Dippy the dinosaur heads to Coventry on three year Natural History Museum loan

Dippy on display at home in London. Credit: PA

Popular dinosaur exhibit Dippy the Diplodocus, which has drawn millions of visitors around the country, is heading to Coventry.

The city’s Herbert Art Gallery & Museum will be hosting the 26-metre long replica skeleton for three years, from February the 20th, in time for the start of the spring half-term holidays.

Museum bosses also said there will be free ticketing to see the Jurassic giant so all can enjoy the “world-class exhibit”.

Herbert Gallery in Coventry. Credit: PA

The huge model was cast from five different skeletons, including one dug up by railway workers in the United States in 1898. It was first assembled and put on display at London’s Natural History Museum in 1905. The 292-bone structure fascinated crowds in the city for 110 years, but recently went on an eight-city tour to Dorchester, Birmingham, Belfast, Glasgow, Newcastle, Cardiff, Rochdale and Norwich.

More than two million people went to see the sauropod model while it was travelling around the UK, with another million visitors filing past once it was back in London. Dippy is more than four metres high and 4.3 metres wide, bringing to life the scale of a species which lived between 156 and 145 million years ago.

Dr Doug Gurr, Natural History Museum director, said the “much-loved and hugely popular attraction” was “the perfect ambassador for nature”, and would continue to “educate and inspire”.

He added: “We couldn’t be more thrilled that Dippy will now be taking up residence in Coventry.”

Paul Breed, chief executive of CV Life, which runs the Herbert, welcomed the chance to host the UK’s “most popular dinosaur”, adding it was “a huge opportunity for Coventry and the wider economy”.

Free tickets will be available to book on the gallery’s website nearer to Dippy’s arrival.