Dippy the diplodocus to go on tour as Natural History Museum installs blue whale skeleton in main hall

The dinosaur model, which has stood in the Natural History Museum in London and featured in numerous films, is to go on a UK-wide tour from 2018

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He’s spent 111 years stalking the corridors of the Natural History Museum in London, but Dippy the dipolodocus is about to stretch his dinosaur bones and go travelling.

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The giant skeleton model will embark on a UK-wide tour from 2018, visiting eight different venues including Belfast, Glasgow and, appropriately, Dorset’s Jurassic Coast.

The dinosaur model, which recently featured in the movie Paddington, has been in London since 1905, but didn’t take up residence in the Natural History Museum’s entrance hall until 1979. 

As well as museums in Glasgow, Birmingham and Belfast, the dinosaur will also be shown in more unusual locations, including the Welsh government’s National Assembly for Wales and Norwich Cathedral.

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

The skeleton is actually a cast, inspired by the 1899 discovery of a near-complete diplodocus in Wyoming and created using a number of different discoveries.

Dippy’s place in the Natural History Museum will be taken by the skeleton of a blue whale, from an animal found beached in Ireland in 1891.

Where will Dippy the Diplodocus visit in the UK?

Dorset County Museum

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Ulster Museum

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow

Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle upon Tyne

National Assembly for Wales

Number One Riverside, Rochdale

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Norwich Cathedral