Category Archives: Dinosaur Island

Isle of Wight invites holidaymakers to “Return to Adventure Island”

The Isle of Wight is being promoted as one, big holiday island attraction in a summer-long campaign that’s being dubbed “Return to Adventure Island”.

Just launched, and based squarely on the fact that visitors and families have been coming on holiday to the Island for almost two centuries, the campaign is designed to help illustrate that fact that there are now more reasons than ever before to book a visit the Isle of Wight.

Visitors over the decades have discovered there are so many places to see and things to do on an Island the size of Inner London.  So many of them are natural, some are man-made, but all combine to offer a host of holiday memories that last a lifetime…and also keep generations of families coming back for more.

It’s a timeless, magical Island, that can only be reached from the mainland across a small strip of water – giving trippers, tourists and travellers that true holiday feeling.

And in 2017 The Island will welcome several new attractions and experiences, including the Tiny Homes Holidays concept; Modulogs at Tom’s Eco Lodge; a magical Underwater Kingdom at Blackgang Chine; Jurassic Golf on Shanklin Seafront; and even the appearance of the little Squirrel Monkey which has just been rescued by Monkey Haven.

The Island as a whole is perfect for families who want to enjoy themselves together at the likes of Needles Landmark Attraction, or follow in the footsteps of Dinosaurs along the beaches; and the Return to Adventure Island campaign captures the essence of it all – from the glorious beaches to thrilling adventures, and the great range of accommodation to fabulous festivals.

Stay in a treehouse.  Search for red squirrels.  And learn bushcraft on the beach.  Then, after lobster on chips, take an exhilarating ride to a Victorian fort.  Or, travel back in time with the Isle of Wight Steam Railway, and visit a National Museum of Poo!  As visitors over the centuries have discovered, every day can be a fresh adventure.

Betters still, it’s all just two hours hours away from London, followed by a 10 minute Hovercraft ride to the Island – with car and passenger ferries connecting the Island from Southampton, Lymington and Portsmouth.

The ferry companies and Hovertravel run regular promotions, including day returns from £5, and it’s also possible to also book great value tickets that combine transport with entrance into the leading attractions

Full details can be found at

Visitors who book their holiday to Isle of Wight through Visit Isle of Wight, meanwhile, will be invited to download a free app for their iPhone or Android smartphone.  The Adventure Island App, which launches on April 1, is packed with insider’s tips and trails to help holidaymakers make the most of their stay.

It also gives all visitors the chance to take part in a virtual treasure hunt with lots of prizes on offer including, for one lucky family, the chance to win back the entire cost of their holiday.

The Return to Adventure Island website will also feature all of the latest special offers for deals on accommodation: when searching to find the perfect place to stay, just look out for the blue suitcase featured on selected accommodation for special deals with ferry inclusive prices.

For all tourist information about the Isle of Wight, visit


For further information about The Isle of Wight, please contact:

Sue Emmerson, Tel: 07766 705672, Email:

Notes to Editors

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities

Get social media updates from Visit Isle of Wight.   Go to,,,,


New remains of what may be the oldest marine reptile to have been found on the Isle of Wight have just gone on display at Dinosaur Isle, Sandown.

The paddle bone; a femur, belongs to a large predatory reptile that would have been swimming in seas that formed over the Island millions of years ago. The bone has been identified by experts from the museum as belonging to a Plesiosaur, and closest resembles a Colymbosaurus, an animal that would have been similar in appearance to the Loch Ness monster, and swam the seas in the Jurassic period over 150 million years ago.

The bone was found at Yaverland Beach by a member of staff at Dinosaur Isle, Alex Peaker. Only a small part of the bone was exposed and took staff several days to remove the rock that encased the bone so that it could be identified. It is now on display with other fossils from the Island seas at Dinosaur Isle.

Alex Peaker, assistant community learning officer at Dinosaur Isle, who found the bone, said:
“The animal appears to have been a juvenile when it died and would have only been around 4 metres in length, but when fully grown it could have reached lengths of almost 10 metres.

“A combination of the age and type of rocks that are exposed on the Island mean that marine reptile remains such as Plesiosaurs are rarely found. Across the Island the oldest rocks that we have exposed are from the Lower Cretaceous, and are about 125 million years old, but we believe that this fossil may be much older.”

