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 to view Dippy at Number One Riverside. You will be required to book to visit the Dippy Exhibition at Touchstones Rochdale. 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
Coronavirus (COVID-19) information: to protect the health and safety of our visitors and staff, and enable safe social distancing, we have introduced a number of measures - get the latest coronavirus updates.

The world famous Diplodocus dinosaur cast from the Natural History Museum is on a national tour and he arrived in Rochdale, his only North West stop, on 10 February 2020.

The Dippy Experience

Visitors can look forward to a unique day out, with 2 dino experiences to enjoy, both of which are FREE of charge.

-  You can drop-in to meet Dippy himself at the council’s office building, customer service centre and library, Number One Riverside.

-  You can book to visit the Dippy Exhibition at our local museum and art gallery, Touchstones Rochdale, which is just a short walk (0.4 miles) from Number One Riverside across Rochdale town centre.

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.

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 will be facts around Dippy about Diplodocus dinosaurs and a projection of a herd of Diplodocus dinosaurs..

Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) we've had to close the discovery lab, sensory room, hands-on activities, the interactive exhibit giving information about sustainable technology, educational spaces that would have taken you back to the time when the dinosaurs roamed the earth and other key moments in our planet’s history. 

We've introduced an extensive Dippy at Home programme which runs alongside the exhibition that you can access from our What's on section. 

Visit the Dippy Exhibition at Touchstones Rochdale

For the next part of your Dippy adventure, you must book to visit the Dippy Exhibition at Touchstones Rochdale which is a 0.4 mile walk across Rochdale town centre from Number One Riverside.

When booking visitors can choose from the following to enjoy the Dippy Exhibition in a safer and more controlled environment.

The Narrated Guided Tour - current days: Tuesday, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Saturdays.
From Sunday, 11 October 2020: Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

This tour is ideal for everyone including children and families. The tour on a Friday is ideal for children under the age of 5. 

3 scientists travel back in time to search for a solution. They need to gather information about the past. First they visit our Touchstones Exhibition to learn about the dinosaurs, then they travel 240 million years back in time to visit Rochdale in the carboniferous era. Then, after learning all about the environment from the wise Rochdalians the scientists can go back to the future - knowing that the worlds missing knowledge has been found.

Self-guided Tours - current days: Mondays and Thursdays.
From Sunday, 11 October 2020: Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Small groups of visitors with the allotted time of 10-15 minutes to spend in each of the 3 galleries. There will be an opportunity to read the interpretation panels and look at objects in cases, however, there will be no hands on activities. Our staff will be available to assist, if required.


More details about the galleries you'll visit as part of your Touchstones Rochdale tour

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.

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.

Book Tickets Online

Map & Directions

Opening times

Number One Riverside (11 Oct 2020 - 12 Dec 2020)
Tuesday09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday10:00 - 18:00
Thursday - Friday09:00 - 17:00
Saturday09:30 - 17:00
Sunday10:00 - 16:00
Bank HolidayClosed
Touchstones Rochdale (11 Oct 2020 - 12 Dec 2020)
Tuesday09:30 - 16:30
Wednesday10:00 - 18:00
Thursday - Saturday09:30 - 16:30
Sunday10:00 - 16:00
Bank HolidayClosed


  • Visit BritainWe're Good to Go We're Good to Go 2020

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