Dippy on Tour: Dippy the Dinosaur heads to Dorset
Do you have a dinosaur lover in the house?
Like many young children, Sebastian can rattle off the scientific names of dozens, of dinosaurs, tell you what these creatures ate, what they looked like, and where they lived, so when we found out about Dippy on tour and that his first stop was our home county, we just had to go and see him.
For more than a century, Dippy the dinosaur, the much-loved Diplodocus skeleton cast, held centre stage at the Natural History Museum in London, captivating generations of children, but in December 2016 it made way for a blue whale skeleton.
Dorset is home to the Jurassic Coast, which is one the UK's best sites for understanding the world at the time of the dinosaurs and is the birth place of palaeontology, with many of the fossil marine reptiles finds at the Natural History Museum coming from here.
We love nothing more than fossil hunting on our fabulous beaches and Dippy has chosen the best time to visit as the stormy weather helps churn exciting finds up to the surface of our beaches.
To mark the arrival of Dippy on tour at The Dorset County Museum, Dorchester’s Brewery Square created an interactive trail of Diplodocus footprints, to guide visitors to their final destination, which the kids loved, especially as some of the footprints had some fun facts about the dinosaur himself.
We were some of the first to see Dippy in his temporary new home and as we opened the doors to the Victorian Hall, it strikes you just how big he is.
Dippy is one of the largest creatures that ever lived and measures a staggering 21.3m in length, 4.3m wide and 4.2m tall. Little Sebby didn't even reach his knees!!
There were plenty of staff on hand to answer all your questions as well as a replica of his skull for you to touch and hold, or even put on your own head!
Don't forget to look down too, as the floor of the Victorian Hall is one of the few places in Europe where you can actually walk on a Roman mosaic.
As you walk around Dippy's legs, there were lots of plaques on display containing fun facts about where he lived and what he ate, but the best part was on the gallery upstairs – a clear window so you can get your very own photo with Dippy the dinosaur himself.
There are going to be lots of Dippy-themed events going on throughout his stay in Dorset, both at the Museum and also across the county and the kids were keen to get crafting to make their own Dippy hats which they proudly wore all around the museum.
Dorset County Museum is an independent museum owned and managed by the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society and is full of interesting things to see and do with the family, with information about the county's history, Thomas Hardy, a host of other Dorset literary figures, the Jurassic Coast, some Roman and Viking history and much more.
Tickets to see Dippy are free, but it is expected to be very popular so it is wise to book them in advance.
Dippy on Tour will be visiting the following venues:
- Dorset County Museum, 10 February - 7 May 2018
- Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, 26 May - 9 September 2018
- Ulster Museum, 28 September 2018 - 6 January 2019
- Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, 22 January - 5 May 2019
- Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle upon Tyne, 18 May - 6 October 2019
- National Assembly for Wales, 19 October 2019 - 26 January 2020
- Number One Riverside, Rochdale, 10 February - 28 June 2020
- Norwich Cathedral, 11 July - 31 October 2020
Will you be heading to see Dippy the dinosaur on tour? Let us know in a comment below, or check out some other dinosaur-themed ideas and inspiration!