Battery Quarry, Fife, KY11 1JR. Phone 01383 411411. Fax 01383 410514.
email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Opening times: April to October, Saturdays Sundays and Public holidays: 10am - 6pm
July and August 10am - 6.30pm
November - March: 11am „
**Deep sea world**
We decided to visit deep sea world for a day out for our children and after a recommendation by one of our friends this is where we headed. The deep sea world is located under the forth rail bridge and is about an hour's drive from us and so we set off nice and early. It was very easy to find once we hit Edinburgh it was sign posted fairly well so there was no need for our sat nav and passing over the fourth bridge was a highlight for my children so they were excited before we even arrived. Once we arrived we found there was plenty of free parking available and it was not difficult at all to find a space and then we headed into the centre itself.
We found it was not too busy at all maybe because it was one of the hottest days we have had in summer this year but this meant there was only two people before us in the queue and we were able to go in almost instantly. We paid £42 for a family pass which is for two adults and two children between 3 and 15 which saved us around £2 on buying the tickets separately. As children under three and free we did not need to pay for our two youngest children. We were offered a guide book for £2.50 a book but we were sure we would be able to find our way around without one so decided not to purchase it. You can get a discount on line if you book ahead but as we did not decide until last minute where we were going we did not have the chance.
As you enter the centre you notice straight away how dark it is and although the tanks are lit up my children were a little scared at first especially as they could hear the sounds effects coming from the Amazon area but after five minutes this they began enjoying their visit and forgot about the darkness. There is a chance to get your picture taken by one of the staff members when you enter which you can purchase at the end of your trip.
The main area of tanks are situated right at the entrance as you enter the deep sea world there are open top tanks and these are where little ones can touch the creatures if there is a guide their and there are also a number of tanks with sea horses , crabs and of course fish. They also have different sections around the centre some of them are a little small but it is great to visit the amphibian areas and gaze at the frogs of all different colours and watch my children try and find the lizard that is hiding somewhere.
There is also an Amazon area which has sound and light effects which was rather interesting and my children loved the illusion of a thunder storm after they got over how loud the noise was. This is only a tiny area with three tanks but again there were information boards telling us all about the fishes we were able to see inside.
There are of course many different types of fish throughout the centre and there are information points explaining all about what the fish are, where they originate from and what they like in their tank and my children became really interested in the fish after originally only wanting to see the sharks.
**Shark tunnel and shark class room**
One of the best parts about the deep sea world for us was the shark tank although we did have to leave our pushchair at the opening as you cannot take them around the tunnel so it had to be left unattended at our own risk but this was not too much of a problem. The shark tank is rather impressive although a little small in width there are two different ways to view what's on offer. There is a conveyor belt to stand on which my children loved it added a little more excitement being guided around the tank but there is also a normal walk way if you wish to step off and inspect one area a little more closely or become sea sick from the moving conveyor belt and water around you.
As you make your way around the tunnel there is a voice over telling the children about all the sea creatures they see around them and we managed to see a few sharks swimming above us which my children loved after they realised there was no way of them getting through the glass. At the opposite side of the centre away from the sharks is a small room with a pull down projector with a film about sharks. This was open for us to go and have a look inside however I think during the school terms it is used for school trips. It was great for my children to sit and learn about the sharks but in all honesty after five minutes they became bored and wanted to go and see the seals.
For the hour we were there we managed to see two different demonstrations one when we first walked in with the interactive pools. This was great there was a diver I the pool telling us all about the different creatures and giving the children a chance to touch star fish but unfortunately I think every person that was visiting at the same time was there and we were right at the back of the group as we had just entered. We could still hear the staff and my children loved hearing about what the sea creatures liked to eat and their habitats.
As we decided to walk round for a second time there was a demonstration in the shark tank which promised divers feeding the sharks and generally entertaining the children so we made our way down with 10 minutes to go thinking we could get right at the front and actually get to see this time. We were wrong when we reached the tank the queue was leading out of the walkway and there was no way we could even get close so we gave up and left.
When you walk to the far end of the centre you can go out and see the seals in their very own pool it was rather quiet outside despite it being a lovely warm day and this meant we could get right to the front of the platform and watch the seals. My children thought it was amazing one was on the bank of the pool sunbathing and enjoyed watching the other seal swim around in the pool lifting his head up every now and again but they were a little worried about all the seal poop. There was rather a lot of it and this led to me having a twenty minute conversation with my son and daughter about how seals could poop in the water. The platform to view the seals is a little small and if it had been busier I am sure we would have struggled to get a decent view of them so if you went at peak time I suspect there would be a wait.
**Git shop cafe and extras**
When you exit the centre there is only one way out and this was accessed by the gift shop with a small pathway only big enough for a pushchair of course this meant everywhere little one turns there are toys. We allowed our children to have £5 each to choose a toy from the very large range available to limit the damage from our bank a little. Two of my children choose to purchase a little tub of sea related creatures with a play mat and in my opinion these were fairly reasonable at £3.99 each. My eldest son however took a lifetime to choose what he wanted jumping between different toys and ended up with a toy snake at £3.89 and it did seemed a little over priced for what he got but he was happy with it so that is all that matters.
As you finally get out of the gift shop you are then greeted by the cafe and although we did originally think we were going to eat here as it had large windows with views out to the forth bridge once we saw what was on offer we decided against it. There were sandwiches, rolls and crisps and lots of other cold food items but none of it seemed appetising and were definitely overpriced so we decided we would find somewhere else to eat instead.
