Dippy on Tour: A Natural History Adventure

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Dippy, the Museum's iconic Diplodocus cast, has been on tour across the UK.

He has visited eight venues and been seen by over two million visitors, encouraging people to explore and cherish the biodiversity around them.

On this page, we're celebrating the people he met and the things he discovered.

Map of UK showing the eight venues for Dippy on Tour

Dorchester

Dippy's tour started at Dorset County Museum, where he took advantage of the local Jurassic Coast to learn more about fossils.

The exhibiton showed how popular Dippy would prove to be - visitor numbers surpassed the venue's annual figures in under three months. A highlight was the farewell parade through the town centre, attended by more than 250 local children.

Dippy in Dorset with mayor

Birmingham

Dippy's second stop was at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, where the accompanying exhibition examined the relationship between dinosaurs and birds.

Over a quarter of a million people visited Dippy over his 107-day stay, making the tour the most successful temporary exhibition ever at the venue.

Dippy in Birmingham, surrounded by visitors

Credit: Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, 2018

Belfast

Dippy then crossed the Irish Sea to visit the Ulster Museum. The focus of this exhibition was on the local natural history of Ireland.

Dippy showed how he could draw in new people: the museum had their busiest day ever during the run and a visitor survey discovered that 14% of visitors questioned had never been to the museum before.

Dippy installed in Belfast

Glasgow

Dippy's fourth stop was Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow.

The tour was fulfilling one of its aims of providing access to a star specimen to people who could not travel to London. When surveyed, 86% of visitors questioned said they had not seen Dippy before.  

During Dippy's stay at Kelvingrove, the tour surpassed its one-millionth in-person visitor.

People holding up letters that spell '1 million'

Credit: Glasgow Museums

Newcastle upon Tyne

Dippy's spent the summer of 2019 at Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle upon Tyne, where the exhibition provided a thought-provoking exploration of the effects of climate change.

The venue saw 51% more visitors than during Dippy's display, with 75% of visitors questioned having never seen Dippy before their visit.

Dippy being installed in Newcastle, a boy examining its foot

Join local landscape photographer David Taylor as he takes us on a tour of some of his favourite locations around Northumberland.

Underwater cameraman and seal researcher Dr Ben Burville, explains how seals' whiskers help them hunt underwater even in poor visual conditions.

Cardiff

Dippy's sixth stop was at National Museum Cardiff, where the accompanying exhibition explored environmental issues and sustainability.

As in other venues, the tour and the extra visitors it attracted provided important extra income to its hosting museum. Compared to the same period the year before, the museum shop almost doubled its revenue.

Dippy installed in Cardiff

Rochdale

Dippy's penultimate stop was at Number One Riverside, Rochdale. The accompanying exhibition was hosted nearby at Touchstones, and explored biodiversity and sustainability.

Although the pandemic meant that the tour did not have a full uninterrupted run, over 1750,000 managed to catch Dippy in Rochdale. It was also while in Rochdale that Dippy became a proud owner of an iconic, oversized Blue Peter badge!

Dippy installed in Rochdale

Read more about Dippy

Dippy the dino-star

The story of Dippy, the Museum's much-loved Diplodocus cast, stretches back more than 100 years. Take a look at some memorable moments in pictures.

3D Dippy skull

Rotate, zoom in and explore the features of this popular dinosaur.

Resources for teachers

We have a range of free learning resources for teachers and home educators, helping 4-11 year-olds explore the natural world both now and in the time of the dinosaurs.