Britain’s Most Famous Dinosaur Is Going on Tour

Dippy the diplodocus will visit all five regions of the UK on an eight-stop tour over nearly three years.

By Jonathan Manning
Published 8 Dec 2017, 09:49 GMT
The skull of the diplodocus housed at the Natural History Museum, London.
The skull of the diplodocus housed at the Natural History Museum, London.
Photograph by Natural History Museum

Dippy, the diplodocus skeleton that has delighted and thrilled visitors to the Natural History Museum for more than a century, is leaving London for the first time.

The full skeleton measures a colossal 26 metres long by 4.3 metres wide and 4.17 metres high in its display pose.

Up to five million people are expected to visit Dippy as it tours the UK for almost three years, from 10 February 2018 to late 2020. Organisers hope the tour, in partnership with the Garfield Weston Foundation, will spark the imagination of the next generation of scientists and connect the nation with nature.

The diplodocus skeleton measures 26 metres from nose to tail, and is 4.17 metres tall.
Photograph by Trustees of the Natural History Museum

Sir Michael Dixon, director of the Natural History Museum, said, “Making iconic items accessible to as many people as possible is at the heart of what museums give to the nation. We wanted Dippy to visit unusual locations so he can draw in people who may not traditionally visit a museum, and we have ensured he will still be free to view at each stop on his tour.

“Dippy has a special place in all our hearts - few museum objects are better known, and fewer still can better evoke the awesome diversity of species that have lived on Earth.”

Lord Avebury presents Dippy at its original unveiling at the Natural History Museum, London, in 1905.
Photograph by Carnegie Museum of Natural History

First stop on the tour is Dorset County Museum in Dorchester, close to the fossil-rich Jurassic Coast.

Dr Jon Murden, director of the Dorset County Museum, said, “As the birthplace of palaeontology, there is nowhere in the UK more appropriate for Dippy to start the tour than Dorset. There are connections to be made between our internationally significant fossil collections and current coastal management.”

In the summer of 2017 Hope, a diving blue whale skeleton, took centre stage at the Natural History Museum, as Dippy bade farewell to his London home.

Dippy has now left its century-old home in the Natural History Museum, replaced by Hope, a diving blue whale skeleton.
Photograph by Trustees of the Natural History Museum

Dippy will visit Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and five regions across England. In chronological order:

• Dorset County Museum - Dorchester

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery - Birmingham

Ulster Museum - Belfast

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum - Glasgow 

Great North Museum: Hancock – Newcastle upon Tyne

National Assembly for Wales - Cardiff 

Number One Riverside - Rochdale

Norwich Cathedral – Norwich

Follow Dippy around the country at nhm.ac.uk/dippyontour

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