Top 5 Aquariums in the UK

Published on: 07/06/21

The world’s oceans hold a staggering 96.5 percent of all the water on earth, something to think about next time you go for a paddle! Filled with fascinating, and sometimes downright weird wildlife, World Ocean Week is a celebration of the diversity and importance of our oceans.

Britain has some of the best modern aquariums in the world, showcasing a kaleidoscope of sea creatures in all their natural wonder. So if the nearest you usually get to fish is a tray of cod and chips, prepare to dive in!

The Deep, Hull

With over 70 individual habitats, Hull’s aptly-named The Deep is one of the biggest aquariums in the UK, home to over 3,000 finned and fishy friends. One of their most spectacular displays is the ‘Endless Ocean’, taking an incredible 2.5 million litres of water and 87 tonnes of salt to create!

Committed to conservation, it’s has many unusual creatures, such as zebra sharks, honeycomb whiptail rays, rescued Loggerhead sea turtles, and the UK’s only pair of Green sawfish. If you get ‘hooked’, you can even get behind-the-scenes access by booking one-to-one experiences, or learn how to be a keeper for the day.

National Sea Life Centre, Birmingham

Bringing the seaside to you, Birmingham’s National Sea Life Centre is one of Britain’s best aquariums, with a multi-million-pound Rescue Facility that has been carefully designed to emulate a natural habitat for rescued marine mammals.

With zones including Reef Edge, Tropical Ocean, Bay of Rays and Octopus Hideout, plus the UK’s only 360-degree ocean tunnel, you’ll feel like you’re part of the shoal! Under expert guidance, plunge your hands into the Rockpool and get a real feel for sea urchins, starfish, and anemones, and meet favourites including Pablo the penguin, Ozzy the eel, Bev the octopus, and Mo the giant sea turtle!

National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth

Located in Plymouth, Britain’s ‘Ocean City’, the National Marine Aquarium is a registered marine charity and the largest aquarium in the UK. Made up of four eco-zones, step out into a virtual Plymouth Sound, and continue around the world’s oceans to the stunning Great Barrier Reef, encountering wonderful species along the way.

Their Atlantic Ocean tank is the deepest in the UK and houses large nurse sharks and rare lemon sharks, as well as three species of ray. Visitors love this aquarium so much, they even get married here!

Deep Sea World, Kingdom of Fife

Beneath the Forth Rail Bridge lies Scotland’s national aquarium, Deep Sea World. But it’s a truly global experience, taking you on a voyage of discovery through the depths of the ocean, the breezy shorelines of Scotland, and the stifling jungles of the Amazon, filled with fascinating sea creatures, marine life, and amphibians.

The Underwater Safari, through the UK’s longest underwater tunnel, will bring you eye-to-eye with fish and sharks swimming over your head. If that’s not close-up enough, bookable Shark Dives give beginners and expert divers alike the chance to get up close and personal with these giants of the sea- a truly jaw-some encounter!

Blue Planet, Chester

Chester’s Blue Planet Aquarium is home to more than 100 living displays, with one of Europe’s largest shark collections, including zebra, reef, and sand tiger sharks. Stroll through the Underwater Shark Tunnel, explore the colourful Coral Cave and the exotic freshwater fish of South America in the Flooded Forest.

It’s not all fishy goings-on, with crocodiles, frogs and ‘Venom’, a compelling terrifying installation housing the world’s most poisonous creatures, including black widow spiders, stinging jellyfish, vipers, and the world’s most poisonous fish, the stone fish. Don’t worry – it’s all behind specially reinforced glass- they promise!

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