A Day Out At Diggerland, Kent

We were sent a complimentary family ticket for Diggerland for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

We are always looking for fun days out for the kids so when offered the chance to review the nearest Diggerland park, I had to say yes. Whilst I knew it would be much more Jack’s thing, I thought it would be a lovely day out for all of us at Diggerland, Kent. I wasn’t wrong. If I had the foresight, I probably would have agreed to not go in the middle of this heatwave we’ve been having – multiple drink and ice cream stops were needed – but nevertheless we (especially Steve and Jack) had a good time.

As you enter, there are eating areas and a soft play area on the right – these are the only eateries on site although there was an ice cream van further down the site. This is worth remembering if like us you had to keep going back to get drinks or something to eat – it can be a fair old trek from the other end of the site.

Jack and Steve first of all took the opportunity to try some of the digger games they had – knocking down pins, hooking ducks and such like – above you can see them digging out bricks. Jack took Steve on as he was just a little too small to go on unaccompanied but he still enjoyed himself lots – it was nice to see them getting some proper Dad and son time. He then somehow persuaded me to go onto the Spindizzy ride – it obviously made an impact on him as he wrote all about it at school the next week – which spins you around really fast. Jack really enjoyed it, I did too until I got off and felt really dizzy – perils of those kinds of rides though, right?

We then headed down to the other rides and attractions at the other end of the site – more digging for Jack and his Daddy, more driving in that sort of transport. Jack kept seeing more and more things he wanted to go on – and Steve often joined him!

The kids took every photo opportunity they could get too – posing on any digger related item around the site!

Jack even took the class learning owl – and her baby! – onto one for a picture!

We’d had a lot of fun digging and playing and riding and decided to go on a couple more things before we left. We didn’t do the dodgems as they cost an extra charge on top of the fee you pay to get in so we stuck to the rides and attractions included in the ticket price. Jack had a lot of fun spinning around on the Dig-A-Round before deciding to take it easy with me and take in the scenery from up high on the Sky Shuttle. It offers fantastic views of the River Medway of Rochester and its historic, 11th century cathedral and the 12th century castle which you can take in from 50 feet up.

After all those fun and games, it was time to head home and say goodbye to Diggerland. We had a great time – even if it was quite hot and it is very open – and plan to go back again in the future, perhaps with Jack taking a friend. Jack headed to the gift shop and bought something which he and Olivia have been playing with every day since they arrived home.

Overall we had a great time. If you are considering a day out there, I would recommend perhaps taking some drinks or things with you for round the site as it can be quite a walk back to the refreshment centres. Also I’d perhaps make a plan of action of what I was doing round the site as I found we kept doubling back on ourselves as Jack saw something else that took his fancy that he wanted to go on.

With prices remaining unchanged since 2014, I feel Diggerland in Kent is a great option for an affordable day out if you have a child of a suitable age. Jack loved it and really wants to take his friends back and do even more.

The best budget family days out this summer

The summer holidays are right around the corner – are you prepared?! We’re sharing some of our favourite budget family days out, so your summer is packed full of fun and excitement – without spending too much money!

Check out your village or town website

Let’s start really local! Your town or village will usually list a whole host of events you and your family could get involved in – and they’re usually FREE! Free is always good in our book. From summer fairs to charity days, they’ll be all kinds going on over the summer holidays in your local area. Don’t forget your local green areas, too. Local councils can put on free events during the summer holidays that are family-friendly, so check out your local council’s website for more information.

Take advantage of coupon sites

Coupon sites always have fantastic deals for families to take advantage of. Whether it’s discounted meals out at your favourite local restaurant, cinema trips or experience days, you should start your search on one of these sites. They’re easy to redeem and use and best of all? You might end up doing something you’d never thought of in a million years. It’s a win-win strategy.

Take a trip to the library

Free to get in, your local library is the perfect place to spend a few hours reading. There’s usually a children’s’ corner where they can sit comfortably and get lost in a book of their choosing. Reading will help them build their vocabulary and imagination at the same time – perfect for a rainy day!

