DINOSAURS can be discovered at the Dorset County Museum in Dorchester this summer.

The award-winning museum houses a wealth of collections from all aspects of Dorset life, whether archaeology, geology, natural or social history.

It is Dorset’s biggest general museum and was founded in 1846. 16 display rooms tell the story of local wildlife, rocks and fossils, archaeology and history, with a gallery dedicated to novelist Thomas Hardy.

Museum director, Dr Jon Murden, says the popular attraction is positively booming, with visitors now up to almost 40,000 a year.

Recent major exhibitions included the Our Sporting Life display to coincide with last summer’s Olympics and the Pharaoh: King of Egypt exhibition that saw the museum link up with the British Museum.

The Weymouth Bay pliosaur has also proved popular with youngsters and this summer the museum is hosting the Pardoes Animate! exhibition until October 19, showcasing the story of animation over the last 200 years.

Visitors can see ‘the world’s biggest bite’ and meet Dorset’s real dinosaurs in the Jurassic Coast gallery, dig down into the Archaeology gallery or walk in Roman footsteps at the Victorian gallery.

There’s also free children’s activities throughout the summer holidays including Dinosaur Club, Soap and Victorian animated toy making and cartoon drawing as part of the craft workshops.

Opening times are 10am to 5pm and the museum shop offers unique gifts, jewellery, cards and local crafts books.

For more information visit dorsetcounty museum.org or call 01305 262735.