is a perfect chance for you to spend some time with each other and bond by trying out new activities.

3. You’ll get some fresh air. Going to Diggerland is also a great chance for you and your children to get outside into the open air. Kids nowadays have a tendency to favour being cooped up indoors with their gadgets, instead of heading outside and getting some exercise.

And if you still need proof as to why mums deserve a fun-filled Mother’s Day, read on for some interesting findings from the Next survey.

Survey findings

2,000 UK mums were surveyed about a range of different topics, from how often they take their children to birthday parties to how many presents they’ll buy them every year.

  • Every year, the average mum will:
  • Spend 577 hours running around after her kids
  • Sit through two and a half hours of parents’ evenings
  • Buy a total of 494 presents for her kids (birthdays and Christmas) during a childhood
  • Take her child[ren] to around 78 birthday parties across their childhood
  • Miss three days of work to look after her ill child[ren]
  • Sit through almost five hours of school assemblies, concerts and plays each year
  • Have to remember 10 things a day in relation to her child[ren]

Children often take these commitments for granted… until they find themselves doing the exact same for their own families! According to the survey, 75% of mums agree that having kids has made them realise just how much their own mum did for them.

So how much time do mums actually get to themselves? Well, all this running around to extracurricular activities, parents’ evenings and penalty shootouts means that 78% of mums claim to get less than an hour to themselves each day, with 10% saying they get no ‘me time’ at all on a daily basis.

Since the majority of mums get less than an hour to themselves each day on average, we wouldn’t blame you if you decided to spend some time alone this Mother’s Day – away from the hustle and bustle of work and family commitments. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of ‘me time’ and for you, this might be catching up on that series everybody is talking about or going on a spa day, long walk or shopping splurge.

Whatever you decide to do this Mother’s Day, whether it’s spending some time at home or heading to Diggerland, make sure you set aside some time for yourself and spend the day with people you love. Above all, be kind to yourself.

Family Days Out - Camping in Devon

Have you planned your perfect family days out for the year? Think again if you haven’t visited Diggerland Theme Park, or our campsite in Devon. There’s no better feeling than having accommodation for the next day, or even perhaps the weekend pre-booked. Instead of the long dreaded journey home and the children are asking if they are nearly home or complaining they’re bored.

Find all you need to know below for our theme park and camping in Devon!

2019 Season

Diggerland theme park may already be open for the season, but the campsite in Devon will reopen again for 2019 on 5th April. It will then close again for the winter season on 3rd November, so you have plenty of time to book your family days out plus accommodation.

It can be hard to keep children entertained, especially during bank holidays and half terms. If you’ve already planned or booked your visit to Diggerland Theme Park then you are already a step ahead. Now a days it’s difficult to get children off the latest gaming consoles or peel them away from their phones and tablets, but nothing says quality family time than pitching up a tent together or having a kick around.

We welcome tents, motorhomes and caravans that you can place on our large, sheltered pitches and also have access to electric hookups (if booked in advance).

Diggerland - Diggerland Devon Campsite

Storage Facilities

Since last years season we have updated the storage facilities and we can now offer you much more for your stay!

  • Caravan storage is £25 per week, £65 per month or £350 per annum (available only at Diggerland Devon).
  • Store your boat for £25 per week, £65 per month or £350 per annum (also available at Diggerland Devon as long as it is stored on a trailer).
  • Store your trailers and horseboxes for £25 per week, £65 per month or £350 per annum.

You will need to contact the bookings team in order to secure your storage facilities. Email your requirements to: mail@diggerland.com

Located a few minutes away from the M5, we are also next to Diggerlakes, perfect for all the keen anglers in the family and anyone looking to try their luck at Carp fishing!

Diggerland Theme Park

Who wouldn’t want to visit Diggerland, the ultimate UK Adventure theme park! With 20 different construction inspired Rides & Drives, there is something for everyone. Take a bumpy ride on Groundshuttle or get an adrenaline rush on Spindizzy!

There are also indoor and outdoor play areas, sandpits, coin operated rides for visitors to enjoy and let off steam while their parents can just sit back, relax and watch the fun.

At all of our Diggerland parks we also have picnic facilities as well as an onsite eatery serving hot and cold food, snacks and refreshments.

If you’re looking for a different type of family holiday this year, or perhaps just an over night stay, we look forward to seeing you all at some point this year!

Spindizzy at Diggerland UK Theme Park.
Kent Teacher of the Year Awards 2019

Nominations are open for the Kent Teacher of the Year Awards 2019. Can you think of a worthy winner? Head over to the KM Charity website to nominate someone who you feel makes an incredible impact each day.

This prestigious event was created in order to recognise and congratulate the massive contribution that teaching staff make to our community and how much they inspire us all; which is why Diggerland are so proud to sponsor this remarkable event.

 

Categories for The Kent Teacher of the Year Awards include primary, secondary, newly qualified teacher, a volunteer award which includes members of the PTA and school governors, non teaching member of staff including dinnerladies and caretakers.

Ashford, Canterbury, Dartford, Dover, Gravesham, Maidstone, Medway, Sevenoaks, Shepway, Swale are among some of the local authority areas that are judges will be selecting from. You can see further information here.

Kent Teacher of the Year Awards

Sherene Garvin-Mack, from Diggerland commented, “Diggerland sponsored the Kent Teacher of the Year Awards in 2018, and after seeing the incredible standard from the wonderful teaching and non teaching staff as well as the volunteers, I couldn’t be more excited to sponsor the 2019 event.”

“It will be an absolute pleasure to meet all of the commendable candidates for this year to praise them on their fantastic efforts that they have made to our community. They are a true inspiration.”

All nominees will attend a magnificent ceremony in May at the Ashford International Hotel. The awards dinner will also follow with a fundraising element with your chance to win some spectacular prizes in the raffle. All proceeds raised from this will go to literacy and road safety projects within the region.