A visit to the dinosaurs makes for a great day out, and they are a popular visitor attraction — free to visit and open daily.
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, too, and it 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) dates from the 19th century and was used by visitors to the original amusement park. Parking is available, too, and the area is extremely popular with cyclists.
The statues are outdoors, so please be mindful of local weather conditions. 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. 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.
The park includes basic conveniences and a variety of caring services. 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.
View Crystal Palace dinosaurs in a larger map
YouTube is a splendid source of data for anyone interested in the Waterhouse Hawkins statues. Several caught our eyes as worthy of special highlighting. Whether to your personal taste or not, each video shows how the statues serve as muse for all sorts of creative work.
Crystal Palace Dinosaurs: A Rough Guide
First published in 2004, this video by film maker and photographer Paul Williams shows the dinosaurs shortly after their most recent substantive conservation. The statues look good. The landscaping is cut back to show the physical features. Pay special attention to the pterosaurs standing between the Megalosaurus and the Teleosaurs. These were destroyed by vandals shortly afterwards.
A pleasant walk
Thanks to Theo Harpik for a slow-paced, unnarrated view of whole site in August 2012. Heart-breaking view of damage to Megaloceros antlers (00:04) since repaired. Great to see others enjoying the park as he passes by. This video gives you a sense of the physical environs of the park on a beautiful summer day. Great to have a map in hand while watching.
TheArtDecoVampire produced a short video of the statues from late summer 2011 just after a rain storm. Notice the graffiti paint on Hylaeosaurus head (00:15), a regular occurrence, crack in Iguanodon foot (01:50), crushed Teleosaurus tail (02:39). Note how low the water level is. This happens when the pumps break down, and 2011 was a drought. Other special features: quick view of old mural at Crystal Palace rail station (00:03), lead mine facade (00:36), and Tertiary mammals (04:43). A related dinosaur video project is fabulous.
Lost Valley of London
This shows how much fun a visit to Crystal Palace dinosaurs can be. Exciting to see what an imagination gone wild can produce. Part of the Lost Valley of London.
Crystal Palace Dinosaur Tribute
Thanks to Amm019 for this montage set to uplifting music. The photographs are a mixture of old and new. Look out for the “pigeons on Megalosaurus” (01:53).