Neil and I recently visited Bournemouth where we spent a morning at the Bournemouth Oceanarium.
The Oceanarium sits on Bournemouth Sea Front, right on the beach – the absolute perfect place for an aquarium.
An adult ticket will cost you £12.25 and this entitles you to return to the aquarium as many times as you like on that day. There is also a little cafe on site serving hot food, snacks and drinks. The cafe overlooks the beach.
It is a relatively small aquarium but quite nice and compact – you get to see alot and there are lots of viewing platforms in different places so you can really see the fish and things from lots of different angles.
One of the first things we came across was the otters! The otters were lovely – making cute little barking noises, trying to eat each others faces. There were lots of horrible children here, along with their equally horrible parents, pushing you out of the way and banging on the glass. Neil and I moved to the other end of them and hilariously, all the otters followed so I got a front row seat to watch them play!
I really enjoyed the penguins. You can walk along the top of their enclosure above the water and then after, walk underneath so you can see them diving (and falling in).
The penguins quite quickly accepted me as their leader, so its only a matter of time before we take over the world.
The aquarium is laid out really nicely, so you can stand above a tank, then walk underneath it, through it and around it. You really get to see all the different fishy species from different angles, which makes it really fascinating.
Neil made friends with a ray and I had fun in the “deep zone” hiding from a scary eel and playing with the U.V lights!
One of the best things I saw was a very cheeky turtle, he looked to be having a whale of a time and I watched him for quite a while.
The Oceanarium at Bournemouth is a lovely place to spend a few hours. Disabled access is good, allowing you to travel between all the floors and not miss anything, having said that, floor space is not huge so if it was busy I think you would struggle to easily get a wheelchair around. There wasn’t a huge amount of seating but there is a cafe downstairs and a seating area next door to the penguins – you can sit and watch them through the windows! Parking is not that close but there is a drop off point right next to the aquarium.
The gift shop was a bit rubbish and I love a good gift shop so that was a little disappointing. We had a very nice morning and would definitely recommend visiting.
Have you been to the Oceanarium? What did you think?