Commenting on the find, Richard Smout, Isle of Wight council heritage service manager said:
“Thanks to the eagle eyes of Alex and the team’s perseverance in painstakingly uncovering this hidden treasure, we now have an extremely rare find to display in our much loved Dinosaur Isle, just, in time for the Easter half term.

“I really recommend a visit as you will see dinosaur skeletons as they are found by the fossil hunters and can watch our volunteers preparing the latest exciting finds, as well as having the chance to view this latest extremely rare find.”

The oldest rocks exposed on the Island are from the Cretaceous period and date back to the Cretaceous period approximately 125 million years ago, but some of these rocks are known to contain much older fossils. During a period when the seas were encroaching on the land of the Island a large Jurassic escarpment had formed, allowing fossils that had formed 25 million years before hand to be eroded out of their Jurassic rocks and deposited into the younger Cretaceous rocks. It is believed that the new find is one of these much older fossils.


Notes to Editors:

More information about, and photos of the find can be found on the Dinosaur Isle facebook page at or for more information on Dinosaur Island, please visit





A fossil from a now-extinct species of elephant has gone on display at Dinosaur Isle Museum in Sandown following its discovery in the Isle of Wight.

The shoulder bone of the Palaeoloxodon antiquus – which had straight tusks – was found protruding from the sand on the west coast of the Island in March this year by local resident Paul Hollingshead.

He took it into the museum for identification and donated the fossil for visitors to enjoy. It is thought the bone is around 100,000 years old and dates from the Ipswhichian period.

Paul said: “I wasn’t actually looking for fossils at the time the find was made. I remember it was a big five metre tide so I knew the water would go out a long way, when I saw what looked like a bit of bone showing from the sand.

“I stopped and realised it was a bit bigger so I started clearing all of the sand and stones away from it. I was shocked how big it was and spent around two and a half hours digging it out.

“I was hoping it was a dinosaur bone so was quite shocked to find out it was from an elephant.”

Alex Peaker from Dinosaur Isle added: “You don’t really associate elephants with the Isle of Wight but this find shows they did roam the Island many years ago.

“Although the bone was found in March, it took us several months of conservation work to preserve it to ensure it can go on display, which it now is.

“We want to thank Paul again for his discovery and his generosity in donating the bone to the museum.”

More information about the discovery can be found at


Notes to Editors:

An image of Paul with his son Shay and daughter Lily and the elephant bone Paul discovered is attached.   Please credit IW Council and Dinosaur  Isle if you use this image.

Issued by:

Simon Butler, Media Relations Officer
Tel: 01983 821000 ext 6254
Mob: 07976 347636


  • How much did an Iguanadon weigh?
  • Have you found a fossil, or just another pebble?
  • What did dinosaurs have for dinner?
  • What happened to the Island’s dinosaurs?

These and more questions are answered in a brand new, 38-page Dinosaur Safari Guide, published by Visit Isle of Wight.

Brimming with humour, the Isle of Wight Official Safari Guide is a fun, engaging workbook with ideas, activities and games designed to educate and inspire further learning.  Cartoon character, “Diana Saw” is the book’s roving reporter offering dinosaur-mad kids sensational scoops with her ‘access all areas’ pass to the Isle of Wight.

Written by dinosaur expert Steve Love, the guide includes information on where to see real footprints and maps for walking dinosaur territory, as well as lots of photographs of what to look for and reconstructions by the world-renowned dinosaur book illustrator, John Sibbick.

The Isle of Wight has recently been named by the Daily Telegraph as one of the five “best places in Britain for young fans to come nose-to-nose with dinosaurs – or hunt for fossils”.

The travel feature, called “Jurassic World: The UK’s best dinosaur attractions”, says that “Dinosaur remains are so ubiquitous on the Isle of Wight that there’s even an app.  Download it to follow in the footsteps of giants, or head to Compton Bay or Yaverland beaches to search for fossils.”

Named the Dinosaur Capital of Britain in 2013, the Isle of Wight is the UK’s fossil finding capital and one of the most important places in the world for finding fossils, including the magnificent Isle of Wight Iguanodon that graces the London Natural History Museum’s famous dinosaur Gallery, and a number of fine and unique dinosaurs in Dinosaur Isle in Sandown.

