World-famous dinosaur cast to return to the Natural History Museum after smash hit UK-wide tour enjoyed by over two million people

After a journey taking in eight different venues and more than 2 million visitors since beginning in February 2018, Dippy on Tour: A Natural History Adventure is coming to an end on 30 October 2021 and the nation’s favourite dinosaur will be returning to the Natural History Museum in summer 2022 for an exciting new temporary installation.

The free to visit installation planned to run from Summer 2022 through to Christmas the same year will celebrate the achievements of the tour and the venues that hosted Dippy on Tour, as well as give people the opportunity to see Dippy in its full glory, back at its original home, the Natural History Museum in London.

Dr Doug Gurr, Director of the Natural History Museum, said: ‘Our awe-inspiring goliath, Dippy, has smashed visitor records at every venue visited and brought a range of social and economic benefits to the surrounding communities.

‘Along with the joy of reaching new swathes of the UK population, the tour has aimed to highlight the importance of tackling the current planetary emergency, educating and inspiring visitors to explore the nature on their own doorsteps and become advocates for the planet.

‘It is also with huge excitement we announce Dippy’s return to the Natural History Museum for a special temporary installation to open in 2022. This will give people the chance to see the nation’s favourite dinosaur in full splendour in South Kensington once again.’

Dippy on Tour: A Natural History Adventure was brought to visitors across the UK by the Natural History Museum in partnership with the Garfield Weston Foundation and supported by Dell EMC and Williams & Hill.

Philippa Charles, Director of the Garfield Weston Foundation, said: ‘The Garfield Weston Foundation supported Dippy on Tour to inspire regions across the UK to discover the nature on their doorstep and foster a new found respect for the natural world. We are absolutely delighted that the impact of Dippy has been felt across the nation.’

During the tour, Dippy has visited every country in the UK, spending time in Dorchester, Birmingham, Belfast, Glasgow, Newcastle upon Tyne, Cardiff, Rochdale, and Norwich, where he is currently installed in Norwich Cathedral – the first cathedral ever to host the 26-metre-long Diplodocus cast.

World-famous dinosaur cast to return to the Natural History Museum after smash hit UK-wide tour enjoyed by over two million people

Arts Minister Lord Parkinson said: ‘For the last four years Dippy has been wowing audiences across all four corners of the UK. On his travels, he has helped to bring record numbers to museums across the country, boosted local economies and inspired a new generation of visitors.

‘Projects like this are so important to make sure our national collections can be seen and enjoyed by people wherever they live, so I congratulate the Natural History Museum for managing Dippy's successful UK-wide tour.’

Across the eight venues, Dippy on Tour has had over 2 million visitors, far outstripping the initial goal of 1.5 million set at the start of the tour. Individual venues have also reported huge demand, in the wake of what was dubbed the “Dippy effect” by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) after Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery attracted 140,000 additional visitors to Birmingham’s city centre while hosting Dippy, with these visitors ultimately spending £4.2 million in the city.

At Dorset County Museum, yearly visitor numbers tripled in under three months with Dippy being seen by 153,189 people, providing a £2.25 million boost to the local economy. Belfast’s Ulster Museum reported their highest number of visitors ever for an exhibition in a single day (4,200) and received 131,902 visitors overall during Dippy’s visit to Northern Ireland.

In Glasgow, Dippy on Tour was the most successful temporary exhibition in over a decade. Newcastle also saw a boost of 51% in visitor numbers on average, with 304,928 people visiting the exhibition. At the National Museum Cardiff, 213,740 visitors came to marvel at the well-travelled Diplodocus cast, an increase of 42% on average when compared with the previous year.

At Rochdale 80% of surveyed visitors had never seen Dippy before, and 94% visited the venues specifically to see Dippy, demonstrating the value of the tour in reaching new audiences. While Norwich’s exhibition has not yet finished, they have already reported their most successful summer ever.

The Dean of Norwich, the Very Revd Jane Hedges, said: ‘It has been a real honour for Norwich Cathedral to be part of Dippy on Tour and we are absolutely delighted to have welcomed more than 200,000 visitors to see Dippy during his stay at Norwich Cathedral.

‘People of all ages have been truly inspired by the incredible sight of Dippy standing in the Cathedral’s medieval Nave. Dippy has brought so much fun and he has also encouraged people to have many important conversations about the future of our planet.

‘As we prepare to say goodbye to our magnificent prehistoric guest this weekend, all are welcome to join us for our final week celebrations, including the wonderful Dippy at Night illuminations which are continuing on Thursday to Saturday this week and our farewell service with Norwich Cathedral Choir which will take place on Sunday.’

Further details of Dippy’s return to the Natural History Museum will be announced in the coming months. In the meantime there are just a couple of days left to visit Dippy at Norwich Cathedral where the nationwide tour concludes on Saturday 30October.