The best aquariums in the UK

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Boy at aquarium

The UK is home to some of the best aquariums in the world, offering visitors the chance to see a wide variety of marine life, from sharks and rays to jellyfish and octopuses

Dive into a mesmerising underwater world as we explore the best aquariums the UK has to offer. From fascinating marine creatures to immersive exhibits and hands-on talks these aquatic wonderlands provide an unforgettable experience for nature enthusiasts of all ages.

Whether you're seeking a glimpse of vibrant coral reefs, fascinating sea creatures, or educational encounters, the aquariums on our list boast stunning displays and exceptional conservation efforts. Join us on this journey as we unveil the top aquarium destinations across the UK…

Boundless members get exclusive savings…

Boundless members can enjoy exclusive savings at a number of aquariums when you book through Kids Pass. Kids Pass provides a range of offers at the UK’s finest aquariums including a free entry for under-12s or up to 25% off admission for both adults and children. 

Here are our picks for the 10 best aquariums in the UK:

Sea Life London Aquarium

Sea Life London Aquarium

Sea Life London Aquarium is the largest aquarium in the UK, housing over 5,000 different species of marine life including sharks, rays, fish, jellyfish, and even penguins. The aquarium is located in the heart of London and features a whole host of exciting exhibits including the Ocean Tunnel, Penguin Beach, Amazon Rainforest, and Shark Reef. The aquarium offers a variety of educational programs and events, making it a great place for kids to learn about marine life and conservation. 

Sea Life Blackpool

Sea Life Blackpool

Located on the coastline of one of England’s favourite seaside resort towns Sea Life Blackpool, is among the country’s very best aquariums. Home to over 2,000 different species of marine life, visitors can walk through a glass tunnel surrounded by sharks and rays in the Ocean Tunnel exhibit. They can also meet penguins at Penguin Beach up close on a behind-the-scenes tour to find out more about these flightless feathered friends. Visitors to Sea Life Blackpool can also learn about how the centre helps protect our precious marine life in a hands-on conservation workshop. 

Sea Life Birmingham

Children at aquarium

Though it’s just about the furthest you can get from the nearest coastline, that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate some amazing marine life when you next find yourself visiting Birmingham. Sea Life Birmingham is home to over 2,000 different species of marine life, including sharks, rays, fish, jellyfish, and even sea turtles. The aquarium offers a variety of educational programs and events, as well as unique experiences such as scuba diving, mermaid experiences, and pirate adventures. The fun doesn’t stop there either, beyond the fascinating fish exhibits, you can also meet otters and penguins, too. 

Bristol Aquarium

Bristol Aquarium

Another great place to learn about marine life and conservation Bristol Aquarium (located on the city’s iconic harbourside) is home to over 1,500 different species of marine life, including sharks, manta rays, fish, jellyfish, and eels. This location is also unique in that it is the only aquarium in the UK that’s also home to an indoor botanical garden and rainforest, complete with its very own piranhas! Plus, there are fascinating talks and feeding displays held throughout the day to learn more about the creatures of the deep. Book through Kids Pass and you can enjoy free entry for one under 12 when paying for an adult ticket.

Sea Life Brighton

Giant squid

Located on Brighton’s world-famous sea front, Sea Life Brighton is the oldest operating aquarium in the world, and is home to over 5,500 different species of marine animals. Some of the unique features of Sea Life Brighton include the Ocean Tunnel, Day & Night Ocean Experience, Rainforest Centre, Seahorse Kingdom, and Conservation Zone. Plus, a day by the beach wouldn’t be complete without some rockpooling; Brighton Sea Life offers visitors the opportunity to touch starfish and crabs in interactive feeding sessions held throughout the day. 

Blue Planet Aquarium

Deep sea diver

Blue Planet Aquarium is another must-visit for any marine life enthusiast. Located in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, England, the aquarium is home to over 5,000 different species of marine life, including stingrays, jellyfish, sharks, sea snakes and even pelicans. If that’s not enough to keep you entertained, there are also daily shows at the aquatheatre where divers can be viewed feeding and interacting with underwater creatures through the glass. If you book a visit to Blue Planet Aquarium through Kids Pass you’ll get free entry for one under 12 when paying for an adult ticket.

Sea Life Manchester

Sea Life Manchester

Step into the underwater world of Sea Life Manchester, home to over 2,500 different species of undersea creatures. Explore the exhibits at your own pace, from the Ocean Tunnel where you can walk through a 164-foot-long acrylic tube getting you up close and personal with stingrays, eels and other marine life, to the Shark Reef where you can see these apex predators up close and learn about their behaviour in the wild. In the Amazon Rainforest exhibit, see various fish, reptiles, and amphibians and learn about how they survive in this unforgiving environment. The Turtle Rescue exhibit lets you learn about sea turtles, how they are rescued, and how you can help to protect them. 

Sea Life Hunstanton

Penguins in cave

Journey into the depths of the ocean at the recently refurbished Sea Life Hunstanton, where you can discover over 2,500 different marine species. From the Bay of Rays, where you can see a variety of rays up close, to the Seal Rescue exhibit, where you can watch rescued seals being rehabilitated before being released back into the wild, there's. Plus, you won’t want to miss the Humboldt Penguins, a colony of adorable penguins native to South America, or the Otter River, where you can watch a family of Asian Short-Clawed Otters swim, dive, and play in their specially designed river enclosure. And be sure to visit the Rainforest Ranger Basecamp, an interactive exhibit where you can learn about the rainforest and the animals that live there. 

Sea Life Scarborough

Sea lion in water

Sea Life Scarborough is another excellent aquarium, especially for those interested in learning about marine life and conservation. Visitors can explore the underwater world through its unique exhibits, including Penguin Island, Seal Hospital, Tropical Ocean Tunnel, Amazon Rainforest, and Shark Reef. 

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