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Norwich Cathedral announces new winter 2021 date for Dippy as well as a summer programme of dinosaur fun

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Dippy had been scheduled to be on display in the Cathedral in Summer 2020 but due to the coronavirus pandemic the tour has been delayed and he will now be on display from January 2021.

Ahead of Dippy’s visit, children will this summer still be able to enjoy a packed programme full of dinosaur fun with Ploddy, the Cathedral’s resident dinosaur puppet, leading the festivities that include trails, a prehistoric picnic and an art competition and exhibition.

Dippy on Tour: A Natural History Adventure is being brought to Norwich Cathedral and visitors across the UK by the Natural History Museum in partnership with the Garfield Weston Foundation, and supported by Dell EMC and Williams & Hill.

Norwich Cathedral has been working with the Natural History Museum and Rochdale’s Number One Riverside, where Dippy is currently located, to determine the best time for Dippy to make his way to the Cathedral. Organisers in Rochdale are finalising their plans for a safe reopening and are hoping to make an announcement soon.

The new dates for Dippy on Tour: A Natural History Adventure at Norwich Cathedral will be from 11 January 2021 to 21 March 2021.

The Dean of Norwich, the Very Revd Jane Hedges, said:

“We are delighted to be able to share the new dates for Dippy’s visit to Norwich and we cannot wait to welcome our prehistoric guest in January.

“We know so many people are looking forward to seeing Dippy and it will be a wonderful way to start 2021.

“Before then, we also have lots of dinosaur fun in store for children during the summer holidays, including a children’s art competition and exhibition, trails around the Cathedral and a prehistoric picnic in the cloisters to celebrate Norfolk Day.

“We hope lots of families will join in our festivities as we continue the countdown to Dippy’s arrival.”

Freya Stannard, Head of National Programmes at The Natural History Museum, said:

“We are thrilled to confirm the new dates for Dippy’s visit to Norwich. We will be working with the Cathedral to respond to ongoing changes for visitor attractions, implementing new measures where needed to create a safe and enjoyable experience for visitors.

“The magnificent Norwich Cathedral is the perfect destination to bring a close to Dippy’s nationwide tour which launched all the way back in 2017. We hope that once again Dippy will continue to inspire visitors and foster a long-term respect for the natural world.”

Philippa Charles, Director of the Garfield Weston Foundation, said:

“We are delighted that Dippy is now able to resume his tour, get back to his mission to inspire people to explore the nature on their doorstep, and that he will be able to conclude his nationwide adventure at Norwich Cathedral. Dippy’s purpose has never been more important and we wish him well on the final legs of his tour.”

Ahead of Dippy’s visit, Ploddy, the Cathedral’s dinosaur puppet who last year entertained the crowds at the Royal Norfolk Show and the Lord Mayor’s Procession, will be on display in Norwich Cathedral’s Hostry throughout summer 2020 and is looking forward to meeting visitors to the Cathedral!

Children are also being invited to take part in a special dinosaur-themed art competition which will see the work of as many young artists as possible displayed in the Cathedral’s Hostry exhibition space.

Dinosaurs in the Cathedral is the theme of the competition which will be separated into three age categories. Under fives can have fun colouring in a specially created drawing of Ploddy in the Cathedral’s cloisters that can be downloaded from the Cathedral website. Under eights are being asked to use their imaginations to design their own dinosaurs. Under 12s are being challenged to be as creative as possible with the Dinosaurs in the Cathedral theme and can send in everything from paintings to drawings to collages.

As well as being displayed in the exhibition, the winning entry for each of the three categories will be published in the EDP and Evening News and the winners will also receive some surprise prehistoric prizes.

Dippy at the Natural History Museum © Trustees of the Natural History Museum

Children can send in their artwork for display in the Hostry throughout the summer to be displayed in the exhibition which will open in early August. The deadline to take part in the competition is Wednesday 26 August 2020. Entries, which must have the child’s name and age written on the back along with a parent or guardian’s name, contact number and email address, should be sent to Dinosaur Art Competition, Norwich Cathedral, The Chapter Office, 65 The Close, Norwich, NR1 4DH. Entries can also be submitted at the Hostry exhibition space.

Throughout the summer holidays there will also be a series of trails around the Cathedral for children to follow, starting with a trail created by the Dean of Norwich to help children learn about the different types of dinosaurs that once roamed the earth.

The first of the trails will be launched on Norfolk Day – Monday 27 July – with a prehistoric picnic in the cloisters from 12pm until 3pm. Families will be asked to come dressed in their best dinosaur-themed clothes!

For Dippy’s 2021 visit, the summer 2020 programme of dinosaur activities, and all general visits to the Cathedral, safety is the number one priority.

The Dean of Norwich said:

“At this challenging time for everyone, health and safety continues to be paramount and is the single most important factor in our planning for all events at Norwich Cathedral.

“Great care is being taken by the whole Cathedral team to ensure that people can enjoy their visits to Norwich Cathedral in the safest possible way.

“We have been awarded Visit Britain’s We’re Good to Go industry standard and consumer mark as recognition that the Cathedral is following Government and public health guidance with regard COVID-19 and has taken all the necessary steps to help ensure people’s safety.

“More details about all the safety measures in place can be found on the Cathedral website.”

Dippy has previously visited Dorset County Museum, Birmingham Museum and Art GalleryUlster MuseumKelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, GlasgowGreat North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle upon Tyne and National Museum Cardiff.

The famous 26-metre long (85ft) dinosaur cast took centre stage in the Natural History Museum’s Hinzte Hall for many years before embarking on the current UK tour.

For more details about Dippy on Tour: A Natural History Adventure, visit

For more details about events at Norwich Cathedral, visit

All Photos courtesy of Norwich Cathedral and the Natural History Museum, London.