The Isle of Wight has many claims to fame, among them being the island’s reputation as one of the most important centres for the study of prehistoric dinosaurs in the world. To date, 25 species of dinosaur have been discovered on the island, meaning that it has one of the highest concentrations of dino fossils in the world.
Most of these date back to the early Cretaceous Period, when the Isle of Wight was connected to mainland Europe via a land bridge. Many of the most well-known species have been discovered on the island over the years, including long-necked Sauropods, winged Pterodactyls, and fearsome predators that are closely related to the Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Both scientists and members of the general public continue to stumble across dinosaur remains to this day, making the Isle of Wight a global magnet for researchers in this field. Thanks to this rich historical legacy, the Isle of Wight is known to many as Dinosaur Isle.
Where to See Dinosaurs on the Isle of Wight
If you want to explore the Isle of Wight’s fascinating dinosaur history, there is no shortage of attractions that will allow you to do so. One of the most visited places on the island is the Dinosaur Isle Museum in Sandown. Here, you can see more than 1000 of the best-preserved fossils from the island’s extensive archives.
You can also pay a visit to a working dinosaur lab staffed with palaeontologists from around the world, with whom you can have a chat if they aren’t too busy. For something a little bit more high-octane, head to the Restricted Area 5 attraction inside the Blackgang China Theme Park, where you’ll find to-scale robotic dinosaurs lurking among a Jurassic Park-style wildlife park.
If you’re a true dinosaur fanatic, then book yourself onto a guided tour of the dinosaur hotspots of the island with Dinosaur Expeditions, where a qualified dinosaur expert will teach you everything there is to know about the history of dinosaurs on the Isle of Wight.
Other Global Hotspots for Dinosaur Enthusiasts
If the Isle of Wight has fueled a passion for all things dino, then there are plenty of other global hotspots where you can engage your passion. One of these is the glamourous Middle-Eastern city of Dubai, which is home to the largest outdoor dinosaur park in the world.
At Dino Park Dubai, you can get up close and personal with 120 animatronic dinosaurs and give the whole family a crash course in prehistoric history. First-time visitors to Dubai can stay in the bustling nearby Jumeira area, where companies like Bayut offer short- and long-term rental apartments for travellers looking for a more homely travel experience.
Another hot dinosaur destination is the Grand Canyon National Park in the USA, where dozens of dinosaur fossils have been found over the years. After checking into the palatial Grand Hotel, you can explore the Grand Canyon Museum Collection or the Yavapai Geological Museum, both of which offer fascinating insights into the time where dinosaurs roamed this surreal desert landscape.
For fans of the blockbuster Jurassic Park films, your best bet might be to whisk your family off on an adventurous journey around Hawaii’s Kaua’i island, where most of the film’s iconic scenes were shot. While you won’t see any dinosaurs on the island today, it is home to some of the most stunning and diverse wildlife on Earth, which you can experience by booking yourself onto the Kauai’s Adventure Tour.
If you’re a true dinosaur fan, these are the places to learn all about them and engage your passion.