Lonely Planet Writer

Iconic museum dinosaur Dippy is set to embark on a two-year tour of Britain and Northern Ireland

London’s iconic dinosaur, Dippy, is set to leave the Natural History Museum in Kensington for a tour of Britain and Northern Ireland.

Dippy the iconic museum dinosaur is embarking on a British tour. Image: The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London
Dippy the iconic museum dinosaur is embarking on a British tour. Image: The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London, [2016]. All rights reserved

The beloved 70-foot Diplodocus skeleton cast, affectionately known as Dippy, will travel to Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and five regions across England from early 2018 to late 2020.

HRH the Duchess of Cambridge at a tea party to say goodbye to Dippy before the iconic museum dinosaur embarks on a British tour. Image: The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London
HRH the Duchess of Cambridge at a tea party to say goodbye to Dippy before the iconic museum dinosaur embarks on a British tour. Image: The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London, [2016]. All rights reserved

The aim of the tour is to help young people to connect with the natural world and gain a deeper understanding of it through science.

Dippy the iconic museum dinosaur is embarking on a British tour. Image: The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London
Dippy the iconic museum dinosaur is embarking on a British tour. Image: The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London, [2016]. All rights reserved

Dippy arrived in London in 1905, and was cast from a Diplodocus specimen found in America in 1898, the bones of which were acquired by Scottish-born millionaire businessman Andrew Carnegie. Dippy made the move to Hintze Hall in 1979, where he has remained until today.

Dippy the iconic museum dinosaur is embarking on a British tour. Image: The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London
Dippy the iconic museum dinosaur is embarking on a British tour. Image: The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London, [2016]. All rights reserved

A six-person team will begin dismantling Dippy today ahead of his tour. It will take over three weeks to accomplish, and parts of the cast will be cleaned and repaired by conservators over the next year ahead of the two-year tour.

Dippy the iconic museum dinosaur is embarking on a British tour. Image: The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London
Dippy the iconic museum dinosaur is embarking on a British tour. Image: The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London, [2016]. All rights reserved

The dinosaur has been the first sight that greeted visitors when they entered the museum’s main entrance, which is now having a front-of-house makeover. He will be replaced by the skeleton of an 83-foot female blue whale, suspended from the ceiling of the hall.

Dippy the iconic museum dinosaur is embarking on a British tour. Image: The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London
Dippy the iconic museum dinosaur is embarking on a British tour. Image: The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London, [2016]. All rights reserved

Back in November, HRH the Duchess of Cambridge attended a tea party at the museum with children of Oakington Primary School children to say farewell to Dippy in Hintze Hall.

HRH the Duchess of Cambridge at a tea party to say goodbye to Dippy before the iconic museum dinosaur embarks on a British tour. Image: The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London
HRH the Duchess of Cambridge at a tea party to say goodbye to Dippy before the iconic museum dinosaur embarks on a British tour. Image: The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London, [2016]. All rights reserved

Dippy’s tour will start in 2018, and will visit the locations below:

Dorset County Museum  – February to May 2018
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery – May 2018 to September 2018
Ulster Museum – September 2018 to January 2019
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum – January 2019 to May 2019
Great North Museum, Hancock – May 2019 to October 2019
National Assembly for Wales – October 2019 to January 2020
Number One Riverside, Rochdale – February 2020 to June 2020
Norwich Cathedral – July 2020 to October 2020