“ Address: Marine Parade / Weston-Super-Mare / Somerset BS23 1BE / United Kingdom / Tel: 01934 613361 „
We visited the aquarium at Weston-Super-Mare in February. We had some Tesco Clubcard vouchers so had transferred them into money off tickets for the aquarium (incase you didn't know, your Clubcard vouchers are worth up to 4x their face value if you transfer them online!). As a family, we quite like aquariums, last year we visited both the Sea Life Centre in Weymouth and Blue Reef in Portsmouth so thought we would go somewhere different. We were all looking forward to our trip until my best friend told us that we would be done in 10 minutes! Therefore, we looked for something else to do in the afternoon planning to go here in the morning. After all, we had £20 worth of vouchers so we may aswell use them!
The aquarium is easy to find, it is right on the sea front and is built on a pier which was an added interest. Although there is no parking for the aquarium itself, there is beach parking right next to it. This was good value (we paid £1.50 for up to 3 hours) but it is worth noting that these were winter prices and in the summer it is probably dearer. It is probably also thinking that in the summer the beach will be a lot busier so it may well be more difficult to park.
You access the aquarium up a long slope. From what I have seen I would say that this place is wheelchair accessible but if you are planning a visit it would be worth phoning ahead in advance to check if you need to know this information for certain. We entered the aquarium through the gift shop and were greeted by a man who was very friendly and polite, he accepted our vouchers no problem and also gave the girls a little scratch card quiz to complete on their way around.
The first section of the aquarium was filled with a few tanks with various fish in, there were viewing ports for the children to view some small sharks. In here there were also your everyday fish and to be honest, it wasn't that interesting. Following the aquarium round we were greeted by a ceiling high tank in the middle of the room which was filled with piranhas, these were obviously more interesting and we spent some time looking at these. In this room there were a few other tanks, namely a large one (with a Dory in!) and a number of other brightly coloured tropical fish, some seahorse and there were also some clownfish (Nemo's!).
Next was their Ray Room. Rays are my favourite part of the aquarium but I have to admit, I was not too impressed with the rays. Although they had a lovely large tank and there were a few rays in there, they were not very active and they just sat on the bottom. This was hugely disappointing for us as my niece loves it when they come to the top and also loves to see the bottom of them. This meant she got bored very quickly and was keen to move on.
Finally, there was the underwater tunnel, an attraction that features in a number of aquariums these days. Again, I was looking forward to this part of the aquarium but I was disappointed as there were not many fish in there and they again, weren't very active. You could also see the windows from other viewing points which to me suggests they are recycling their fish-making you think you have seen more than you actually have! Here you could see that rays and the sharks but there wasn't a lot going on.
This was the end of the aquarium - our visit took 30 minutes with us really trying to do our best to dawdle. The girls were not impressed and asked to go back to Blue Reef in Portsmouth next time.
At the end of the aquarium there was the restaurant, gift shop and toilets. There was also a small arcade area. The restaurant was very quiet (as was the aquarium) but there seemed to be quite a few things available and it was all reasonably priced. The toilets were clean and there was quite a lot in the gift shop though a lot of it was useless tat. To give you an idea of prices, we bought the girls a pencil and a small notebook each and it came to £4.40 (£2.20 each) so not too bad really.
It is worth noting that there were a couple of talks going on through the day but due to us only being able to burn half an hour here, there wasn't really much to stick around for. If you are planning a visit, it might be worth phoning ahead to find out the times of the talks if you are interested in this.
Sequarium is open every day from 10am, it closes at 5pm (last admission is 4pm). However, it is closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Admission prices are as follows:
Children:£5.50(age 3-16 years)
Disabled:£6.00(with 1 carer free)
The contact details are as follows:
Tel: 01934 613361
Overall, I doubt we will visit the aquarium again. It wasn't so bad for us as we had £20 in vouchers meaning effectively it only cost us £3.00. I would not have been happy if we had paid the full price of £23.00 for the 4 of us. I just didn't feel there was much there at all and my friend was right, there really isn't a lot to see there. It was a nice way to burn some time but I just didn't think it was worth the money for the time spent there and what was on display. However, if you are just paying for yourself or you too have some vouchers, it is a nice but small aquarium. If you have access to transport, I would recommend visiting a Blue Reef aquarium instead.