The Teddy Bear Museum entrance
The Teddy Bear Museum entrance

A family museum not to be missed by anyone who has children (or anyone who has ever BEEN a child!). The Dorset Teddy Bear Museum covers a century of teddy bear history, from Rupert Bear and Winnie the Pooh to today's TV stars. There is also a very interesting exhibit on how the 'teddy bear' got its name.

Did you know?

The most popular explanation is that the teddy bear was named for Americal President Theodore 'Teddy' Roosevelt. Teddy Roosevelt was an avid hunter, and in 1902 took a bear-hunting trip in Mississippi. He spent a frustrating day trying unsuccessfully to track a bear. Several of his aides tracked and captured a black bear cub which they tied to a tree. The aides suggested that Roosevelt shoot the bear, but he refused, considering such an act to be unsporting, but he did order the bear shot to end its suffering. The event was publicised in the Washington Post, and the ensuing publicity created a demand for cute stuffed bear toys. That demand has never waned, and the Teddy Bear Museum is testament that even today adults and children alike are still in love with the humble teddy bear!

See a unique teddy bear house with life-sized bears. There is also a well-stocked shop with popular bear 'brand names' like Steiff and Gund.

We especially enjoyed the display of historic bears, which included newspaper clippings covering the record sale of a Steiff bear to a Japanese businessman for a record sum of $110,000.

The Teddy Bear Museum shares space in a converted Victorian chapel with the TerraCotta Warriors Museum, dedicated to the astonishing funeral complex created by the Great Emperor of China. It does seem a bit unusual to see the TerraCotta Warriors and cuddly teddy bears as neighbours, but both are interesting in their own right.

You can opt to see just the Teddy Bear Museum, just the TerraCotta Warriors exhibit, or both. You can also get a joint attraction ticket that offers admission to the two museums, plus the Dinosaur Museum and the Tutankhamun Museum. That's what we did, and the joint ticket gave us a considerable discount over individual admission prices.

The Teddy Bear Museum is well signposted and only a few minutes stroll from The Dinosaur Museum, just off Dorchester High Street.

About Teddy Bear House
Address: Eastgate, Dorchester, Dorset, England, DT1 1JU
Attraction Type: Museum
Location: At the corner of High East Street and Salisbury Street
Website: Teddy Bear House
Phone: 01305 266 040
Location map
OS: SY695 906
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express


Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest

The Dinosaur Museum - 0.1 miles (Museum) Heritage Rating

Dorchester, St Peter's Church - 0.2 miles (Historic Church) Heritage Rating

Dorset County Museum - 0.2 miles (Museum) Heritage Rating

Tutankhamun Exhibition - 0.3 miles (Museum) Heritage Rating

Dorchester Roman Town House - 0.4 miles (Roman Site) Heritage Rating

Keep Military Museum of Devon and Dorset - 0.5 miles (Museum) Heritage Rating

Max Gate - 0.5 miles (Historic Building) Heritage Rating

Stinsford, St Michael's Church - 1 miles (Historic Church) Heritage Rating

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    Nearest Tourist Information Centre ('as the crow flies')

Tourist Information Centre
11 Antelope Walk
Tel: 01305 267 992
Fax: 01305 266 079