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The Fossil Hunting information previously on this page has now moved HERE

The Island - An Introduction

The Isle of Wight is a small island located off the south coast of England near Swanage and Portsmouth, and is the little diamond-shaped island at the bottom of maps of the United Kingdom.

The best way to get there is from Portsmouth by Hovercraft and Fast-Cat, which takes you to Ryde, or Car Ferry, which takes you to Fishbourne. There is a train (which used to be decorated with brightly coloured dinosaurs, but they've removed them now, which is a shame) to Sandown that runs from the Fast-Cat port at Ryde, and goes near the hover-port. To get around it is possible to use the buses, but it is probably better to take a car, as the buses are very irregular in that region, and are apparently the most expensive in the UK, although you can get an Island Rover ticket that lets you go anywhere on the Island for under a tenner

Other pages that might be useful include

DinoWight FAQ, which has answers to most of the simple questions, as well as a few more complicated ones
DinoWight Geology, a guide to the geology of the Isle of Wight
DinoWight Localities, where to find dinosaurs on the Isle of Wight
DinoWight Palaeoecology, a guide to how the dinosaurs lived together and interacted
DinoWight Fossil-hunters, the (brief) history of fossil hunting on the Isle of Wight
DinoWight Museums, a guide to the dinosaur museums that are scattered across the Isle of Wight
DinoWight Glossary, a list of technical terms, so you know what a prezygapophysis is...
DinoWight References, so you can check the original sources that I and many others have used
DinoWight "not-dinosaurs", A list of animals and plants that shared the Isle of Wight with the dinosaurs, but weren't dinosaurs
DinoWight Toys, a list of toys that represent the dinosaurs that are found on the Isle of Wight
DinoWight News, where you can find out about new finds on the Isle of Wight
DinoWight Acknowledgements - who helped to build DinoWight and make it a success
DinoWight - The Author - the person responsible for DinoWight
DinoWight Contact - How to contact the Author if you have any questions

The Isle of Wight Southern England (with a bit of Wales)

Further Reading

This are a limited list of books that are especially for people interested in the Isle of Wight geologically and palaeontologically. There are also many scientific papers available, the information from which has been used heavily in these books and on DinoWight, but a select list of these can be found on the DinoWight reference page. Many of these are available from university libraries, and from certain larger libraries, but some are available on-line. You can get them from these sites, or directly from me (See references, or

Click on the covers for a larger image

The Geologists’ Association Guide to the Isle of Wight, by Allan Insole, Brian Daley and Andy Gale

You could do a lot worse than get The Geologists' Association Guide to the Isle of Wight, by Allan Insole, Brian Daley and Andy Gale. It is only 12.00 from the British Geological Survey shop at the Natural History Museum. It features walking guides to see the geology, but does not focus much on the dinosaurs found at each locality. It is also a bit out of date and apocryphal, as it suggests using Cowleaze Chine for access to the beach, although last time I tried this it was 10 metres from Cowleaze Chine to the beach; straight down. This book is more for the geologists among you.

Dinosaurs of the Isle of Wight, by David M. Martill and Darren Naish

Another book is Dinosaurs of the Isle of Wight, by David M. Martill and Darren Naish. This book is published by the Palaeontological Association, and so contains information on every single dinosaur and pterosaur ever found on the island, except the new velociraptorines and Caulkicephalus. This book is sold at Dinosaur Isle and all good geological bookshops for 16.00. This is probably the only book you will need for dinosaur hunting on the Island, as it has a lot of information, and even has a guide for fossil walks.

Fossil Hunting on Dinosaur Island, by Martin Simpson

Another excellent book is Fossil Hunting on Dinosaur Island, by Martin Simpson. Mr Simpson knows almost everything there is to know about Isle of Wight palaeontology, and is something of a celebrity among the Isle of Wight collecting fraternity, and it shows here. More aimed at families with young children, this book not only covers the dinosaurs, but ammonites, plants, sharks and all the other fossil groups found on the island. There are also fieldtrip guides and a safety guide, and best of all, it is incredibly cheap! Definitely worth getting!

Guidelines for Collecting Fossils on the Isle of Wight

There is also a local guide, Guidelines for Collecting Fossils on the Isle of Wight, produced by English Nature, available from the Dinosaur Isle museum shop.

Dinosaur Island

Finally, there is a book called Dinosaur Island. This has been out of print for a while, and is incredibly out of date (Neovenator doesn't have a name and the Hypsilophodon beds were created by the poor Hypsi's being trapped in quicksand!). Still, it has a bit of info on other fossils from the island, as well as several nice exclusive (to my knowledge) pictures of fossils (although several are printed upside down!) It's out of print, but I'm fairly sure much of the contents will be in the Dinosaur Isle museum guidebook (which I don't have), but it may be available from second-hand bookshops on the island and in Portsmouth...
There are also many websites, as you can see on the DinoWight Links page

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