The Dippy Experience - FEATURED EVENT

Type:Dippy on Tour

Number One Riverside, Smith Street, Rochdale, Greater Manchester, OL16 1XU
Children running towards the camera with Dippy behind them.


Suitable for: everyone, including children of all ages.
Cost: FREE.
Booking: no booking required for individuals and small groups. Booking only required for schools and groups of 10+ people. Book your visit
Facilities: wheelchair access, accessible toilets, cafe, see full visitor facilities 
Parking and getting here: there is no public parking on site at either Number One Riverside or Touchstones Rochdale. How to get here by Metrolink, car and more

In light of the current situation, along with our colleagues at Link4Life, we’ve taken the difficult decision to suspend Dippy in Rochdale. The health and safety of our residents and visitors must come first and now is the time to take a pause. We will review the possibility of reopening Dippy on Tour in Rochdale in the upcoming months.

The world famous Diplodocus dinosaur cast from the Natural History Museum is on a national tour and Dippy will be in Rochdale, his only North West stop, between 10 February 2020-28 June 2020. Visitors can look forward to a unique day out, with 2 dino experiences to enjoy.

We estimate you'll spend up to 1 hour at each venue, which includes your walk from Number One Riverside to Touchstones Rochdale. You'll be free manage your time as there will be no guided tours. 

Meet Dippy at Number One Riverside

Start your visit by meeting Dippy himself at the council’s award winning office building, customer service centre and library, Number One Riverside, Smith Street, Rochdale OL16 1XU. Here you can marvel at Dippy, the superstar dinosaur which has been seen by millions of people in the Natural History Museum in London.

An extensive education and events programme runs alongside the exhibition. The exhibition is interactive, colourful and atmospheric. Explore the world of dinosaurs, discover what Rochdale was like 150 million years before the dinosaurs lived and learn about our future world and what we can do to protect it. There is a variety of interactives, fun facts and the chance to get up close to loaned items such as fossils.

There will be hands on activities in our educational spaces to take you back to the time when the dinosaurs roamed the earth and other key moments in our planet’s history. 

There will be facts around Dippy about Diplodocus dinosaurs. There will also be a discovery lab with some hands-on activities, an interactive exhibit giving information about sustainable technology, a projection of a herd of Diplodocus dinosaurs and a storytelling space.

The Dippy Exhibition at Touchstones Rochdale

After seeing Dippy, visitors will be encouraged to take the short walk visit the family friendly exhibition at Touchstones Rochdale (approximately 0.4 mile).

In this exciting hands on exhibition, the key features are to empower people to take steps and make small changes. These small things all add up to make a big difference by us all doing our bit we can help protect the future of our amazing planet.

The exhibition at Touchstones Rochdale will focus on the natural history of Rochdale and how the landscape has changed over time since the time of the dinosaurs. One of the ‘star objects’ in the exhibition will be a fossilised scorpion found in Rochdale in the early 20th century. The scorpion dates from the Carboniferous period, about 70 million years before dinosaurs roamed the earth and from the time when the climate of Rochdale was a tropical swampland.

Dinosaurs Gallery: complementing Dippy's visit to Number One Riverside, visitors can learn more about the diplodocus. Explore the world of dinosaurs including the T rex. Learn interesting facts like where they lived on Earth and see some fossilised bones. The fossils are on loan from Natural History Museum and Manchester Museum.

Swampland Gallery: travel back in time to find out what Rochdale was like 300 million years ago. Explore the gallery to learn where plants grow and strange creatures roam. Learn more about fossils found locally and discover more about Rochdale’s famous scorpion fossil.

In 1894, a large carboniferous fossilised tree was unearthed here in Rochdale at Sparth Bottoms. The site attracted huge attention from geologists across the country and some very important discoveries were made during the excavations. The most significant fossils that were found were 3 scorpions that had never been identified before. In 1939, one of these was donated to the museum collection and the other 2 donated to Manchester Museum and the Natural History Museum. 2 of these specimens are now back together and on display for the first time since their discovery.

Our Changing Planet Gallery: this gallery tackles current issues facing our environment such as climate change and loss of habitat and how we can all work together to protect our planet. There's a large display of British insects. Visit us and see how our community has come together to knit 2,000 bees that have been put together into a huge bee swarm, also learn more about sustainable projects happening locally.

Visitors will be asked to make their own pledge about the changes they will make in their own life to help protect the planet, for example, recycle as much as possible, eat less meat, walk more often.

The main message of this gallery is: No living thing is too small to make a difference, no species, no human, no insect or plant and by working together, each doing our own bit, we can help protect the future of our amazing planet.

Other exhibits and facilities at Touchstones Rochdale: to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Co-operative Movement there is a special display of the borough’s own collection of works by Lowry and a gallery telling the history of Rochdale.

Image: the Diplodocus exhibit with children at the Natural History Museum, London.

Book Tickets Online

Map & Directions

Opening times

Number One Riverside (1 June 2020 - 31 Dec 2020)
Monday - Friday09:00 - 17:00
Saturday - Sunday09:30 - 17:00
Bank Holiday10:00 - 16:00
Touchstones Rochdale (1 June 2020 - 31 Dec 2020)
Monday - Friday09:00 - 17:00
Saturday - Sunday09:30 - 17:00
Bank Holiday10:00 - 16:00

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