Visit Isle of Wight feel the new Official Dinosaur Safari Guide is the perfect tool to inspire and educate youngsters – and encourage them to go on “safari” in search of dinosaur sites and attractions on the Island.

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight said: “Around the world, dinosaur fossils are actually pretty rare, and even where they are found they are often from just one species, or are just a few fragments.  But here on the Isle of Wight over 20 species of dinosaur have been found so far, some in near-complete condition.  The title Isle of Wight Dinosaur Safari is meant to send a clear message that the Island is one of the most important places in the world for finding dinosaurs”.

Steve Love added: “The idea for this book came when I went to see Isle of Wight tourism chief David Thornton, to ask him why the Island doesn’t do more to raise awareness of its massive worldwide status as a world heritage dinosaur site.  I expected some push-back, so I even took some lumps of dinosaur bone from a local beach to plonk on his desk.  Instead, I found he was asking exactly the same question.  The upshot is that he set me the challenge of writing a book which simultaneously nails the Isle of Wight’s scientific dinosaur credentials, is attractive to visitors, and is accessible to all ages.

“Although I am the author, the book is a team effort by many of the Island’s dinosaur and fossil experts, all of whom, including me, have contributed their time and material for free in the interests of supporting the Island’s visitor economy”.

The Isle of Wight Official Dinosaur Safari Guide is a new must-have for kids who love dinosaurs.    Officially launched at a book-signing event at Waterstones in Newport on 20th August, the book costs just £5 and contains cut-out vouchers worth over £17, which can be used in seven Island shops, cafes and attractions.

Copies can be purchased from the Guildhall visitor centre in Newport, Island tourist information points, dinosaur-related attractions and all good retailers, including Waterstones on the Isle of Wight.   Or, order one online from

For further information, please contact:   Sue Emmerson, Visit Isle of Wight Press Officer, Tel: 01983 521555, Ext 29/07766 705672, E-mail:

Steve Love, the author of the Isle of Wight Official Dinosaur Safari Guide is available on 01983 629497, 07955 736345 and


Notes to editors

 Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website ( the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities:


The Isle of Wight is to feature in a prime time TV programme focusing on Britain during prehistoric times.

‘Dinosaur Britain’ is a two part programme to be broadcast on ITV on Monday 31 August between 9pm and 10pm and on Tuesday 1 September from 8pm until 9pm.

The Isle of Wight will be part of the second programme on the Tuesday.

Film crews visited Dinosaur Isle Museum in Sandown where the focus of their attention were the skeletons of a Neovenator and a Mantellisaurus.

Both skeletons show signs of injuries, suggesting both dinosaurs were involved in vicious fights.

Presenter Ellie Harrison was shown various bones in the museum’s laboratory and looked at what the injuries may have been as a result of.

The programme will be using CGI graphics to show dinosaurs during pre-historic times.

Alex Peaker from the museum was involved in the filming. He said: “The programme makers came here in June and carried out lots of filming and interviews.

“We were more than happy to assist. The stories behind the skeletons of the Neovanator and the Mantellisaurs will make for fascinating viewing.”

Councillor Ian Stephens, Executive member for tourism, culture and heritage, added: “The Isle of Wight is well known as being the dinosaur-fossil capital of Britain and the programme will further enhance our reputation as one of the world’s best sites for pre-historic discoveries.

“I look forward to watching it and seeing what the experts have established from studying fossils in the museum.”

Chief executive of Visit Isle of Wight, David Thornton, says the programme will benefit the Island’s image, adding: “This new dinosaur documentary further enhances our reputation as the dinosaur capital of Britain which started in 2013 when the Natural History Museum in London awarded us that title.

“It continues with our special Dinosaur Isle app which allows visitors to be photographed while walking with dinosaurs on the Island.”

ITV describe Dinosaur Britain as telling the amazing story of many of the dinosaurs that once roamed our country revealing how they hunted, what they ate and how they died from the evidence revealed from their bones.


Notes to Editors:

The programme was produced by Maverick Television

Issued by:

Simon Butler, Media Relations Officer
Tel: 01983 821000 ext 6254
Mob: 07976 347636

Get social media updates from the Isle of Wight Council. Go to, and



A group of international scientists is to be hosted at Dinosaur Isle next week (Tuesday 25 August) as part of the ‘Flugsaurier’ conference, dedicated to the research of the giant prehistoric flying reptiles, the pterosaurs.

