New Dippy on Tour dates announced!

The nation’s favourite dinosaur is preparing to head to Norwich Cathedral later this year as the new summer 2021 dates are revealed for Dippy on Tour: A Natural History Adventure.

Dippy, the Natural History Museum’s iconic Diplodocus cast, will be taking up residence in Norwich Cathedral’s Nave in July, and the Dippy on Tour exhibition will run from Tuesday 13 July 2021 until Saturday 30 October 2021.

Norwich Cathedral is the eighth and final stop for the exhibition that aims to inspire people of all ages to engage more with nature and explore the natural world on their doorsteps.

Dippy on Tour: A Natural History Adventure is being brought to Norwich Cathedral and visitors across the UK by the Natural History Museum in partnership with the Garfield Weston Foundation, and supported by Dell EMC and Williams & Hill. Barratt and Cooke is the regional sponsor for the exhibition.

Dippy had been due to go on display in Norwich Cathedral in Summer 2020 but his visit was rescheduled to January to March 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic before being postponed to Summer 2021.

With the continued uncertainty with regard to Covid-19, Norwich Cathedral and the Natural History Museum are working together closely to ensure that visitors will be able to enjoy the exhibition safely when it opens in July.

More details about the opening times for Dippy and other visitor information including details of associated special events will be available nearer the time on this website.

The Dean of Norwich, the Very Revd Jane Hedges, said: “We are delighted to be able to announce the new summer 2021 dates for Dippy on Tour at Norwich Cathedral.

"The past year has been an extremely challenging time for everyone, and we hope the new dates for Dippy’s visit will provide people of all ages with something exciting to look forward to in the year ahead.

“We are incredibly honoured to be the final stop on Dippy’s national tour and also the only Cathedral, and our team is working closely with the Natural History Museum to ensure that we really make the most of this amazing opportunity for Norwich, Norfolk and the wider region.”

The Cathedral team with Ploddy the dinosaur puppet after the Lord Mayor's Procession (c) Bill Smith_Norwich Cathedral

Ahead of Dippy’s visit, the Cathedral is looking to recruit up to 200 volunteers to join the Dippy team as Visitor Experience Volunteers and Dippy Duty Manager Volunteers to help give a warm welcome to all of the thousands of people who are expected to visit Dippy.


Click here to find out more about how you can join the Dippy volunteer team!

Norwich Cathedral’s centuries-old architecture will provide a stunning backdrop for the famous 26-metre long (85ft) dinosaur on the final stop in his travels. The historic landmark is also the only Cathedral on Dippy’s eight-venue tour.

Throughout the whole of Dippy’s visit, Norwich Cathedral’s regular rhythm of worship will continue as normal. Visitors will also be able to enjoy exploring the Cathedral’s many highlights, including its beautiful cloisters and its incredible collection of medieval roof carvings which are the largest of their kind in the world.

Since setting off from the National History Museum in 2018, Dippy has so far visited Dorset County Museum, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Ulster Museum, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow, Great North Museum, in Newcastle upon Tyne, the National Museum Cardiff and the Number One Riverside in Rochdale. 

The Diplodocus species lived during the Jurassic period and belongs to a group called sauropods meaning ‘lizard feet.’

Dippy is a plaster cast of a Diplodocus found by railroad workers in Wyoming, USA, in 1898. At the time, newspapers billed the discovery as the “most colossal animal ever on earth.”

Millionaire Andrew Carnegie presented Dippy to NHM after King Edward VII commented that he would like a Diplodocus for the museum.

Dippy’s grand unveiling took place on May 12 1905 and he was said to be the first full skeleton of a sauropod dinosaur ever displayed anywhere in the world.

His first home at NHM was in the Reptile Gallery and, most recently, he greeted visitors in the museum’s Hintze Hall where he was displayed from 1979 to 2017.

Dippy’s skeleton contains 292 bones, including more than 70 bones in his tail alone. In 1993 his tail position was changed after scientists investigating how dinosaurs walked realised that a Diplodocus would have held its tail in the air rather than dragging it.

Ahead of Dippy’s visit to Norwich Cathedral, a new dinosaur has already been stomping around Norwich. Ploddy, an 8.5 metre (28ft) dinosaur puppet has been commissioned by Norwich Cathedral and created by Ali MacKenzie and Matt Reeve with the team from Tin House. Ploddy has already made a number of appearances, including in Norwich’s Lord Mayor’s Procession and at the Royal Norfolk Show in 2019.

The Cathedral’s education department is also working in partnership with major institutions in the city and county, as well as the Teacher Scientist Network, to develop a range of exciting activities for school children from all over Norfolk and the wider eastern region.

It is also hoped the historic visitor will provide inspiration for today’s generation of artists, musicians and writers to create work and engage with Dippy as he stands in the historic space.

More details about the opening times for Dippy and other visitor information including details of associated special events will be available nearer the time on this website.

For more information about Dippy’s tour to date, visit nhm.ac.uk/dippyontour