Invite a tree to tea

The Woodland Trust is inviting everyone to throw a Tree Party. Their free online fundraising pack comes with a variety of activities for you and your kids to play. With downloadable wildlife spotter sheets, tasty picnic recipes and finger puppet cards – you’ll have hours of fun. And it’s a wonderful way to educate your children about the significant role trees play in our ecosystem. (Get your free pack here)

Visit a gallery or a museum

Galleries and museums are usually free of charge (check before you travel) so this day out would just cost you the petrol in your car! Both museums and galleries have new and exciting exhibitions throughout the year –, particularly in the summer holidays. Pack a lunch so you don’t spend out unnecessary money in the on-site café while you’re there. A cultural day out indeed!

Take them for a swim

Many council leisure centres offer free swimming if your children are under the age of 16 in the summer holidays. This is a great activity for everyone to let loose and have fun.

Pick a nearby town to explore

Draw a circle in a 5-mile radius of your house and let your kids pick a local town to explore. All you’ll need for this is your car or public transport. Exploring a town right on your doorstep can be exciting and you never know, you might find your new favourite spot!

This post was written in collaboration with Money4yourMotors – the UK car buying service that comes to you!

Here’s How You Save Money On A Hotel When You’re Travelling the World

Do you want to travel the world? Maybe you just sit back sometimes and wonder how great it would be if you were able to invest your time in something that could better you as a person, or even something that would treat your family. Either way, travelling the world is something that a lot of people want to do, but unfortunately, not a lot of people choose to do it.  This is usually because travelling the world is an expensive hobby, but there are things that you can do to make the whole thing much cheaper.

Prices Online

If you have seen a calendar of hotel prices then you will know more than anyone that the prices can change from day to day. If you want to extend your stay or if you even want to shorten it then it’s important that you do your research. Make sure that you are aware of how much your room costs for the nights you are going and find out if it is just one night that is bumping up the whole price of your vacation. When you are able to do this, you can then find out if it is worth shortening your vacation, or choosing other days. You can even extend your vacation when you are there, as this will give you the chance to take advantage of a last-minute rate.

Slava Bowman

Airport Hotels

If you are booking a flight then you can save a lot of money on your flight by shifting your flights by a day. You can also fly very early in the morning if you want as well. Flights really aren’t as expensive as you might think, and it is more than possible for you to change your dates to get a cheaper stay. You may think that it is a good idea for you to book a hotel that is very close to the airport so that you can recover for the night ahead. This is true, but if you are choosing a hotel like this then you will be paying way extra because of the location. Sometimes the hotel in the actual airport can be cheaper, and it’s often nicer as well.

Best Price

When booking a hotel, it helps to look up voucher codes. This is a great way for you to shave a bit off the total price. Another thing that you can do is look for a guarantee for the best price as well. When you do this, you can easily find the best rate and you can then get the hotel to match it. This way, you can get the price you want and you may also get a couple of other benefits as well. It’s daft not to try and take advantage of this, and sometimes you may even find that it’s super easy to change your room for a better one as well- at the same price!

Check Website Deals

Hotel chains know how to get customers to their site but that doesn’t mean that they always advertise their discounts. Sometimes they even withhold some of their own rooms in the hotel so that they can advertise it to the people who want to try and take the bait. You will probably find that the hotel you are choosing doesn’t have the room that you want. This could be a luxury room or even a room with a terrace. That doesn’t mean that they have sold out, it just means that they have none available through their own site. If you go through other sites however, you can easily find the room you want and at a discount price. You may even find that you can get a better room and at a lower price if the site is trying to get rid of their rooms fast, so it’s important that you don’t always rely on the main website for the hotel chain when you are making your purchase.

So there are so many things that you can do to try and take advantage of a great deal and by following the above tips, you can be sure to get the best deal and the best room as well. After all, once you know what you are looking for, it is very easy for the rest of it to fall into place and you’d be surprised at how the whole thing can come together. This is especially the case when you are travelling the world and you need to get a lot of hotels booked.


Receive an 8% return on capital invested on luxury ski apartments in Austria Otzal

There has never been a better time to invest in luxury ski apartments from Kristal Spaces. Not only will you be in the heart of the stunning Oztzal resort, but you can expect to receive an 8% capital return on your purchase.