The conference is being held by the University of Portsmouth (led by former Island resident Dr Dave Martill), having previously being held in the USA, Brazil, China and mainland Europe.

This is the first time that the international conference has been hosted in England, and for its first day the event is convening on the Island.

Delegates from around the world will be joining staff from Dinosaur Isle to see the classic locality of some of the Island’s famous pterosaurs, such as the Caulkicephalus.

Caulkicephalus was discovered at Yaverland and formally named as a new species by Dr Martill and former museum staff member Dr Lorna Steel in 2005. The original remains of the specimen can now be seen on display at Dinosaur Isle.

During the afternoon of the event, hosted by the Friends of Dinosaur Isle, the international team will be studying the important collection of pterosaurs held at the museum.

Dr Jeremy Lockwood, chair of the Friends of Dinosaur Isle, said: “The Flugsaurier conference attracts some of the world’s foremost experts on pterosaurs and it is tremendous to know that such high profile scientists value our museum and are aware of the importance of the collection.”

Councillor Ian Stephens, Isle of Wight Council Executive member for tourism, culture and heritage, said: “This visit and Dinosaur Isle’s inclusion in the conference is a real coup for the museum and the Island, and recognition at the highest level of the importance of the Island in this field.

“It also further underlines our determination on the Island to attract more top events and visitors to our shores, including experts in their field, to appreciate the many qualities, places of interest and attractions we have.

“I would like to congratulate staff at the museum and the Friends of Dinosaur Isle for their continuing excellent work and am delighted with the recognition they have received with this conference.”


For more information, e-mail:





The Isle of Wight Festival of the Sea – promoted by Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) – returns for a third year, from  Monday 22nd June to Sunday 5th July 2015, with dozens of themed events and activities for local people and visitors to enjoy.


The popular annual celebration of the Island’s nautical heritage will be highlighted by “anchor” events bringing visitors a memorable fourteen filled with shanty bands, arts & crafts exhibitions, lighthouse tours, sea safaris and, of course, delicious seafood. 


Since it began in 2013, the Festival of the Sea has welcomed thousands of visitors to the Island.  Last year, VIOW joined forces with J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race organisers to create an even bigger spectator event. 


This year’s race which regularly attracts over 1,700 boats and around 16,000 sailors – making it one of the largest yacht races in the world – takes place on Saturday 27th June.


A fantastic new event for 2015, “Shipwreck Isle”, in Ryde on Sunday, 28th June, will present a swashbuckling mix of piratical fun and entertainment.   


Shipwreck Isle will take place at Appley Beach with a full programme of activities centred on and around the beach.   Seafront events will include stunt action sword-fighting, historical re-enactments, canon and firearm demonstrations – and the “Pirates of the Caribbean Europe Group” who will be out in force with their Caribbean Village on the beach.


An event of mammoth proportions, “Dinosaurs by the Sea” will also be dropping anchor on Saturday 4th July when visitors and locals alike will be invited to be part of a record-breaking attempt in forming the world’s largest human Tyrannosaurus Rex at Appley Beach.


Meanwhile, Small Hope Beach in Shanklin will be pioneering an alternative Festival of the Sea finale with the Island’s only ‘beach festival’ with a twist. The “All at Sea” beach festival on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th July will have a Birdman contest, Cardboard Boat race, with more activities to be confirmed shortly.


With a packed timetable of events planned this June and July, VIOW is hoping that Festival of the Sea 2015 will encourage people to plan a trip and experience the Island’s seafaring history and heritage for themselves.


They hope to broaden the festival’s spread even further than last year and are inviting organisations, towns and villages to come up with their own nautically-inspired events, which will be promoted by VIOW for free.


David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight said, “The Festival of the Sea has the potential to become an integral part of the Island’s summertime fun and after last year’s tremendous success, we want to offer a rich mix of quality events to attract even more people to attend. We hope to have workshops, performances, open days, sport events, exhibitions, talks, demonstrations, beach events, food events and more. We’d also love to see towns and shops decorated in a nautical theme.”