Then finally as we left the cafe we were greeted by a nice lady who asked would we like to buy the picture that was taken as we entered the centre. This was presented in a little book which had three photos of us standing with sharks, fishes and under the forth rail bridge along with lots of information about the creatures we had just seen. We agreed to purchase the book and this cost us another £12 on top of everything else we had spent.
We found it fairly easy to walk around there were times when it was a little difficult with a pushchair and we did have to leave it unattended to pass through the shark tunnel but other than that it was fairly accessible. My children did enjoy the different areas and I like the information boards meaning you do not need to take part in a tour to understand the creatures a little better and my children loved hearing all about them.
The thing is it seemed very small, the walkways were small and although there were two sides of a barrier it just felt a little claustrophobic in there. My children ran into other children over and over again as there was not much space for excited minds to explore. We did find ourselves walking backwards and forwards trying to find something new to see and after an hour we had been around the whole place twice and there was nothing else to do. The staff were very helpful although there were not many around as you walk around the centre in general when we did come across them they were happy to help and tell the children all about the tanks around them.
Maybe we were expecting a little too much and we had a recommendation from our friend but overall we were disappointed. My son told me he wants to go back today and I thought oh good at least the children enjoyed it but then he informed me it was not to see the fishes that are boring as we have seen them all lots of times but I didn't have enough time in the gift shop.... I think that sums it up really my children were more excited about the forth bridge and gift shop than any other part of the centre and after an hour inside and nearly £70 later we will not be visiting again.
Deep Sea World
t: 01383 411 880
f: 01383 410 514
Adult (15+) £13.00 Child (age 3-14 years, under 3s go free) £8.75 Concession (OAPs, students, Carers) £11.00 Family (2 adults and 2 children) £42.00 Groovy Grandparents (2 concessions + 2 children) £38.00
I went to this attraction yesterday ( sat 29/5/10) and the first thing I would say is don't go on a bank holiday weekend !!!
Deep sea world is situated in North Queensferry which in in Fife and is sign posted on approach from to the Forth Road bridge, after crossing the bridge from the Edinburgh side, take the first turn off you will see a sign for deep sea world at the turn off , the sign also indicates it is the turn off for the Rosyth Cruise liner terminal when you have turned off just follow the brown signs which are quite prominent , from the fife side it is Junction 1. From Glasgow it took us about 1 hour to get to deep sea world via the M8 and the M90
Deep sea world allow you to buy tickets on line at http://www.deepseaworld.com/default.asp?css=1 this is also the web site for the attraction and gives some information about deep sea world, the only real benefit of buying your tickets on line is that you save 10% , but there is no pre paid ticket lane allowing you to get fast access at the attraction.
Ticket prices are as follows
Adult £12.00 ( online £10.80)
Child 3-14 £8.25 ( online £ 7.43) children under 3 get in for free
Family ticket £38.50 ( online £34.63) 2 adults and 2 kids
Concessions £10.25 ( online £9.23)
So what's it like?
First of all North Queensferry is a tiny fishing village , and really not designed to cope with the volume of traffic , deep sea world attracts , it is situated under the Forth rail bridge , in the middle of a housing estate .
Parking on site is free but due to the location of the site, it is a very small car park and when I arrived at 1pm it was full with no spaces this included the limited disabled spaces also full , so much so the coach parking area was turned into a car parking area.
There are pick nick tables to the right of the car park area which provide a view of the river forth , we took a pick nick with us , so will be unable to comment on the prices in relation to the café within deep sea world
I purchased our tickets on line and , had expected some form of queue jump till when we arrived at the attraction which is disabled friendly due to it being a sloping flat walk way , when we got to the entrance there is only one till so it really doesn't matter if you've pre-paid or not , you still have to wait to get the print out scanned and then be given further tickets
You then turn left into the aquarium its self , and are stopped to have your photo taken , which on leaving will be offered to you on sale , this is another money making venture in my opinion.
When you get into the aquarium area, be prepared for total chaos there is no evidence of crowd control , people wander about looking at the various types of fish and as such , it means those entering , are getting caught up with those leaving , there is a map in the guide book ( £2.50) but no one follows the map , the reason for this will become obvious as we go along in the review .
Various types of fish are on display, (and as an aside this is where dooyoo could adapt, allowing reviewers to post pictures in their reviews), these range from Piranhas to Stone fish, and be ready to jump out your skin when you see this one move! , Im not going to tell you but you won't think it's a fish; the name kind of gives it away 
At times you will struggle to see various fish as most people decide to go to the under sea area first and then come back so as I said previously the tanks can become a bit chaotic
After you have looked at all the various fish on display you then walk down under the River Forth , it is claimed by deep sea world that its 2km under the water , this was the most interesting but also again poorly organised part of the whole place , you go onto a moving walk way , which is covered by a plastic tunnel and glass walls , within this area there are some really fantastic sites , including Sharks !!! wh, in ich swim over your head , now if like me you can't swim and as such will never be able to dive , this is the closest you will ever get to a shark and they are amazing.
During the time when the fish and sharks are being fed , this is an accident waiting to happen , as the moving walk way continues to operate , but of course visitors want to see what's happening and decide to hang on to the railings and get off causing a bottle neck , for those who are unaware there is a crowd so more and more people pile in , however humans will never stop amazing me , having paid the entrance fee there are still those who go to these places and feel the need to run round not really looking at the sea life , it raises the question why bother going , in my opinion it would be better stopping the walk way and limiting the number of people in this area when the divers are in with the fish , the moving walk way isn't really disabled friendly , however there is a solid walk way to the side but as you can see with a crowd gathering it could be quite intimidating for a disabled person.
