Dinosaur Isle - Discover Experience Encounter
Isle of Wight dinosaurs. Picture courtesy of the artist John Sibbick. www.johnsibbick.com

Welcome to Dinosaur Isle, on the Isle of Wight

Reopening Update

We are delighted to announce that we reopen on Monday 20 July.

Call 01983 404344 to book your visit and before you do, please read the information below to ensure you will get the most from your time with us; measures are in place to ensure you and our staff are safe.

  • Our opening times are   1st September onwards open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 4pm with last admission at 3pm.
  • Face coverings must be worn at all times in the building with the exception of those who are medically exempt. Our staff will be wearing masks too.
  • Please comply with government guidelines on social distancing.
  • A telephone booking system is in place to ensure we don’t exceed our limits on capacity and to enable us to comply with the NHS Test and Trace system. Our staff will take your details and hold these for 21 days to comply with government guidelines. Your personal details will be destroyed thereafter and not used for any other purposes. No more than 6 people per booking.
  • Screens are in place at reception. 
  • We will be taking contactless payments. 
  • A one-way system is in place in order to maximise social distancing. If you would like to revisit anything you have seen in the museum, you can follow the one way route and walk through again. 
  • We have introduced hand sanitiser throughout the museum to enable you to touch our interactive displays. Please use this as frequently as possible and always before and after touching an interactive. 
  • We will carry out enhanced cleaning throughout the museum. 
  • Our toilet facilities are open as normal for Dinosaur Isle visitors with paper hand towels available. Please wear your face mask.

We very much look forward to seeing you soon and hope you enjoy your visit!

  • Due to the government 'Rule of 6' we are unable to offer fossil walks at this time.

    For those of you seeking a challenge indoors we have a selection of downloadable Colouring Sheets and some Word Searches . 

    Click here to download. We have created a Bite-sized activity you can do with some simple objects and a camera (as well as learn how chelonian bone changes when it becomes fossilised). Chelonians include turtles, tortoises and terrapins, and we find a lot of fragments of fossilised turtle bone on the north-coast of the Isle of Wight, dating from the end of the Eocene. We have included a fun activity for you at the end - we hope you find it inspirational. Click on the pdf logo to download the bite-sized science activity.

    Click here to download the dragon puppet activity. Our colleagues at the Island Heritage Service have produced two family activities to download. One is on making dragon puppets;

    Click here to download the Roman purse activity. and another on making a Roman purse. Did you know that the Chinese were writing about digging up stone dragons in the 3rd Century AD - and what they were finding may have been dinosaurs.

    Click here for more details of our events programme for the first months of 2020. Please note that although activities are listed - being able to run them will depend on when it is safe to do so.

    Travelling on the Island
    Our Island roads are different. For visitors travelling by car or coach then please click here for closures or current roadworks.

    Assistance dogs in the museum
    A printing error in a visitor publication has led some customers to enquire about bringing their dogs into the museum. Dogs under close control are welcomed on our fossil walks, but unfortunately it is only assistance dogs that are allowed into the museum.

    Click here to find out more about this museum object.
     What's On
      Click here for -

      Guided Geology, Fossil
      and Landscape Walks

      Coastal and Countryside

      Temporary Exhibitions

    Dinosaur Isle is Britain's first purpose built dinosaur museum and visitor attraction; based in Sandown on the Isle of Wight. The Island's diverse geology contains a wealth of fossils that tell us much about the past and gives clues to the effects of possible future environmental changes. Starting about 126 million years ago the rocks record the best exposures of dinosaur material in Europe. Progressively younger rocks record a variety of animals that were living on the land, in the rivers, and those that flew above lakes and lived in the seas. Plants are also well recorded on the Island. These remains show that for much of the time we were once a lot warmer and further from the sea. The youngest fossils are those from the more recent cold climates of the Ice-Ages.

    This story is displayed in the museum's galleries for you to learn and enjoy. We are sited next to some of the oldest rocks on the Island - why not come and join us on one of our advertized guided fossil walks.

    The museum provides an all-year education service for schools and other organizations, and a programme of public walks at places of geological and palaeontological interest. The collections were started by members of the Isle of Wight Philosophical Society over 200 years ago, and have been added to over the years.  Many of Dinosaur Isle's fossils appear in scientific publications, and continue to be researched. Dinosaur Isle is the most recent building to house the collection, opening in 2001.

    Our mission is “To be a national centre of excellence in the conservation, interpretation and acquisition of the Island’s dinosaurs and diverse geological heritage.”

    DinosaursLatest NewsEducation
    Dinosaurs Visit this section for information on some of the Island’s dinosaurs.Latest View the latest major events and news about Dinosaur Isle.EducationLearn about our formal and informal education provision.

    Collections & ResearchEventsAbout Us
    Collections & Research The science is the heart of our museum - learn about it here.Events Visit the events section for details of future and past events.About us Find out all there is to know about Dinosaur Isle and how to get here...

    Earth's TimelineMeet the TeamShop
    Earth's Timeline View the Earth's timeline, and where the Isle of Wight fits in.Meet the team See who works at Dinosaur Isle and find out their interests...ShopDinosaur Isle's shop sells a range of interesting items including models...

    Testimonials Testimonials and fan mail from our visitors.Downloads Download colouring sheets, word searches ...How to get here How to get here.

    French GuideGerman GuideItalian Guide
    French Guide Guide Francais de Dinosaur IsleGerman Guide Museumsfuhrer der Dinosaur IsleItalian Guide Guida italiana a Dinosaur Isle

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    Millenium Commission

    Accredited Museum


    Chamber of Commerce

    Isle of Wight Council


    Dinosaur Isle,
    Culver Parade,
    Isle of Wight
    PO36 8QA

    Tel: +44 (0)1983 404344
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