Friends of Crystal Palace Dinosaurs

The Crystal Palace Dinosaurs

Visitor’s Guide

A visit to the Dinosaurs makes for a great day out, and they are a popular visitor attraction — free to visit and open daily.

How to get there

The Dinosaurs are located in Crystal Palace Park, one of London’s great green spaces. The Crystal Palace Dinosaurs section of the park is free to visit and is open during the park’s opening hours. Getting to the park is easy. It is served by Transport for London (buses and London Overground) and numerous rail operators.

The current Crystal Palace rail station (CYP) at the side of the park dates from the 19th century and was used by visitors to the original amusement park. Other nearby train stations include Penge West and Penge East.

There is also free parking available. The closest car park to the Dinosaurs is at the Penge entrance off Thicket Road, where there is also an information centre, public toilets and a cafe. The other two car parks are accessed from Anerley Hill and Crystal Palace Park Road.

You can find park opening and closing times here

At the park

The Dinosaurs and geological landscapes are located by the lakes in the south section of the park near the Penge entrance and the Information Centre. The statues are outdoors, so please be mindful of local weather conditions.

The site is step-free and accessible on an unpaved footpath, though this can be muddy in wet weather. The location is well sign-posted within the park. As you go round the lakes keep an eye out for signage with more information on all the statues and geological landscapes.

The Penge end of the park includes a small information centre open on weekends, public toilets open when the park gates are open and a new cafe opened in April 2019. The park is owned and managed by London Borough of Bromley. Surrounding the park are substantial villages, including Crystal Palace, Penge, Anerley, and Sydenham. There is an excellent range of restaurants and pubs nearby.

School groups frequently visit the Dinosaurs, and children might benefit from bringing a simple pair of binoculars. The statues are viewed from a distance; please note that anyone climbing on the statues is trespassing. They’re risking charges to criminal damage because Grade 1 listed monuments are protected under law.

Map of the statues

The statues are broadly arranged by geological age as you face the islands, with the oldest species (the Labyrinthodons and Dicynodons) on the far right, and the most recent species (the giant deer Megaloceros and the giant ground sloth Megatherium) on the Quaternary islands to the left.

You can learn more about the individual statues here.

Walking tours

An audio tour for the dinosaurs is available via AudioTrails.

In 2020 we also made a virtual video tour of the Dinos for those unable to visit the Park.

Lost Valley of London (2013)

This video, produced by our our project partner the Lost Valley of London, is an imaginative and light-hearted introduction to the sculptures and shows how much fun a visit to Crystal Palace Dinosaurs can be.

Why visit when photographs are easy to view online?

  1. There’s more to the site than the statues themselves. The statues are set within a model geological landscape that tells an important story. Other original features are present, too.
  2. Photographers tend to post photographs only of the big dinosaurs. There are many more statues to see, and each has personalities of their own.
  3. As when visiting an art gallery, these statues are great works of art and have an aesthetic within their space that is impossible to capture on film.
  4. Crystal Palace Park is one of London’s great green spaces. It’s a popular local and national treasure. It is off the usual London tourist trails.