Moving now to the seal sanctuary which is situated outside the aquarium, I have to say that this again was quite disappointing for something that could have been really interesting , there are two seals which are basically penned in to a small area in some murky water , whilst this is claimed to be probably fresh river water , it looked very dirty and you could hardly see the seals , also there was no staff member on duty to explain why the seals were there , or what type of seals they were , nor what deep sea world was doing to preserve seals .
There is a shop on site, which in my opinion is a total rip off when you think that the price of a stuffed toy fish was £15.00 needless to say I did not buy any thing from the shop!!
I think deep sea world has become a victim of its own success, its on a site that's far too small to deal with the number of visitors it attracts, there is no real crowd control, put up a few arrows to guide people and even barriers and there would be less chaos at the exhibits.
There is no real point in buying your tickets on line apart from saving 10%
There was too few staff on duty to fully explain things like the seals when I visited, this is an opportunity lost and to me gives the impression that once you've paid to get in they couldn't really care about you
Although deep sea world is all on the flat , if you were a wheel chair user due to the amount of people mingling about , and un controlled children rushing about aimlessly , it may intimidate you as no real consideration is given for others .
Once you have been you will feel there is no need to return as in my opinion once is enough
Thanks for reading my review :)
Deep Sea world is a large aquarium located in Fife. It is under the Forth Road Bridge and embedded within the caves. Travelling from Edinburgh it is around a 20-30 minute drive.
As soon as you pull up to the caves there is a large car park which had sufficient space for a lot of vehicles as well as an area for coaches for large parties. There is a large path to go inside which is sheltered by an overhead type canopy.
Directly outside there is a few bits and pieces to look but the most popular was the speed boats in the water below. They cost £1 to have a shot but it did last a long while and kept my other half entertained for a while (LOL).
On entering there is a desk where you retrieve your tickets, as we were going for our sons 1st birthday we only had to pay for 2 adults which came to around £22. Once through the barrier you have your picture taken on a sea backround and then it's off to the different tanks.
There are various tanks with a variety of sealife and plaques describing what can be seen and what they eat/habitat and other useful information. A large 'feeling' tank allows children and adults supervised by staff to touch and feel various animals including starfish, I was a bit suprised that there were no hand washing/hand sanitisers available after touching the animals.
Aside from the tanks there were lots of sealife decorations and backdrops that were great for taking pictures against.
You then go down towards the large walk through tunnel which is meant to be one of the longest in the world at 112 metres long!!! Before going through no buggies are allowed and have to be left unsupervised at the buggy bay which I felt a bit uncomfortable about but it all worked out in the end when we came out and found it was still there.
In the tunnel there was a vast amount of sealife from sharks, lobsters, fish and other animals. There was an area to walk along freely as well as a conveyer belt style path to be taken along at an easy pace allowing you to take in the delights of the underworld. The good thing about the tunnel is that you are able to go round as many times as you like and will perhaps be guaranteed to see a different animal every time.
Although the tunnel is indeed the main attraction there is a lot more there to be occupied with.
After the tunnel there are various rooms which hold different creatures, one we went through had frogs and other animals from the rainforest.
Outside there is the seal pool and you are able to view the feeding times with them.
Other things which make the trip worthy is the cafe which had a large range of foods although we did spend a long time waiting to be served due to no staff being present. For a kids meal and 2 adult meals it cost just under £20 and was rather greasy and not great. The setting of the cafe however is lovely and looks onto the bridge and water and at the other side the seal pool.
The gift shop was great and filled with soft toys, novelty items, sticker and helium filled balloons. I got my son a huge shark with ''Deep Sea World'' on it for just £10!
At the end of the attractions next to the exit there are a few arcade type games and a booth where you can collect the phtots taken at the start, they came with 4 postcards and a larger photograph and code to download as many pictures as was desired. This all cost only £10 and like everything else was able to be paid using credit/debit card.
There is a childrens soft play area located on the other side of the carpark in a temporary building which is free admission with your ticket, I didn't however visit this so cannot comment on whether it is any good or not.
This was a great day out and my son loved it, we will most certainly be going back in the future.
Deep Sea World in North Queensferry under the iconic Forth Railway Bridge bills itself as Scotland's national aquarium and a fun filled venue for a family day out. The aquarium is easy to reach by car with ample free parking, a nearby railway station and bus service from Dunfermline. The first thing you will have to do when you arrive, depending on the time of year, is queue up for tickets. There are markers at various points along the queue telling you how long until you will reach the door, expect to wait up to an hour at peak times. You queue along the quarry which is supposed to hold seals but was empty the last time I visited. Spending ages in a queue is not the best way to start a visit anywhere and this is one of the many reasons that we do not visit anymore.
Once you get inside the first area you come to is a main hall containing many tanks of different types of sealife. This is also the location of a pool full of starfish, anemones and flatfish with regular talks and handling sessions. The talks are really interesting with a diver in the pool telling the visitor about the various inhabitants of the tank and answering questions from the audience.
There is a wide variety of marine life on display here. My favourite are the octopus which curl their legs around the objects in their tank and seem to merge with their surroundings. The seahorses are very different from how I imagined them to be swaying around their tanks. The kids will love the clownfish introduced after Finding Nemo became a big hit, just make sure that they don't try and stick their fingers into the piranha tanks!
