9 Fin-tastic Aquariums You Can Visit in the UK
Dive into an epic world of wonder by exploring the best aquariums in the UK. We’ve compiled the ultimate list of aquariums in the UK where weird and wonderful marine life awaits you.
1. National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth
The National Marine Aquarium, is one of Plymouth’s most popular attractions. The aquarium is made up of 4 zones, with plenty of different animals and exhibits to be found in each one. Get up close and personal with over 4,000 animals, including starfish, seahorses, turtles, and sharks.. There's a great selection of food places including Waves Café, a Sea’cret Garden and Outdoor Snack Shack, so you’ll be able to stay all day if you want to. Other facilities you can visit at the aquarium include the Ocean Gift Shop and National Marine Aquarium Soft Play.
This is definitely a family-friendly day to check out for anyone holidaying in or near Plymouth.
Nearest campsite: Slapton Sands Club Site
2. SEA LIFE London Aquarium
Come face-to-face with a colorful array of marine life at SEA LIFE London Aquarium. Home to over 500 different species in 14 themed zones, there is plenty to do and see. Go on an icy journey to the Polar Adventure and meet the Gentoo Penguin Colony, discover the UK’s largest jellyfish experience at Ocean Invaders and explore what's under the sea on a stroll through a glass tunnel.
SEA LIFE London Aquarium also puts on a variety of fascinating and informative creature talks. Find out what penguins eat for breakfast and why the Sand Tiger Shark is often referred to as the Labrador of the sea.
There are plenty of local restaurants and cafés nearby the SEA LIFE London Aquarium and vending machines indoors to buy snacks and drinks. There is also a gift shop just before you leave where you can purchase adorable souvenirs.
To book in advance or for more information head to the SEA LIFE London Aquarium website.
3. National SEA LIFE Centre Birmingham
Plan a visit to the National SEA LIFE Centre Birmingham. Home to the only 360° Ocean Tunnel in the UK, experience the underwater world like never before as sharks, rays and a huge rescued turtle swim over your head. The aquarium is home to the UK's only sea otters, Ozzy and Ola, alongside an array of different other sea creatures including Gentoo Penguins, Black Tip Reef Sharks, and Mo, the beloved Green Sea Turtle. SEA LIFE Birmingham also offers a unique experience where you can observe ocean adventures in a virtual reality.
Whilst there is no café or restaurants at SEA LIFE Birmingham there are vending machines with a selection of snacks and a variety of cafés and restaurants nearby. If you are looking to buy something to remember your time at the National SEA LIFE Centre Birmingham there is a gift shop located at the exit. To book tickets or for further information head to the official website here.
4. Anglesey Sea Zoo, Anglesey
Dive into an exciting day out at Anglesey Sea Zoo, Wales largest aquarium with plenty of unique marine wildlife to check out. Some of the weird and wonderful critters you will find in one of Anglesey Sea Zoo’s 40 tanks include moon jellyfish, snakelocks anemone, edible sea urchin, sea squirts and cushion star.
Walking round all those tanks is thirsty work, enjoy a sit down and something to eat and drink at the Rockpool Café. You can also enjoy a peruse around the gift shop, just next to the café.
Nearest campsite: Llanystumdwy Club Site
5. Deep Sea World, Scotland
Located under one of Scotland’s major landmarks, the Forth Rail Bridge, Deep Sea World Aquarium hosts a varied collection of exciting animals from all four oceans and Europe’s longest underwater walkway. Go and meet each animal bearing their own unique feature, including the alligator gar, Borneo eared tree frog, royal python, seals, bamboo catshark and African land snail.
Deep Sea World also hosts a variety of fun and educational events and activities, including daily talks and feeds. If you are feeling super brave, Deep Sea World offers a once in a lifetime opportunity to swim with sharks.
For a spot of lunch after all that exploring, head to the Bridge Café and choose from a selection of hot food and drink.
Nearest campsite: Lauder Club Site
6. SEA LIFE Brighton
Situated on the seafront opposite Brighton Palace Pier is SEA LIFE Brighton, the world’s oldest aquarium. Designed by Eugenius Birch, the aquarium was officially opened in 1872 and bought by SEA LIFE in 1991.
Nowadays, it is one of Brighton’s most popular family attractions, bringing in tourists from all over who come to explore the ocean and the fascinating animals that swim beneath. Some of the spectacular creatures you will come face-to-fin with at SEA LIFE Brighton include: sharks, turtles, octopuses, jellyfish and seahorses. There are also a selection of unique experiences you could opt for, including a glass bottom boat experience and a Day & Night Ocean experience where guests can explore oceans by day and by night.
Head along the seafront for a bite to eat before or after your trip to the aquarium, Brighton has plenty of delicious food places to choose from.
Nearest campsite: Crowborough Club Site
7. SEA LIFE Scarborough Aquarium
Scarborough SEA LIFE contains more than 2500 creatures and welcomes you to discover an unforgettable underwater world. Some of the aquarium zones include Pirate Adventure Mini Golf, Seal Hospital, Rainforest Adventure, Otter River and Penguin Island.
Scarborough SEA LIFE also offers the unique experience of seeing real-life mermaids after hours. Make sure to book this in advance as this mer-mazing opportunity books up quickly.
Eating and drinking is not allowed in the aquarium itself, however there is a restaurant located upstairs serving hot and cold food for guests. If you head outside you’ll find the Beach Bites Adventure Playground next to a snacks kiosk. Feel free to eat food you have brought from home in the picnic area outside.
Nearest campsite: Scarborough Club Site
8. Lake District Coast Aquarium
Spend a day on an underwater adventure visiting and learning more about hundreds of freshwater and sea species at Lake District Coast Aquarium. From shark and ray pools to a tropical marine tank, this aquarium is home to more than 75 tanks and continues to expand. Visiting the marine line isn’t the only exciting thing to do at this aquarium, it is also home to a 14-hole golf course and an adventure playground.
After all this fun you’ll probably fancy a sit down to relax, so head to the café which is part of the aquarium building which offers panoramic views overlooking the harbour. There is also a gift shop in the same building. For more information head to Lake District Coast Aquarium website.
Nearest campsite: Moffat Club Site
9. Blue Planet Aquarium, Chester
Have a blast at the Blue Planet Aquarium in Chester, perfect for a family day-out. Located in the charming Cheshire Oaks, enjoy a mix of exhibitions, meeting the animals and an underwater tunnel. There are also a bunch of daily dive shows in the Aqua Theatre.
There are a couple of delicious options to choose from for food in the aquarium, including Nautilus Kitchen and an ice cream parlour. There is also a gift shop and a play area.
Nearest campsite: Delamere Forest Club Site