Reservations 01983 869 000
An Island of Dinosaurs
The Isle of Wight - Dinosaur Capital of the UK
By Justin Gladdis
The Isle of Wight is world famous for its dinosaur remains, with so many different types identified already. Excited? You should be, as many more mysterious are yet to be discovered on Great Britain's Dinosaur capital.
It's a well known fact that over 120 million years ago, the Island's environment was just perfect to support a rich biodiversity, from the smallest bacteria and insects living in ferns, cycads and large conifers, to the giant dinosaurs and soaring pterosaurs.
The Isle of Wight is proud of its Dinopast and to showcase this, we've an all year round facility called Dinosaur Isle.
Based in sunny Sandown it combines entertainment, education and enjoyment. Full of displays with clever lighting, artwork, sound, smells and animatronic technology which creates an exhilarating experience. In fact, you will really feel you have stepped back more than 120 million years!!
The museum's introductory exhibition gallery covers the geology and fossils as you walk back in time, taking in the Ice Age of the recent past, back to the Cretaceous period when dinosaurs lived. There's also a large dinosaur gallery, which has exciting displays including real fossils, skeletal re-constructions, life sized fleshed re-constructions and two animatronic dinosaurs.
With miles and miles of gorgeous coastline, the Isle of Wight is a fossil hunters dream. Opposite the museum is Yaverland, where there is just a huge range of preserved fossils. Plants and seeds can be found along the shore as well as mammal, crocodile and fish remains.
Brighstone Bay is a good place too.. The famous Sauropod skeleton was found here. The shingle at Brook Bay is a haven for fossils. Larger bones have been uncovered in the cliffs.
The base of the cliff at Gurnard Bay is a great place to find fossilised insects as well as turtle and crocodile remains.
Over 200 species have been found at Thorness Bay.
And we've come up with a few handy hints should you decide to embrace our Jurassic Isle and go fossil hunting!
Go easy with your hammer - many good fossils can be found without hammering.
Make a record of where you found your fossils - you may want to go back to the exact spot later!
If you find anything exciting - why not take it straight to one of the Island's museums?
Stick to the paths - particularly during the holidays
In summer 2013, Island tourism chiefs launched a dinosaur trail and phone app in a bid to boost the number of visitors to the sunny isle even further.
The campaign was then followed at christmas by the release of the film, Walking with Dinosaurs: The 3D Movie.
In 2014 the trail changed so we are wondering what dinosaurs we might find on the island this coming summer....