The underwater tunnel is 112 metres long and holds over a million gallons of water enclosed safely under 6 inch thick glass panels making it one of the largest underwater tunnels in the world. The underwater aquarium is stocked with British fish like flatfish and mackerel and also houses the sharks which are from Mexico. You are carried along a walkway by a conveyor belt giving the impression of drifting along the seafloor and you are free to step off the belt at any time to take a closer look at anything which has caught your attention. The underwater area is divided into different habitats containing a diverse range of fish representing the different types of marine habitats found in Britain, for example huge eels live in an area with lots of rocks and caves for them to hide.
The tunnel is home to the sand tiger sharks which are obviously well fed as they don't feel the need to snack on their tank mates. There are regular shark feeding sessions where you can watch the divers in the tanks toss pieces of fish to these large creatures. There are talks accompanying these feeding sessions and the divers do demonstrations for the kids, for example blowing bubbles and making hand signals and waving at people. This is definitely the highlight of the visit.
The Amazing Amphibian exhibition is in a separate room and houses snakes, a small crocodile and tanks of frogs. The colourful little frogs are really interesting to watch with their bright colours and sticky pads on their feet letting them climb up the glass and it is hard to believe how poisonous they are.
The other main attraction is the Amazon Rainforest section which has nice exhibits with audio visual displays and unusual fish like cat fish. There are also electric eels with hands on exhibits all about electricity which are nice to see.
Once you have wandered around Deep Sea World you may well feel peckish and want to head to the café for a meal or snack. The café has huge windows with stunning views across the river Forth but this is about all it has going for it. The cafeteria style self service café has a range of sandwiches and hot meals and drinks. The food is unimaginative and poor quality with options like a kids chicken nugget meal which are massively overpriced and the café itself is far too busy and cluttered.
You need to pass the gift shop on the way out of the centre and here they have a range of plastic toys on display within easy reach of your kids so that they can pester you to buy them.
Deep Sea World is a major tourist attraction and while it has interesting exhibits it is not somewhere that I particularly recommend for a visit. It only takes an hour at most to go around the aquarium and see all of the fish, even going round the exhibits for a second time to squeeze some more value out of the day will only add another half an hour or so onto your visit. The ticket prices are extortionate for what is on offer, an adult ticket costs a whopping £11.75 and a child's ticket £8.00 so it works out as an expensive attraction to visit and not at all good value for a couple of hours entertainment. For around the same price you can visit either Edinburgh Zoo or Blair Drummond Safari Park and have a full day entertainment instead of just a couple of hours.
Deep Sea World also gets extremely busy during peak times with huge queues to get into the attraction and once you are inside it is very noisy and you will have to fight your way through the crowds to see all of the exhibits. I really think that it is one of the most over hyped attractions within Scotland and you get the feeling that they are only interested in extracting as much cash from the visitor as possible whether they enjoy themselves or not. Kids do enjoy Deep Sea World and on the plus side it is somewhere that you can visit on a cold and wet day but it is still very low down on my list of places to visit in the area.
Considering it is advertised as "Scotland's National Aquarium", I have to say that Deep Sea World at North Queensferry was a touch disappointing.
As you enter the aquarium it is full of promise. Outside the main door there are remote control speedboats in the water which were a big hit with the kids. Once you've bought your tickets and enter the aquarium, a member of staff takes your photo (which they later try and entice you to buy for £10!), and then you are left to your own devices. The tropical fish tanks in this area are beautifully lit and all my son could say was "Wow!" at every turn.
Heading down to the much anticipated tunnel, we were caught up in a talk about pirahna's by a member of staff which, to be honest, was a tad boring so we skipped through the crowds and headed for the tunnel.
There is a moving travelator on the floor to guide you round which was handy for tired little feet and kept the crowd moving at a steady pace. Promising start with plenty of sharks and various fish swimming all around. However, there was sections of the tunnel that were in complete darkness with absolute no sea creatures to be seen at all. Of course they can't control where the fish swim and it's to be expected that some sections would be busier than others, but a little light wouldn't have gone amiss so that the kids could actually try to look for some fish. Carrying on round the tunnel was much of the same, sharks and fish, sharks and fish... we went round the circuit twice as my son wanted to see more.
The shark dive was just about to start as we were in there but my son wasn't interested at all so we left to explore more of the aquarium.
So we head back up to where we started (must also point out that the whole centre could be laid out much better as there was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing... it didn't flow very well) and had a look in another room that had frogs and the likes... and not much else.
From here we headed to the Seal Sanctury which is just outside the back door. There is wooden decking leading you down to where the seals were with stairs and a ramp for prams/wheelchairs but be aware that the ground was VERY slippy and slimy due to the rain. Unfortunately when we got there, one seal was swimming underwater and the other one was sleeping so after 20 mins of no action we went back inside. I suppose if you timed it for when the feeds are done it would be more interesting but the kids were getting restless.
With not much left to investigate we headed for the cafe (where we were urged to buy the £10 photo/postcard pack, which we declined and received a "tut" from the member of staff). The food was very nice if a little pricey which was to be expected I guess.
We were pretty much only in there for about 90mins in total. Enjoyable in parts but not what it's hyped up to be.
My advice would be that if you are planning a visit to go when it opens in the morning then head somewhere else for lunch. We went in the morning and there was no queues whatsoever, we just walked straight in, but as we were leaving the queue was huge. Also if you go onto their official website you can print a voucher for £1 off each adult ticket!
