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Top 5 Aquariums in the UK

26 November 2022

Take a deep breath as we reveal where your family can embark on a magical deep-sea adventure. With dozens of UK aquariums to choose from, we’ve selected these ones for their unique experiences. 


Sure, this aquarium isn’t the biggest on the list, but if you’re in the capital then SEA LIFE London is the best place for deep-sea encounters. 

Their ‘Ocean Invaders’ zone is the largest jellyfish exhibition in the UK, and will show you how these mysterious creatures take over huge areas of ocean. It’s the closest thing to an alien invasion you’ll see. 

This aquarium is also home to lots more awesome creatures, including crocodiles, sharks, penguins and octopuses. Will your kids be brave enough to take on the Rainforest Adventure?

The Deep, Hull

You won’t see much in the murky waters of the Humber Estuary, but there are all kinds of crazy creatures in The Deep, situated on the riverbank.

The star attraction is undoubtedly the ‘Endless Ocean’ tank, one of the deepest in Europe. 

Here you’ll find sharks, rays and turtles all trying to avoid the deadly blade of the fantastically freaky Green Sawfish, the only ones in the UK. They must be seen to be believed. Be sure to see feeding time, when daring divers hand-feed the beasts!

Your kids will also come face to face with thousands of other fish and creepy crawlies from all over the world.

SEA LIFE Brighton

The South Coast of England is home to several stunning aquariums, with Weymouth and Plymouth also boasting world-class underwater experiences. 

But we chose SEA LIFE Brighton for its unique history. Opened in 1872, it’s the oldest working aquarium in the world! Nowhere else on Earth will you see tropical fish gliding beneath grand Victorian arches. A truly surreal experience. 

Families of up to six people can also take a glass-bottom boat ride across the ocean tank, getting up close and personal with colossal turtles and stunning sharks. 

National Sea Life Centre, Birmingham

Believe it or not, the heart of England is where you’ll find the most immersive deep-sea experience in the UK. Your astonished kids won’t know where to look as they walk through the country’s only 360° underwater tunnel, surrounded on all sides by majestic sea creatures. 

And the new multi-million pound Mammal Rescue Facility brings them face-to-face with the fabulously furry sea otters. 

With over two thousand animals, you’ll also see sharks, octopuses, clownfish and even a colony of penguins. Be on the lookout for fluffy little chicks. 

SEA LIFE Loch Lomond

If you’re in Scotland and feel like an underwater adventure, we don’t recommend a dip in the chilly lochs. Instead, head to SEA LIFE Loch Lomond, situated right on the edge of the loch and surrounded by breathtaking views. 

The ‘Bay of Rays’ tank is home to some fascinating native species of ray, such as the mischievous Cownose ray. You’ll be amazed by the variety of creatures found on British shores. 

The kids can also stroke some splendid starfish in the Rockpool Creatures exhibit. 

Wherever you are in the UK, your family’s next unforgettable underwater journey isn’t too far away.

Looking for some land animals too? Check out our list of the top zoos in the UK.

Photo by Tim B Motivv on Unsplash

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