The Festival of the Sea will be marketed through all media channels and anyone interested in hosting an event or providing a promotional offer to grow their business or promote their village or town, should visit while the festival programme is being developed.


A full schedule of events will be listed on




Press contact:   Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Tel: 01983 201048, 07766 705672, E-mail:


Notes for Editors:


Images attached:


1) “Hauling the pots” – Ocean Blue, will once again be running Sea Safaris from Ventnor Haven

2)   The “Pirates of the Caribbean Europe Group”, who will be at Shipwreck Isle, which forms parts of the Festival of the Sea, on Sunday, 28th June.


Visit Isle of Wight

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website ( the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities:


Shipwreck Isle (28th June) and Dinosaurs by the Sea (4th July)


These events are organised by Roger Crouch, tel. 07739 373567, e-mail


All at Sea (4/5th July)


This event is organised by John Hawkins, Beach Events, tel. 07973 669 176, e-mail,


The J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Yacht Race


Held on the longest day this year, Saturday 21st June, the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, organised by the Island Sailing Club, regularly attracts over 1,700 boats and around 16,000 sailors, making it the largest yacht race of its kind in the world and the fourth largest participation sporting event in the UK.


Competitors come from all over Great Britain, from other parts of Europe and from as far away as Australia and the USA to race the 50 nautical mile course around the Isle of Wight. Starting on the famous Royal Yacht Squadron ‘line’ in Cowes, the massive fleet, often flying brightly coloured spinnakers, races westabout to The Needles, around St Catherine’s Point and Bembridge Ledge buoy, and back into the Solent to the finish line at Cowes.


For those not competing, the Island and the South coast have many great vantage points to watch the Race unfold, such as the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, Hurst Castle, and The Needles.

(separate vantage point list/map )

Media enquiries: Peta Stuart-Hunt, ISC Race Press Officer | 07711 477707




A fossil from a dinosaur has been discovered on the Isle of Wight, more than a century since the last remains of the predator were found.

The neck vertebra of a dinosaur called ‘Calamosaurus’ was found on a recent fossil hunt by Dave Badman at Chilton Chine.  It is the first fossil of this dinosaur to have been found since the original discovery was made nearly 140 years ago on the Island by the Reverend of Brighstone parish, William Fox.

After his death in 1882, the collection of William Fox was acquired by the Natural History Museum.  While the collection was being catalogued, staff at the museum recognised two unusual vertebrae in the collection, which were later named as a new species ‘Calamosaurus Foxi’.  Since then, no other definite remains of this dinosaur have ever been found.

After finding the fossil, Mr Badman brought the specimen to Dinosaur Isle Museum in Sandown ( for identification, where it is now on display.

He commented, “I have looked along the beaches for a long time, searching for fossil remains, and have had a fair amount of success.  However when I saw this fossil, I knew it was something different and that I had a great find.  I took it to Dinosaur Isle straight away to get it identified.  I am very pleased to donate my find to the museum so I know the specimen can help with the understanding of this elusive dinosaur.”

It all further enhances the Isle of Wight’s reputation as the “Dinosaur Capital of Britain” which all started in 2013 when the Natural History Museum in London awarded it that title, continued with a special Walking with Dinosaurs app which allows visitors to be photographed while walking with dinosaurs, the Isle of Wight is also linked with a major new film WALKING WITH DINOSAURS: THE 3D MOVIE, and reached its peak when Royal Mail unveiled ten commemorative dinosaur stamps – each featuring drawings by internationally famous Isle of Wight artist, John Sibbick.

Meanwhile, the Isle of Wight will launch a new event called ‘Dinosaurs by the Sea’ on July 4th/5th (during the Festival of the Sea) when – in additional to other events – there will be an attempt to build the UK’s biggest dinosaur on the beach at Ryde.

A new Dinosaur Safari Guide is also scheduled to be launched later this year.  For more details, visit


For further information, please contact:

Sue Emmerson, Visit Isle of Wight Press Officer

Tel: 07766 705672      E-mail:


Compton Bay on the Isle of Wight has been named as one of the world’s top beaches by the Sunday Times Travel Magazine.


Listed in the latest issue (April 2015) of this highly respected travel magazine, Compton Bay is included in the “top 50 best beaches in the world” alongside the likes of Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro, Waikiiki in Honolulu and Bondi in Sydney.


