Top ten places to see dinosaurs

Dinosaur from the Natural History MuseumAnimatronic T-rex from the Natural History Museum

Animatronic T-rex from the Natural History Museum

© Trustees of the Natural History Museum

    • Who doesn’t love a dinosaur? The team here at Show Me HQ certainly does, so we’ve put together this handy guide to some of the best dinosaur and fossil museums across the country.

      Natural History Museum
      This is the daddy of dinosaur museums - from ‘Dippy’ the Diplodocus skeleton to the terrifying animatronic T-rex, London’s Natural History Museum is packed full of facts,  fossils, reconstructions and interactives that share our ever-developing knowledge of dinosaurs.

      The queue to see the dinosaurs can get really long during the school holidays - but you can jump to the front by reserving a free ticket to the dinosaur gallery online.

      The Oxford University Museum of Natural History
      Oxford’s Natural History Museum has some fantastic dinosaurs, with magnificent reconstructed skeletons greeting you as you enter the museum, including four species that were discovered nearby. Two of these are complete skeletons, which is something that palaeontologists (the people who study dinosaurs) hardly ever find!

      If you’re learning about dinosaurs and fossils, the museum has lots of interesting information about fossils online in their Learning Zone.

      A letter written by Mary Anning with a drawing of a dinosaur skeleton© Wellcome Collection
      Lyme Regis Museum
      The Lyme Regis Museum in Dorset celebrates the pioneering fossil hunter and palaeontologist Mary Anning, who discovered the Ichthyosaur on the local beaches in 1811. Without her, we wouldn’t know nearly as much as we do about dinosaurs.

      If you visit the museum you can follow in Mary’s footsteps by going on a famous fossil beach tour, which heads out onto the local beach where you could find your own Jurassic coast fossil.

      This is a letter written by Mary Anning. In it, she writes about what she did with the dinosaurs that she discovered. You can read Mary Anning's letter with Show Me.

      Manchester Museum
      Stan the Tyrannosaurus rex is the star of the show in this impressive palaeontology collection. The Manchester Museum has more than 100,000 fossils - from billion year old algae to ferns, mammoths and dinosaurs. 

      You can find out some fascinating facts about Stan, including how he was dug up on the museum's website.

      Dinosaur Isle, Isle of Wight
      The Isle of Wight is one of the richest dinosaur locations in Europe - remains of more than 20 species from the Cretaceous period have been discovered on the island. Dinosaur Isle celebrates this with reconstructions of five local dinos: Neovenator, Eotyrannus, Iguanadon, Hypsilophodon and the giant Sauropod.

      They have fact sheets on their website where you can learn about about the different species found on the island, like the Iguanadon.

      New Walk Museum, Leicester

      This museum is home to some of the oldest fossils in the world. The bright, two-roomed gallery also includes dinosaur interactives, hands-on activities and reconstructions of marine reptiles.

      If you want to find out a bit more about their dinosaurs, the New Walk Museum has made some short films about them. This one is about the Rutland Dinosaur.

      Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow
      You can see the remains of some of the dinosaurs that once roamed Scotland in Kelvingrove's Creatures of the Past gallery.

      As well as lots of fossils to pore over there’s a well-preserved 2.6 metre skeleton of Stenopterygius, an Ichthyosaur from Holzmaden (a town in Germany) and many other reptile fossils, including prehistoric crocodile remains and an almost complete shell of a Jurassic turtle.

      World Museum, Liverpool
      Lifesize casts of famous dinosaurs including a Megalosaurus and Allosaurus can be found in the Dinosaur Gallery of the World Museum in Liverpool. There's also a range of fossils including a raptor egg, bones and actual dinosaur poo.

      Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, Cambridge
      Exploring more than 500 million years of Earth's history, The Sedgwick looks after around 1.5 million fossil, rock and mineral specimens from around the world.

      They even have a complete Iguanodon skeleton as well as all sorts of fascinating dinosaur fossils, from a Megalosaurus skull to a life-sized model of a tiny Compsognathus.

      The Rotunda, Scarborough
      Scarborough’s Rotunda is a must-see for anyone wanting to understand the dino-history of Yorkshire. The Dinosaur Coast Gallery offers a bright, colourful experience which explores the coastline and its treasures.
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