DINOSAUR fans can book their chance to see Dippy the Diplodocus as he starts his national tour – but you’ll need to act fast.

Dorset County Museum is expecting that the exhibition will break all previous box office records, as excitement hots up for the visit.

Many schools have already booked their tickets. The general public ticket reservation site goes live at midday on Sunday, October 1 from www.dorsetcountymuseum.org/dippyontour
Entrance to the exhibition is free but visitors will be allocated specific time slots on a first-come-first-served basis. And they’re being advised to book early to avoid disappointment.

The four-metre-high, 21-metre-long Diplodocus skeleton cast has delighted visitors to London’s Natural History Museum for more than 100 years. This is the first time it is going on display outside the capital, and Dorset is the first stop.

There’s still six months to go until the exhibition, which opens in February and runs until May. Dippy will then continue its national tour, going on display in Birmingham, Ulster, Glasgow, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Wales, Rochdale and Norwich.

Dr Jon Murden, director of Dorset County Museum said: “We have pupils from across the south west region, painting and modelling their own Dippys, and learning about where and how dinosaurs lived all those years ago. Some are already enrolled in the Big Jurassic Classroom initiative run by the Jurassic Coast Trust but many others are just mad keen. 

“It’s just brilliant to see their enthusiasm and we can’t wait to welcome them here to the museum so they can see Dippy up close and personal.

“Can you imagine how these children are going to react when they walk into the Victorian Gallery for the first time to see Dippy towering over them?”

The UK Dippy on Tour event has been supported by the Garfield Weston Foundation. 

Philippa Charles, Director of the foundation, said: “Generations of children have been awestruck by Dippy’s spectacular presence at the heart of the Natural History Museum and we hope he continues to inspire the nation to rediscover nature as he works his way round the UK."

In addition to the Dippy on Tour exhibition, visitors can see the museum’s collection of rare dinosaur fossils and artefacts collected from the Jurassic Coastal shoreline including the fossilised skull of a Pliosaur, a crocodile like creature that lived in the waters around Dorset 155 million years ago. For more information visit www.dorsetcountymuseum.org/dippyontour