There are already several reviews here on dooyoo that provide a good description of the attraction, so I will spare you this part.
But I am writing to make another point: I am rather amazed at the number of five star reviews of the Deepsea World. While I agree that it's an interesting place to visit, I think it's vastly overpriced, less so for what it has to offer, and more so for how much of a day out you can make of it.
Yes, it has some pretty good sharks in a tunnel, and the seals are good too (in fact, a saving grace), but overall you'd be hard pushed to spend more than two hours inside and it's likely to cost you 40 quid for a family of four (assuming you will resist the gift shop and the cafe).
I think what you make of the Deepsea World depends hugely on how old your children are, and whether you are looking for a pleasant day out, or a more intense "exhibition" type of attraction.
For older kids or teens who are looking for the exotic, weird and wonderful, it's a definitely a better choice than some of the tame country-park-with-a-few-goats-and-an-ostrich-round-a-playpark that seem to dot the part of Scotland I am living in.
However, for the younger children, the Deepsea world offers only limited interest (although my three year old was quite impressed by the sharks). They will be bored within the first few minutes of the divers' display, and there is no space for them to run or play. They can easily get lost inside, and the outside seals' area definitely demands that hands be held at all times.
For adults without children I think it offers the poorest value: at almost £12 a person it really is not worth it, unless you have a big thing about sharks.
Our visit (2 adults, 7 year old and an-almost 3 year old) was OK: not fantastic, but not vastly disappointing. However, we left home (an hour's drive away) in the morning and were back for a late lunch - and that included a stroll down to the river to admire the Forth Rail Bridge from close-up (in fact, a highlight of the trip for me).
After looking at the sharks in the tunnel and the (very good but small) display of the Amazonian fish, we had a distinct feeling of "is that it, then?????" and were only saved from the feeling of anticlimax by the seals' centre.
I WOULD still recommend going, but unless you combine it with something else, it's not more than a half-day out at the very most.
I am struggling again with the star rating here, as it really does depend on what you are after and what you are prepared to pay for a 20-minute shark show.
I will settle on 4 stars, although personally for me it was more of a 3 star visit, and I certainly won't be coming back for a while.
Deap Sea World is a large aquarium in Fife. It is in North Queensferry which is directly below the northern end of the famous Forth Bridge, about 20 minutes drive from Edinburgh. Our children (3 and 1) absolutely love it here and so far this year we've already visited 4 times!
So what is it? Deep Sea World is more than just an average aquarium! It has a huge amount of fish in various tanks, seals, feely pools, etc - all that you would expect really BUT it also has a huge glass tunnel that you can travel through via a conveyor. The tunnel really lets you feel as though you are entering the sea and you can see the fish up close doing what fish do! The best part about this is that there are quite a few sharks in the water and you really get to see them well. It's quite eerie to see a huge shark going right past your head but it's also amazing!! The tunnel is one of the longest in the world and apparently holds around a million gallons of water which is amazing enough before you even add in the fact that there's sharks in there!! There are lots of interesting facts posted around the tunnel too and sometimes (usually at feeding times when the divers are in with the fish and sharks) there will be a member of staff in the tunnel to tell you more about the different species, etc. The best thing about the tunnel is that you can go round as often as you want. This usually means that our 3 year old wants to go in around 6 or 7 times every time we go! And if you're feeling really brave you can even dive with the sharks! They even do children's dives!
The tunnel is no doubt the main attraction at Deep Sea World but there is also a lot of other things to see. As you enter the exhibition area there is a large open tank directly in front of you which has rays, starfish, etc in it. There are frequently members of staff in here to tell you more about the fish and they even let you stroke some of them - great for kids! There is also a large tank of pirahanas and various others like clown fish, seahorses, etc. but for me, the highlight of the tanks in this area is the Amazon display which actually rains on the fish and has the biggest cat fish I've ever seen! And the deadly tank which has the most dangerous species including a Stone Fish which, funnily enough, looks exactly like a stone and is quite hard to find!
Outside, you will find the seals (don't forget to go out to see them being fed) and there is also an exhibition of frogs and reptiles which has some amazingly coloured, exotic and no doubt very dangerous frogs!
Anything else? There is also a large cafe which looks out to the seals and Forth Bridge. The food here is standard sort of stuff - filled baguettes, chips, baked potatoes, cakes, etc and isn't cheap but it's really not too bad and the view is nice! And you couldn't go to somewhere like this without checking out the gift shop (well, I couldn't anyway!) - lots of lovely soft toys (sharks, fish, frogs, animals, etc), games, pencils, mugs - the usual sort of stuff really. Again, not cheap but there are some nice mementos.
There is also now a children's soft play are in a temporary building in the carpark. Admission is free with your Deep Sea World ticket. The soft play isn't huge but has enough to keep kids amused while parents grab a coffee from the small cafe bar.
How much does it cost? Admission prices of £11.75 for adults and £7.75 for children (under 3's are free) makes Deep Sea World one of the most expensive attractions in the area. However, given the amount it must cost to keep the tunnel, tanks, etc maintained and the amount there is to see (we could easily spend most of a day here) I don't think the price is too bad really. To be honest, we live fairly locally and our children love it so much, we're considering buying an annual ticket!
It was another wet weekend and another 48 hours of the kid complaining they are bored despite the ridiculous mound of toys that surround them. BY Saturday night I could take no more and was trolling the internet in desperation looking for something we could do the following day. It was the picture of the seal that first captured my attention. Believe it or not, not all Canadians think Seals are only good for culling. The picture was sufficiently soppy enough to convince my other half that the trip was a good idea and so it was planned.