Located in West Wight, Compton offers a two mile stretch of contrasting golden and dark sands, with rolling seas, tumbling multi-coloured sandstone cliffs, and the white chalk cliffs of Freshwater in the distance.   Popular with surfers and fossil hunters, Compton is ideal for games and sandcastle making. 


In September last year, Compton Bay was named as one of the best beaches in the UK by travel experts, Rough Guides.  The leading publisher of travel guides and travel content, the Rough Guides editorial team chose Compton as the “much-loved haunt of the Isle of Wight’s surf (kite and board) dudes and the place “where the Tennyson Trail laces its way along the coastline”.  Compton was also recommended by the Marine Conservation Society for the quality of its waters in 2012.


Following these accolades, the writer of the Sunday Times feature, journalist Emma Broomfield, contacted Visit Isle of Wight’s press officer, Sue Emmerson, for more information. 


Sue said: “When Emma contacted me earlier this year, she wanted ‘insider tips’ that she could use in the piece to entice readers.


“I am therefore delighted that she has used the content I supplied – not only the activities that can be enjoyed at Compton like searching for dinosaur footprints and surfing, but also information about the 22km Tennyson Trail from Carisbrooke Castle to The Needles, and our free downloadable Dinosaur Island app which allows visitors to take pictures of family and friends walking alongside the dinosaurs that roamed the Isle of Wight 130 million years ago.”


For more information about the feature, go to:




For further information, please contact: Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Tel: 01983 201048, 07766 705672, E-mail:


Notes to editors:


Image of Compton Bay attached, please credit


Attached is a pdf of the 50 best beaches in the world feature which is in the latest issue of the Sunday Times Travel Magazine. You can find Compton amongst them on the 7th spread.


Compton was recommended by the Marine Conservation Society for the quality of its waters in 2012 and was named as one of the UK’s top beaches by travel experts Rough Guides. In 2014. Read more:


The Isle of Wight’s ‘dinosaur coast’ stretches from Yaverland in the East to Compton Bay and beyond in the West and since 2013 has been marked with a series of interactive meteorite exhibits.  Simply download an App for your smartphone or tablet and see dinosaurs in the present day environment with this brilliant augmented reality experience.






A family from Ventnor got a surprise at Dinosaur Isle on Sunday 8 February when they became the museum’s millionth visitors.

Lee and Alison Starling and their daughters Tamlyn and Kaitlyn walked through the doors just before midday to take the total number of customers since the museum opened in 2001 past the magic number.

As part of the celebrations, Kaitlyn and Tamlyn each put a handprint on a special plinth which will remain outside the museum, recognising the milestone. The family were also given a yearly pass to the museum.

The museum has predicted it would reach the millionth customer figure on the day and was hosting a free fun day.

General manager Peter Pusey said: “We needed 474 people to come through the doors on Sunday, but ended up with nearly 1400 in total at the free fun day. The Starling family were the lucky ones to take the number past one million.

“I think they were a little shocked but were very happy and had a great time at the museum. It is certainly something they won’t forget for a while.”

Alison Starling added: “This was our first visit to Dinosaur Isle as we’d seen the event advertised and because there was plenty to do for the kids we decided to pay a visit.

“We were really surprised when the alarm sounded and to then be told by staff that we were the millionth visitors. It was so lovely for Tamlyn and Kaitlyn to have their hands cast in the cement outside, which will be lovely for them to always see as they get older.

“We feel honoured and would like to thank Dinosaur Isle for a lovely day and we are looking forward to spending more time there this summer with our free yearly pass we won.”

The museum first opened in August 2001 and has been going strong ever since. It holds tens of thousands of fossils, and regularly hosts popular fossil walks and school visits. Memorable discoveries down the years include a new species of pre-historic crocodile and a partial skeleton of a Brachiosaur.

Councillor Shirley Smart, Executive member for tourism and economy, said: “I was very happy to be at the museum on Sunday when the Starling family became the millionth visitor.

“The museum is a major part of the Isle of Wight’s tourism industry and I would like to congratulate all the staff and volunteers, past and present, who have helped the attraction reach this incredible milestone.”

Photos from the fun day are available to view on Dinosaur Isle’s Facebook page at