Rotunda Museum

North Yorkshire

The Rotunda Museum is dedicated to the coastal geology of northeast Yorkshire, which has yielded many of Britain's most important dinosaur fossils. The strata in the local cliffs were also important in deciphering England's geological history. Founded by William Smith, 'the father of English geology', who lived in Scarborough in the 1820s, the museum has original Georgian exhibits as well as a hands-on gallery for kids.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby North Yorkshire attractions

1. St Mary's Church

0.56 MILES

This church dates from the 12th to the 15th centuries (boards inside explain its history), but it is most notable for the little cemetery across the lane…

2. Scarborough Castle


The massive medieval keep of Scarborough Castle occupies a commanding position atop its headland. Legend has it that Richard I loved the views from here…

3. Peasholm Park

0.81 MILES

Set back from North Bay, Scarborough's beautiful Edwardian pleasure gardens, complete with hilltop pagoda, are famous for their summer sessions of Naval…

4. Sea Life Sanctuary

1.58 MILES

At this family-oriented attraction you can see coral reefs, turtles, octopuses, seahorses, otters and many other fascinating creatures. The biggest draws…

5. Old Coastguard Station

11.75 MILES

National Trust visitor centre housing an exhibition about local geology and natural history, with pamphlets on local walks.

6. Bay Museum

11.81 MILES

This volunteer-run museum dishes the dirt on Robin Hood Bay's smuggling history, charting the era when it was a thriving port for contraband such as…

7. Pickering Castle

15.38 MILES

Pickering Castle is a lot like the castles we drew as kids: thick stone outer walls circle the keep, and the whole lot is perched atop a high motte (mound…

8. North Yorkshire Moors Railway

15.53 MILES

This privately owned railway runs for 18 miles through beautiful countryside from Pickering to Whitby. Lovingly restored steam locos pull period carriages…