Our intention was to be out of the house by 09:30 at the latest, but as is the norm it was closer to 11:30 however, the five of us (me, my partner, our 3 year old son Kyle, his brother Jordan and their cousin Darren) finally managed to make it there with only one emergency toilet stop.
All displays include descriptions of the animal, their habitat, feeding habits etc and include some very interesting trivia on each species.
*Main Hall *
When you enter the centre you find yourself in a dark hall with beautiful fish swimming in majestic tanks of all shapes and sizes, darting through the delicate coral as if dancing. Some of the fish you can expect to see include; Yellow Saffin Tang, Blue Damsel, Blue Spotted Humbug and French Angel Fish. We all agreed our favourite was the Finding Nemo Fish.
Also on display are tanks of angry looking Piranhas, a variety of crustations including bright blue crabs, star fish and a number of smaller shark species. A woman in a wet suit walked amongst the small sharks and held one for visitors to touch. My youngest was the only of the three boys brave enough to touch the angel shark and was very excited to tell his nursery friends all about it.
There is a great display of exotic frogs. Kyle was amazed by the bright colours, particularly the tiny, electric blue Poison Dart Frog.
The tunnel is what makes this place shine. It stretches almost 120 metres, with a moving floor that will carry you slowly under the watery home of the sharks, eels and other slippery creatures including the Tiger Shark and the Sand Shark. We were lucky enough to see two divers feeding the sharks while a guide explained what was happening and the feeding habits of the animals being fed. It was fantastic to see the sharks swarming only a couple feet in front of us and the divers were great about stopping, waving and interacting with the kids.
Incidentally, I am considering getting one of the acrylic tunnels built into my home. At 6.5cm thick and curved, it makes things behind it seem 30% smaller than they actually are - Who needs to diet!
I was unfortunately, disappointed by the fabulous seal enclosure the centre boasts if. All we found was one seal swimming around a small murky pool no bigger than my living room. It only peaked its head out once and although he was lovely, the boys were soon shifting from foot to foot wanting to move on. I suspect it is a hit or miss situation with the seals as they rear young pups to be released back into their natural habitat. If you go expecting a circus show of seals bouncing red balls on their noses, and flipping 10 feet out of the water (like I must admit I did) you will be disappointed.
This is an added feature from April through until October of this year. Basically, it is a port-a-cabin next to the parking lot with a few models of dinosaurs and fossils. There are interactive (button-pushing) fact boards for each display and some realistic sound effects to accompany them. The exhibit is thrown in as an extra and doesnt cost anything. As a freebee its good, as a paid attraction, perhaps not.
Deep Sea World is located in North Queensferry, Fife and is situated just beneath the Forth Rail Bridge. It is easily accessible by car at just a mile from the M90 and is a manageable 45-50 minute drive from Glasgow and roughly 25 minutes from Edinburgh.
Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm
Saturday and Sunday and bank holidays 10am to 6pm
Children of 3 and above: £6.50
Family (2 adults, 2 Children) £29.50
Groovy Grandparents (2 concessions and 2 children): £26.50
The centre claims to be fully accessible to those with disabilities although I am not convinced a wheelchair could easily fit onto the rotating walkway in the underwater tunnel, however it could be that arrangements can be easily made with staff. I was impressed and encouraged to note that carers of those with disability are eligible for free entry.
The restaurant proved to be a very expensive waste of time and I would advise anyone to either plan on visiting one of the small cafes or pubs located in the village at the foot of the Deep Sea World entrance or alternatively, if blessed with decent weather, bring a picnic to enjoy at one of the picnic tables at the centre entrance.
I stood in queue for 20 minutes while Rikki patiently entertained the three hungry boys. When I finally got to the front of the queue I found out there were no baguettes or sandwiches left, no baked potatoes and only two servings of the hot food option left either a soggy looking pizza or ironically, fish and chips. I ended up with a kids chicken nugget meal and the chicken was hard. I dont mean, just a little over-cooked. I tapped the table with it and was amazed it didnt collapse under the strain. My stepsons fish was inedible and he is a human rubbish bin. My son had one of the kids meals. It consisted of a hot dog roll with one slice of processed cheese, yoghurt that was on its last day of the best by date and looked dodgy enough for us to throw out, an orange juice and the only thing he went near, milky-way stars. This, along with a plate of chips, two fruit shoots and a pack of mini-pringles came to £17.85. Even more shocking, a man at the till ahead of me noticed the standard pack of Walkers Crisps he had bought being rung up on the till as £1.65. There appeared to be no one over 15 working there and when I mentioned that the serviette dispenser was empty I had thought they would have refilled it but they didnt/ Tables were piled high with trays and left over food which was spilling onto the floor. I accept it was a busy day being a bank holiday weekend but there were plenty of employees standing around with a glazed look in their eyes doing nothing more than propping a wall up. I dont expect silver service, but the seals outside could have provided better service!
***Was it worth it***
As I looked into the back seat of our car on our way home to find three boy sleeping soundly, I knew that, yes it had been worth it and the day had been a success. It is a constant struggle to find things that are entertaining for our 3 year old right up to our 1o year old and Deep Sea World seemed to hold their interest well. Who knows, they may have even learnt something!
