Dinosaur Isle in Sandown offers an unforgettable interactive dinosaur experience. Hear the roar of a dinosaur, smell a real Cretaceous park and watch the experts at work in the laboratory. You can walk through a reconstructed landscape as it was 125 million years ago and see life-sized models of the dinosaurs, including a robotic, flesh eating Neovenator (a relative of T-Rex) and real life fossilised remains of animals and plants. A professional palaeontologist will also be on hand to identify any of your own fossil finds.
Dinosaur Isle landed on Sandown's seafront next to a former boating lake in August 2001 – or so it would seem as the building is in the shape of a giant flying Pterosaur dinosaur. It was the first purpose-built dinosaur museum in this country and cost £2.7m, half of which came from a lottery grant from the Millennium Commission, and it certainly makes a statement.
After entering, via its 'mouth' you begin at the 'Ice Age' with the most recent finds of ancient mammals from the Newtown Creek area. As you walk through the corridors you are going further back in time...
One of the most striking exhibits in this area is the life size Ichthyosaur swimming in the sea surrounded by brightly coloured ammonites, which came from 'Walking with Dinosaurs' the series.
Walk into the huge centre of the museum and you meet life-size animatronic dinosaurs in their 'natural' habitat and the sounds these creatures might have made are triggered by sensors hanging from the ceiling. Just inside the door is a pneumatic dinosaur that you can operate.
On the 'identifying' table are fossils you can touch and it's here you bring your finds to ask one of the qualified palaeontologists to identify them. Another activity asks you to stick your hands into boxes to feel what is inside – dinosaur poo, called Coprolite, being is one of the things you feel!
There's a Sauropod found near the Dinosaur Farm, displayed as a life size skeleton and a 'Neovenator' dinosaur, mounted into the wall in a glass case and there are remains of an Eotyrannus and a Goniopholis (a type of crocodile).
So many dinosaurs and many are life sized – you'll love it.
- open Tuesday to Saturday until 30 June and 1 September onwards
- open 7 days a week during July and August
- Tuesday to Saturday 10:00 to 16:00 (last admission 15:00)
- July & August 09:30 to 17:00 (last admission 16:00)
- 1 hour before closing time!
- between April and October the car parking tickets from the machines behind the museum and the gravel car park to the side of the museum are two-part. Give the voucher part to Reception upon entry and they will redeem £2.50 of your car parking charges (charges do not apply November to March)
- wheelchair usage by visitors is possible throughout the museum
- lift to upper floor
- disabled toilet facilities
- assistance dogs are welcome
- children aged under 3 years are free of charge
- baby changing facilities available
- stocked with quality gifts
We hope you enjoy your visit and don't forget to tweet a pic
Dinosaur Isle Address: Culver Parade, Sandown, Isle of Wight, PO36 8QA