Rotunda Museum

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Opened in 1829, the Rotunda Museum is one of the world’s first purpose-built museums and was built to a design suggested by William ‘Strata’ Smith, known as the father of English Geology. The interior, with its fascinating Georgian gallery, features a frieze showing the geology of the local coastline designed by Smith’s nephew, John Phillips. The original cases tell the history of the museum and they explore the stories of the nineteenth century Scarborough Philosophical Society which brought the collections together.

Come face to face with the wonderful creatures which once called Yorkshire home at the Ancient Seas of the Yorkshire Coast display. See the fascinating collection of fossils and specially commissioned reconstructions of what marine life was like millions of years ago.

Please note: The Gristhorpe Man and Star Carr exhibits are not currently on display

Rotunda Museum Virtual Tour
This is a self-guided tour of the Rotunda Museum and covers all floors and spaces, currently open to the public.

We invite you to take your time to explore the building, just as you would do if you were walking around in person. If you have time to pause and view the links you’ll find additional information that will give you a real feel for the building and its contents.

Book Tickets

Guide Prices

£3 for a year pass for both the Rotunda Museum and Scarborough Art Gallery
Opening details
Open Tuesday to Sunday 10.00 - 17.00 hours (including bank holidays)

Under 18's - Free
Adults - £3.00 annual pass (allows entry into both the Rotunda and Art Gallery)


Wednesday, 18th May 2022 - Sunday, 30th October 2022

Discover Star CarrDiscover Star Carr
more info

Tuesday, 31st May 2022 - Tuesday, 31st May 2022

Jubilee CrownsJubilee Crowns
more info

Friday, 16th September 2022 - Sunday, 18th September 2022

The Yorkshire Fossil Festival returns to ScarboroughThe Yorkshire Fossil FestivalThe Yorkshire Fossil Festival returns to Scarborough this September, with a weekend of activities and events for all the family, for both enthusiasts and professionals, on site and online – and most of them free.
more info



  • Disabled access
  • Disabled toilets
  • Facilities for hearing impaired
  • Facilities for visually impaired

Booking & Payment Details

  • Credit cards accepted (no fee)


  • Baby changing facilities
  • Children welcome
  • Pushchairs available

COVID-19 Response

  • 2m distancing in place
  • Advance booking essential
  • Capacity limit
  • Clear signage
  • Contactless payment possible
  • COVID-19 measures in place
  • COVID-19 refund and cancellation policy in place
  • COVID-19 risk assessment completed
  • COVID-19 staff training completed
  • Face mask essential (not provided)
  • Facilities must be booked
  • Floors clearly marked for social distancing
  • Hand sanitizer available to visitors & staff
  • Hygiene screens in place
  • Interactive displays closed
  • Online booking only
  • Open now
  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
  • Staff required to regularly wash hands
  • Time limited visits


  • Education/study area
  • Facilities for educational visits

Meeting, Conference & Wedding Facilities

  • Facilities for corporate hospitality


  • Parking with charge

Property Facilities

  • Dogs not accepted (except guidedogs)
  • Gift shop
  • Passenger lift
  • Smoking not allowed

Site Features

  • Regional Tourist Board Member

Target Markets

  • Accepts groups
  • Coach parties accepted

Map & Directions

Road Directions

Enter YO11 2PS into your Sat Nav.

Use and enter YO11 2PS

There is no car parking on site as the Museum is adjacent to a main road, however there is limited on street pay and display car parking on Vernon Road for approximately 8 vehicles and ample on street pay and display parking on Valley Road approximately 30m from the main entrance, with an underground car park below Spa Bridge 0.1 miles away, which can be accessed via nearby steps to arrive at the Museum by foot.

Blue Badge and disabled parking is subject to the local council policy and to access the up-to -date car parking information use

The two on street car parking areas have ample lighting. The surface is hard concrete and tarmac with the statutory dimpled sloped areas for wheelchair access from the pavement on to the road and then from the road on to the main path entrance to the Museum which is approximately 354cms/146” wide at its narrowest point. There are no steps to access to the main entrance via this route.

The main entrance door is open and the second door at the entrance tunnel is automatic and is120cms/47ins wide.


Public Transport Directions

The nearest railway station is Scarborough, which is 0.6 miles away (10 minutes’ walk). Taxis are available at the railway station.

The nearest bus stop is 10m/10 yards from our main entrance. There are pictures of the venue available on the website for visitors who may benefit from some reassurance on what to expect when arriving at the Museum (

Rotunda Museum


Rotunda Museum, Vernon Road, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, YO11 2PS
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Call direct on:

Tel01723 353665


  • Membership SchemeDiscover Yorkshire Coast – Silver Member Discover Yorkshire Coast – Silver Member 2021

Opening Times

Rotunda Museum (1 Jan 2022 - 31 Dec 2022)
Tuesday - Sunday10:00 - 17:00

* Visitors are no longer required to wear face coverings in venues.
However, we do encourage their use in any crowded or enclosed spaces and will support visitors with individual needs, including those who are disabled, have protected characteristics or those who are at higher risk of infection, who may still wish to wear a face covering.
You do not need to book to visit the Rotunda.
To avoid disappointment, please visit the business website for current opening times, prices and any new admission policies.

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