In a far off land, in a wee hidden corner, under a large railway bridge lies the sleepy Hamlet of North Queensferry. Life in this little corner is sedate, until a train thunders overhead as it crosses one of the most magnificent bridges ever built (The Forth Railway Bridge). At the base of one of the huge pillars that hold up this bridge, is a rather non-descript car park, but don't let appearances be deceptive! Underneath this carpark lies a magical place full of weird and wonderful aquatic life, fish and creatures of all shapes and sizes houses in a wonderland of Perspex and "mood" lighting. Deep sea World is an attraction that the county of Fife can be proud of, it is also an attraction that should hold it's head in shame at the prices charged in the restaurant!, but that's just me being mean, the main attraction is a joy to behold. (Just take sandwiches and a flask with you and blindfold the kids whenever they venture near the shop too) I paid a reasonable (or so I thought) £24.50 for Myself, my wife and the three kids to enter this great place, I was expecting to pay more so I was pleasantly surprised. As soon as you push your way through the turnstile you are met with huge tanks of aquatic life, pirahana, octopus (octupii?), tropical fish, sea water fish, crabs, molluscs and loads more. All the tanks were well laid out and the creatures within them were all visible, unlike some places where you can spend ages looking for a creature that is so well hidden you begin to wonder if they really exist! (try finding some of the snakes and reptiles in Edinburgh zoo and you will know what I mean) The best part of Deep sea world is the underwater safari. You have to walk down a ramp that seems to spiral deeper and deeper until you emerge into a cave like place. A moving walkway type thing carries you through a Perspex tunnel as if you were walking under the sea, above and around you ar
e surrounded by a huge array of different fish species from tiny little silver fish to the rather more substantial sharks. It is rather unnerving to look up and see a ten foot shark, with protruding razor sharp teeth, glide silently over your head. Unnerving yes, but possibly the coolest thing to see too. During the time your gliding through the Perspex tunnel a staff member gives a commentary on the fish swimming around and at regular intervals there is the added bonus of seeing a couple of divers go in and start feeding the fish and the sharks. The diver who feeds the fish and sharks sensibly wears a kind of chainmail glove, apparently it's not only the sharks who can mistake a finger for a titbit. On Saturdays and Sundays, if you put your name in at reception quick enough, you can be lucky and get picked to join the divers in feeding the fish, if your picked you get tuition and safety talks before jumping in, but I think that is one pleasure I would give a miss, I just don't fancy swimming with sharks, not when I have saw close at hand those frightening teeth! Another feature which impressed me was the regular daily talks, or lectures that they give. These seemed to be very popular. Members of staff gives a talk , accompanied with video footage and live specimens, on the secrets of the deep, this is included in the price of entry but places are limited though they are held on a regular basis throughout the day. All in all Deep sea world is an excellent place to spend the day, we usually have a nightmare time when we go on a family outing,(one of our sons has ADHD and is a handful at the best of times) but we all had a really good day there, there was so much to see and so much to keep the kids interested that the tantrums and disruptions were held in abeyance until we headed home in the car. Deep Sea World is situated in Fife, in the little village of North Queensferry. If your driving, head fo
r the forth road bridge (80P toll) and follow the signs, it's really only about five minutes drive when you leave the bridge. If the car park is full (500 places), there is an overflow car park about half a mile from the village with a free shuttle bus to get you there. For more detailed info visit //http www.deepseaworld.com Thanks for reading.
During my Easter break my family and I went to this excellent fishy underground and we all really enjoyed it! I start with the ground floor first. There are lots of tanks with different water going animals such as Octopus, Seahorse and Angelfish. Also there was an open pool slit into three sections. The first section had crabs in it, the second had dogfish and the third had starfish and other types of rock pool animals. Every hour there was someone with a wetsuit in one of the pools giving everyone the chance to touch the various types of animals, while telling the audience about it. So this certain area was both fun and intellectually stimulating! That’s why it was one of my favourites! There was also an (fake) Amazonian rainforest that has a small open pool with huge fish such as catfish and this other black one that hoovered up the gravel on the sea bed, took all the food that was contained in the mouthful and then spat the remaining gravel out. This rainforest had all the features of one: Thunder, lightning, torrential rain and the frog’s chorus. There was an electric eel, which was in an especially designed tank to record the electricity being conducted by the eel. There was a row of red lights outside of the tank that showed what the eel was doing – cruising, hunting or killing. There were two other interactive systems. Both showed how much electricity you were producing (coming from the eel idea). One was a circle that had blue electricity all over it and when you placed your hands on it the blue lines would go to your hand (I have no idea what this is called or how it works so it would be much appreciated if anyone could tell me! Thanx!) . The other was a mould carved to the shape of some hands and you place your hands in it to see how much electricity your generating. A meter showed this on the wall. That’s nearly all of the ground floor covered but I’ll come back to it later. Now go
ing down to underground level. This is where most of the action happens in the tunnel underwater (also under the car park). The tunnel has a very useful moving walkway with a panel at the side to accommodate disabled users. You make your way round under the Olympic-sized swimming pool going through different sections with sharks (one of which was pregnant), eels and rays. From 1:00 until 4:00 every hour was feeding time which is very good. Every two days the sharks were fed but unfortunately I didn’t get to view this experience! Overall the tunnel was even better than the last time I went! On the ground floor there is a really great shop. It has a very wide range of fishy products for all to buy. Things such as cuddly toys, necklaces, books and so on. Nothing really appealed to me apart from a little souvenir turtle, which was only £2:99! In conclusion I would like to say that this one of the best places to have some fun on rainy day! I’ve been there so many times and haven’t got bored yet! The prices are reasonable and compared to some theme parks then it’s quite cheap really. I advise everyone to go there whether you go on your own or with someone. It’s great fun!!
