Going on a day out – whether with the kids or not – is so exciting. Planning the trip and feeling like you have something to look forward to? That’s a priceless feeling. One of the best family days out that you can imagine is always going to be at any one of the best aquariums in England. We’ve reeled you in now, so it’s time for you to discover the answers for when you search for “best aquariums near me”.
From the most fabulous fish in the deep to the super-scary sharks, you’ll fill your day with tons of interesting facts as you watch the fish move in their tanks. With thousands of marine species at your fingertips, you can have the chance for a day out together while you learn something new. It’s o-fish-ally one of the best options for a day out with the whole family – and the weather won’t even factor into your day! Dive into this list of the best aquariums UK has to offer you, and you’ll have a day out to remember.
SEA LIFE Brighton, East Sussex
Did you know that the world’s oldest aquarium is in Brighton, East Sussex? When you visit here, you can discover more than 1,500 species of marine life. There is a rainforest adventure to enjoy, and you’ll see the frogs here. You can even see the seahorses in the seahorse nursery, and there is a new starfish display that you can enjoy where you can “sea” stars. If you want to dive a little deeper, you’ll find Nemo and Dory right in the reef.
The SEA LIFE in Brighton is continually refreshing itself and expanding, and whether you are a fan of turtles and jellyfish, rays or octopus, there will be something there for you to see. Even better? You can get involved with the demonstrations and talks, and you can watch the animals be fed at certain times. One of the best things about the Brighton SEA LIFE is the fact that it’s set under the Victorian Arcade, built-in 1872. Neat!
SEA LIFE Adventure Park, Weymouth, Dorset
There are seven exciting acres of underwater fun at the SEA LIFE Adventure Park in Weymouth. There are zones inside and out, and there is so much more to this SEA LIFE than seeing the fish. Outside, there is a Sensory Garden and a Caribbean Cove adventure playground. Some of the animals include turtles, rays, seals and sharks, and there are even otters to see, too! Two penguin species are housed here, and Penguin Beach is home to the colony of cheeky Humboldt Penguins. Fairy Penguin Island is the latest development here, and you’ll find the smallest penguin breed all the way from Australia. It’s a complete underwater adventure given the zones that you can enjoy.
Lake District Coast Aquarium, Cumbria
There is plenty to see here at the Lake District Coast Aquarium, with 75 displays showing off the marine life here. There are various varieties of fish, marine creatures and other crustaceans, with plenty to see while you’re here. You will love how the cascading waves mimic the natural environment of the marine life environment, and it’s something breathtaking to look at. All the species here are naturally found in Cumbria, so you can enjoy a little local flavour (just don’t eat the fish!).
If there is one thing that kids love about the Oceanarium in Bournemouth, it’s Ziggy the green iguana! With him and Bob, the pig-nose turtle, you can fill their day with new little creatures to meet and enjoy. There are over 150 different species of fish here, and you can take part in an exciting adventure quiz trail that will lead you to Penguin Cove from Crocodile Rock. There’s a Kids’ Play Zone to enjoy which is purely designed with under ten-year-olds in mind. There’s something for all the family here, and the older kids will love the virtual underwater shark experience, with plasma screens and visual effects will make you think you’re in the deep with them!
Anglesey Sea Zoo, Llanfairpwllgwyngyll
We won’t pretend to know how to pronounce the location, but Anglesey Sea Zoo is where the curious roam. From Conger Eels and Catsharks to the humble lobster, you will be able to dive right into the bottom of the Irish Sea right here. The lobster you find here is living in a home that was built especially for them, in the lobster hatchery. It was built purely to help the dwindling population of lobster in the UK. It’s brilliant for showing the little ones how conservation can begin at home.
The Deep, Hull
If you want to go anywhere to see Green Sawfish, it’s at The Deep in Hull. There are also 3,500 other fish in this aquarium, and there is a vast mix of sea animals. There are tons of interactive stations to be enjoyed, and there is a cool Lagoon of Light that you can walk through to travel past the sharks and rays. The walkthrough viewing tunnel is one of the most fun areas, as everyone can see the sea life as they walk through. There’s even an Endless Ocean Exhibit where you can ride a glass lift through 10 metres of open* ocean. It’s a spectacular view, and the kids can come back for more with sleepover sessions where they can sleep alongside the fish, sharks, rays and other animals for the night. *not actual ocean!
Deep Sea World, Kingdom of Fife
Right up in Scotland, you’ll find Deep Sea World, right beneath Forth Rail Bridge. This is a home to over 2000 creatures, and you’ll be able to go through the oceans, lakes and rivers on the planet. You can see the seals at Seal Harbour, and you can enjoy an Underwater Safari. It’s the best place to go and see the sharks given that it’s home to one of the largest collections of them in Europe.