We have 55 brand new apartments currently on sale in the quaint Oetz district. Here you will be able to experience the very best in both winter and summer seasons. Oetz is located at the bottom of the Otztal valley and lies just 25 minutes from Solden (and its 2 glaciers) and 40 minutes from Obergurgl.

Branson Atterbury Marketing Director of Kristall Spaces, mentions “mad-keen skiers will probably head 20 minutes on to Solden but Oetz is better for year-round, multi-generational activities.” Atterbury follows on to says prices are 18-20 per cent lower for property for sale in Oetz Austria than in prime nearby ski resorts of Solden and Obergurgl. “Canny buyers realise the value further down the valley”.

Download All-Suite Resort Otztal Brochure

Download All-Suite Resort Ötztal Plans & Pricelist


Here are some of the key facts on why you should invest in a property for sale in Otzal Austria from Kristall Spaces.

  • 51 luxury freehold apartments with a rental obligation: 1, 2, 3 and 4-bedroom
  • 4 penthouse leisure residence apartments with no rental obligation: 2 and 3-bedroom
  • 100 metres from Acherkogelbahn (a new 8-man gondola ski lift) with 80kms of skiing
  • 20 minutes up the mountain to Kühtai (ski bus or car)
  • 500m² spa in sunny location with outdoor pool and natural bathing pond
  • Ice skating & curling in winter
  • Underground parking
  • Restaurant and bar
  • Managed by a renowned, international operator – All Suite Residences
  • Completion Summer 2019 – see our Oetz construction page for weekly updates
  • 8% return on capital invested when taking out a 55% mortgage or a guaranteed 4% return on net purchase price for first 5 years
  • Prices from £189,300

Exterior design

Only natural and recyclable materials were used by the architects, allowing for the apartments to naturally blend with the landscape and neighbouring buildings.

The ancient community and its values were high on the agenda for the local council and Tirol planners, who made sure the designs were befitting the history and heritage of the area.

It was also important for the apartments to adopt a contemporary look and feel that will help shape the future of Alpine living.

All of the buildings will be elegantly situated within a communal orchard garden which will be sown with wild flowers and a natural bathing lake. This stunning backdrop will provide incredible views and ambience for the residence.

About the Apartments

The plan includes 55 brand new apartments that will be built in a series of houses (Haus) within the grounds of the old Landhaus Sita.

The Landhaus will act as the building with the required wellness facilities as well as gardens that will host a natural bathing pond for the summer season.

Once completed, these apartments will have large-scale balconies for people to experience spectacular views of nearby mountains.

Indicative pricing for the Oetz apartments

  • 1 double bedroom apartment from £183,000 Net Sales Price excl. parking
  • 2 double bedroom apartment from £245,600 Net Sales Price excl. parking
  • 3 double bedroom apartment from £362,000 Net Sales Price excl. parking

Interior finishes

An Alpine theme is prominent throughout the entirety of the interior. There will be a choice of either a modern, traditional or lifestyle theme. Warm natural materials have been mostly used, combining with modern simplistic designs.

Every apartment comes as standard with wireless LAN, intercom access, triple-glazed German windows, Italian ceramics and Hans Grohe bathroom fittings.

You will be able to maximise space with this flexible living accommodation. There are sofa beds within the living room and two sperate bathrooms to maximise privacy.

All the interiors and furnishings come as standard and have specially designed with longevity in mind. The type of people who typically rent these apartments are respectable families and professionals.

170925 All-Suite Resort Ötztal – communal areas plan

Stunning Views

The locations boasts some of the best views in Austria. You will have a difficult time deciding which one is the most superior.

The northern region will allow you to look over the village and the ancient Church of Heiliger Georg with a road leading up to Hocheotz and Kuhtai.

With regards to the east, your views will follow the Acherkogelbahn up the mountains along Hochoetz. This is stunning scenery is particularly pleasing on the eye during the summer months.

To the south, the road continues to climb up through the mountain peaks on both sides towards Sölden. Finally, to the west, your apartment will look down the valley and the Otztaler Ache towards the Piburgersee.

