Rotunda Museum

Rotunda Museum Scarborough


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 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.

Guests spend 45 minutes to an hour visiting the Rotunda.

Getting to the Rotunda Museum

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.

By train:

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

By bus:

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.

Admission Prices:

£3 Annual Pass – admission to both Scarborough Art Gallery and the Rotunda Museum.
Free – Under 18s and registered carers.

Opening Times:
Tuesday – Sunday | 10am – 5pm

(Last entry 4.30pm)

Phone number: 01723 353665



Rotunda Museum, Vernon Road, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, YO11 2PS
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