Rotunda MuseumVisiting

A gem on the stunning Yorkshire coast, a must-visit in Scarborough and a great family day out.

Opening Times
Tuesday – Sunday | 10am – 5pm
(Last entry 4.30pm)
Well behaved dogs welcome 🐾

Bank Holiday Monday
Monday 27 May | 10am – 5pm
(Last entry 4.30pm)

We’re really sorry, but the West Wing of the Rotunda Museum is currently closed due to water ingress following heavy rainfall. We’re working to open this again as soon as possible – thanks for your understanding. 

Admission Prices

£5 Annual Pass – admission to both Scarborough Art Gallery and the Rotunda Museum

Free – Under 18s and registered carers.

Busy times
Please not that the venue can sometimes be busy with school visits.

Rotunda Museum
Vernon Road
YO11 2PS

01723 353665
Email Us

Book your visit with WelcoMe ⬇️

Visit our café at Woodend

Just a short walk through the Valley Gardens to Woodend you’ll find Sitwell by Eat Me, a place for tasty treats for all the family.

Open Monday – Saturday / 10am – 3pm

Please note, Sitwell by Eat Me café accepts card payments only.

For your safety and security, we’ve taken the difficult decision to close the West Wing of the Rotunda due to water leaks following recent heavy rainfall. Meg (our resident Megalosaurus) has moved out to the orientation space – because she doesn’t like getting wet! 

We’re working with our partners to fix any damage and re-open the spaces as soon as possible. Thanks for your understanding.

A Warm Welcome to the Rotunda – the Museum of Coastal Heritage and Geology, located right on the wonderful Yorkshire coast. We’ve got a great view of the sea!

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 Smith. 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.

When you visit you can also learn about dinosaur footprints, fossils, the remarkable 11,000-year-old artefacts from our Star Carr Collection, as well as coming face to face with the wonderful creatures which once called Yorkshire home in the Ancient Seas Gallery.

Getting here

Rotunda Museum
Vernon Road, Scarborough YO11 2PS

Located on Vernon Road, off Valley Road, less than 5 minutes from Scarborough’s South Bay beach and 7 minutes the town centre.

The Rotunda Museum is a stone building with a cylindrical tower located on Valley Road, looking out to Scarborough South Bay.

Access to the entrance is from the main road with the option of steps or gradual inclined walkways.

The Rotunda is located next door to Gala Coffee and Bar.

Currently, there is scaffolding and fencing on and around the Rotunda. The building is open as usual. 


There is no car parking on site at the Rotunda Museum.

Accessible parking for Blue Badge holders is on Valley Road, 2 minutes walk away.

South Bay underground car park is a pay and display car park close to the Rotunda Museum

The Palm Court Car Park is a multi-storey, pay and display car park, 5 minutes walk away.

On street pay and display parking is available on Valley Road and The Crescent.

There are two park and ride services in Scarborough. Find out more.

Scarborough railway station is a 15 minute walk away. This is a step free station. Taxis are available at the station.

The nearest bus stop is opposite the entrance, across the road on Valley Road.

East Yorkshire Buses provide bus travel services around Scarborough borough.

Yorkshire Coastliner bus service provides travel links from Leeds, Whitby and Bridlington.

Arriva provide bus travel into Scarborough from Middlesbrough, Whitby and Robin Hoods Bay.


There are no steps to the front door of the Rotunda Museum. Inside there is a Welcome Desk and our friendly staff will be ready to greet you.

The Welcome Desk, shop and toilets are on the ground floor. The ground floor is fully accessible to wheelchairs and pushchairs.

The attraction
The Museum is on three floors. There is a lift on the ground floor to all floors. There are no steps into the galleries.

Assistance animals
We welcome guide dogs, hearing dogs and assistance dogs in the museum. Drinking bowls are available on request from the information desk. When visiting, please take responsibility for your assistance animal as it should remain under your care and control throughout your visit.

Well behaved dogs, kept on a lead throughout your visit, are welcome in the Rotunda Museum.

If you are wishing to visit in a group of 10 or more people we ask you to get in touch in advance so that we can ensure you have a pleasant visit to the Rotunda Museum.

Please email us to plan your visit.

Toilets and baby changing
There are separate female and male toilets at the Rotunda. There is an accessible toilet with baby change facilities.

Accessible toilet
There is a fully accessible unisex toilet on the ground floor.

We are a breastfeeding friendly venue so please feel free to breastfeed wherever you feel comfortable doing so.

The Rotunda Museum Visual Story aims to explain and describe ‘what will happen’ and ‘what to expect’ when you visit. It has been written with children with autism in mind, but could also be useful for parents and young adults. 

You can download it or pick up a copy when you visit.
Download the Rotunda Museum Visual Story (PDF).

A Large print guide for the Star Carr exhibition is available from the Welcome Desk.


Sensory Map
This map aims to give a visual representation and help visitors to identify spaces where there may be changes to their sensory experience, supporting them to plan their visit. You can download it here or pick up a copy when you visit.

Ear defenders are available upon request from the reception desk during your visit. Please ask for assistance at any time during a visit and call ahead if you have any questions.

Music, sounds and videos
There is sometimes background music and sounds in the gallery spaces, depending on the exhibition.