So – you’ve always wanted to go diving and see what’s under the sea, but maybe you’re like me, and you don’t have either the money, the guts, or the time that learning to dive would take. If so, then Deep Sea World is the place for you. It’s situated in North Queensferry just under the Forth rail bridge, on the Fife side. There’s plenty of car parking, and it’s well signposted, so you won’t get lost on the way! It costs £6.25 for an adult ticket and £3.95 for a child. This does seem quite a lot, and a bit more than I had expected (still…I wasn’t paying, so didn’t complain!) However, I do think it was worth it, and I hope that by the end of my opinion you agree! Deep Sea World is an attraction which bears more than a passing resemblance to the many sea life centres which are dotted round the country, so if you have enjoyed visiting them, then chances are, this will appeal to you. This however is an independent organisation and is in no way associated with them, despite the similarities. There is also one significant feature here which I don’t think any of the sealife centres have. This is the best bit of the whole place – the fact that you can go on what Deep Sea World terms an ‘underwater safari’. It’s a fantastic experience, and something I thoroughly enjoyed. But what is it exactly? Well, basically, it is a travelator (similar to the sort you get at airports), taking you through a long, twisty tunnel, below what can only be described as an indoor ocean! Above and all around you is water, it feels as if you are actually in the sea yourself, without all the hassle of breathing apparatus and getting wet! You can see enormous sharks, eels, rays, and many other large aquatic creatures and fish around you – it is truly amazing. The ‘indoor sea’ is divided into five main sections – one for example being a wreck, where yo
u can see the sharks swimming round a wrecked ship, which was dragged up from the sea bed and put in here. Another section is full of tubes and holes, which is where the conger eels choose to live. The plastic between you and the sea appears very thin, but in fact is 6cm thick. This has the effect of reducing the size of everything that you see – in reality, everything is a third larger than you perceive. This meant that the largest shark in there, called Stella, was in reality 10 feet long – massive! She was called Stella as there was a mark on her back, looking like the letter ‘S’. We discovered all this during a talk given in this area. Talks take place regularly throughout the day, and you can also watch the divers going down to feed the sharks. They have some sort of walkie talkie/communication device so they tell you what they’re up to whilst you watch. I really enjoyed this attraction (it's the closest I've ever been to a shark!), and went round a couple of times – there’s no limit on the number of times you can go round the travelator, and if you don’t like the idea of a moving walkway, you can follow the path round beside it, which is just a plain carpet walkway – not as fun though! Be careful of your children on this, for the sake of fellow visitors as much as them, the children who kept trying to run backwards on the travelator got in my way and irritated me! Unfortunately, I had the misfortune to visit Deep Sea world on the same day that many school children had chosen to…grrrr! In addition to this underwater safari, there’s a lot more to see here. There’s a giant touchpool for example, where you can pick up starfish, sea anemones, urchins, and other sea creatures. It’s so big that a member of staff in a wetsuit stands in there to give information and advice, and to make sure that the creatures are not mistreated, which is good. This exhibit
is more for children, but don’t worry, there’s plenty here to suit adults as well. Take the rainforest exhibit for example. This simulates a day in an Amazonian rainforest, in 12 minutes, with thunder, rain, darkness, light and a chorus of frogs. The special effects here are brilliant, really helping to create the atmosphere of a rainforest. Some of the smaller children cried in this however – the sounds of the thunder and flashes of lightning scared them. There are also plenty of information boards to explain about the importance of rainforests, and the fish and wildlife you are likely to find there. These are written in a very readable style, full of fascinating facts, and suitable for all ages. Did you know that fish actually live on the floor of a rainforest? I never did! Other notable features in Deep Sea World include the display of tropical fish, in an array of brilliant colours – almost fluorescent. They are in huge, well-designed tanks, and can be viewed from all angles. It’s possible to spend hours simply gazing at them swimming by and is very calming as well. I used to have some fish myself until they died when a friend looked after them while I was away and seeing these has made me want some more! There are many, many other fish to see – rays, electric eels, piranhas, octopuses and angelfish being some of my personal favourites. There are also some interactive exhibits – one that I tried was to see how much electricity I had in my body compared to an electric eel, by putting my hands on to two different hand prints. The eel tank itself also had a meter on it, so you could see just how much electricity the eels were giving off – depending whether they were cruising (their normal state), hunting, or killing. Apparently once they’ve discharged all their electricity, it takes a couple of days for them to fully recharge. The amphibian area, which explains the evolut
ion, life cycle and different types of amphibian also had some touch screen computers to find out further information. Again in this section, there was a lot of information to read, but excellently written, and well presented. The level of detail may be too high for the children to deal with, but they would still enjoy watching the frogs and toads. Finally, another special feature of Deep Sea world was the free behind the scenes tour we went on. You need to sign up for this at reception, and it takes you to the incubation and quarantine areas, showing you the new arrivals, and giving some background information about the visit. There were also some snakes behind the scenes – weird to find them here, but apparently they had been rescued, and the staff had taken pity on them! Overall then, a great place to visit. The underwater safari was my favourite attraction here, but the rainforest came a close second! I highly recommend Deep Sea World, and it is suitable for all ages, being fun and educational – just make sure you hang on to the kids on the travelator! WEBSITE is at www.deepseaworld.com