Dinosaurs may have been extinct for many years but metaphorically they are not dead, living on in our imagination. The scary monster element appeals to kids while their sheer size, reptilian appearance and how they died out appeals to adults.
If you’ve seen Ty Rex in London’s Natural History Museum but still have a penchant for Jurassic Park, why not take yourself and the kids to see the Crystal Palace Park Dinosaurs, unveiled in 1854, and designed by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins and Richard Owen, the founder of the Natural History Museum. To celebrate completion, Hawkins held a dinner party in the stomach of an Iguanodon!
The Victorians were fascinated by dinosaurs and the ‘terrible lizard’ models caused a sensation. It has to be said however, that they were not very realistic and interest faded until they were restored and repaired in 2002 and are now Grade 1 listed, giving an insight into the early history of paleontology.
The park is located at one of the highest points in London and has great views over the city. It’s also home to a museum, the National Sports Centre and London’s largest maze, so there’s plenty to see.
Take the over-ground train from Victoria to Crystal Palace or from London Bridge to Penge West. Entrance is free and the park is open from dawn until dusk.