Which Way North

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Our scale model of the RRS Sir David Attenborough, the new polar research vessel for Britain, is sailing into the Great Museum of the North: Hancock, as part of ‘Which Way North’ exhibition.

British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has a rich history of operating research ships, and the next chapter in this history is about to begin. Commissioned by NERC, built by Cammell Laird to a Rolls-Royce design and operated by BAS , the New Polar Ship for Britain, The RRS Sir David Attenborough, will transform the BAS conducts shipborne science in the Polar Regions. Enjoy the chance to see up close a detailed model of this brand new facility which will be launched in autumn 2018.

Which Way North is a free, family-friendly exhibition featuring hundreds of fascinating items on loan from museums, galleries and private collections across the UK, showcasing great Northern art, design and innovation. Other highlights include Astronaut Helen Sharman’s space suit, the last piano played by John Lennon and John Harrison’s groundbreaking marine timekeeper ‘H4’.

Find out more about the exhibition here. Opening hours 10am-6pm daily.


Running in parallel to the exhibition, British Antarctic Survey are supporting several ‘meet the polar researcher’  sessions:

  • 7th August: Join Professor Mike Bentley and Dr Louise Callard from the Department of Geography, Durham University as they explain how scientists understand ice sheet change, and how our new polar ship will support scientific research such as this in the future. (30 minute sessions running at 11am, 1pm, 2pm & 3pm)
  • 30th August: Join Dr William Reid from Newcastle University as he describes the collaborative research he is conducting with BAS, including the discovery of the first Antarctic hydrothermal vent and his recent expedition on board the RRS James Clark Ross to try and reach the Larsen C  ice shelf. This talk will provide a insight into some of the research that scientific cruises on the new polar ship will support in the future. (30 minute session at 11am and 2pm)