Oetz Winter Activities

  • Oetz Winter visitor numbers increased in 2016: 4% up on last winter
  • One of the first traditional resorts for winter and summer alpine sports
  • 80 km of skiing when connected to Kühtai (Austria’s highest resort with guaranteed skiing from November to May)
  • Plans are currently being reviewed to link the two resorts by ski lifts
  • 25 minutes to Sölden and two glacier skiing areas – a further 144 km of skiing
  • Quintessential Tirolean setting including Gothic church
  • Some of Tirol’s finest scenery including the Piburger See (great summer attraction)
  • Easily accessible by road, train (Ötztal Bahnhof) and air (Innsbruck airport in 25 mins)

The Oetz area is especially well equipped for families with a supervised nursery for toddlers and children’s theatre.

There are four ski schools within three children’s areas with WIDI the resort mascot, to keep your children both informed and entertained throughout your stay. All of the staff are friendly and bi-lingual.

Oetz Summer Activities

  • Rafting
  • Canyoning
  • Glacier safaris
  • Climbing & high rope courses
  • Mountain biking
  • Archery, tennis, golf and fishing

There is a selection of impressive guided activities on offer at Oetz outside of the hotel facilities. Oetz is a prominent summer location and usually receives as many visitors during this season as in winter.  

If you’re looking for no-stop excitement, then head down to the globally famous Area 47, where you will be able to participate in a wide range of adrenaline filled pursuits.

Purchase Information

The purchase cost for buying any property in Austria is 7.6% of the gross purchase price. Kristall Spaces are always here to help you obtain a mortgage. Austrian banks will provide up to 55% of the purchase value during a loan period of 15 and 25 years. The variable interest rates are currently 2.5%.

If you’re interested in this stunning development in Oetz, please contact the UK marketing and sales team via this contact form: https://propertysaleaustria.co.uk/contact/

This article was written by David Newman, Managing Director of Ad Lab Magento eCommerce Agency.


Last Call For Passenger X: How To Avoid Missing A Flight

Picture the scene. You’ve been on the holiday of a lifetime and are on the way to the airport. But, something goes wrong and there is a mad rush to the gate. When you arrive, the airline representatives inform you that you are too late and can’t board. Sadly, you need to book a new ticket and fly back on a different plane. What a nightmare! As specific as it sounds, lots of holidaymakers commit the cardinal sin of missing a flight. It’s stressful and wrecks an otherwise amazing getaway, which is why the following tips may come in handy one day.

Stay Close By

For the most part, the problem is the journey from the hotel to the airport. Along the way, there is traffic or something happens that puts the trip in jeopardy. And, it’s pretty hard to spot these things beforehand because you’re not a psychic. Setting off earlier is an option, yet it could be 3 o’clock in the morning and that is not a good look. Instead, you can book into a nearby hotel. From the Courtyard Prague Airport to the Hyatt Place Amsterdam, there is no shortage of places. In the morning, you can jaunt across without a care in the world.

Vincent Versluis
Check-In Online

The dream is to turn up at the airport and coast through the check-in procedure. Usually, this is impossible because there are a huge line and hundreds of angry passengers. Thanks to online check-in, however, it isn’t hard to bypass the queues of holiday-goers and head straight to security. All you have to do is manage your account 24 hours before and check a button. Then, print out the boarding pass so that you can forget about check-in lines altogether. Some flights charge if you go to the counter, which is why you should take a look just in case.

Be Security Ready

We all know the score by now – no liquids in your hand luggage that is over 100ml. So, why do people insist on leaving fluids in their bags until the very last minute? It’s infuriating for fellow passengers, never mind the guys and girls that have to mess around with plastic bags. The trick is to consider what you can keep in the luggage and what has to go through the scanners separately. Anything that is a fluid needs to come out, as do large electronics such as iPads and laptops. When you do get to the front of the queue, you should breeze through.

Buy A Lounge

Airport lounges are for people with long connections that have hours to while away. At least, that’s what people think yet the reality is different. Anyone can pay for one and use the facilities to pass the time while waiting for a flight. Plus, there are pretty cheap so it’s typically worth the cost even if it’s only for an hour or two. A lounge gives you the flexibility to turn up as early as you want without being bored.

Do you have any tricks of the trade to add?