London Aquarium - Days out in London
The London Aquarium is one of the largest aquariums in Europe. It is situated on the South Bank of the River Thames and is handy for Waterloo and Westminster stations. At the time of writing the Aquarium is open between 10 am and 6 pm, seven days a week. Extended opening times are in place in summer.
The aquarium gives children the chance to see a wide variety of sea life and fresh water fish.
Home to 500 Different Species
The aquarium is home to some 500 different species. These are housed in around fifty different displays. The displays consist of two main tanks, plus numerous smaller ones. The two main tanks are amongst the largest in the UK. The biggest tank is the Pacific which holds approximately 1 million litres of water. The slightly smaller Atlantic tank holds 750,000 litres of water. The remaining smaller tanks hold between 1,000 litres to 70,000 litres of water.
The London Aquarium has three floors and has 14 different themed zones. Children get a chance to interact with the exhibits at the public feeding, diving displays and touch pools.
The main attractions are sharks, stingrays and clownfish (a la Finding Nemo). The sharks on display are Sand tiger, Brown, Nurse and Zebra sharks. You can also see moray eels, lionfish, octopus, jellyfish and sideways walking crabs amongst many other species. There are more than 40 sharks in total with 12 different species on display.
If you time your visit right you could find yourself watching a team of divers feeding the sharks their diet of fish and octopus. There are also regular talks to explain more about the different types of aquatic life housed by the aquarium.
As well as being an enjoyable experience, your children can learn a lot about marine life during your visit. In addition to general information about the different underwater creatures there is also a Shark Academy.
Is the London Aquarium Family Friendly?
In fact the London Aquarium is family friendly in general. You can push a buggy round easily. The walkways are wide enough and there are lifts to each different level. Nappy changing facilities are also available. Disabled access and toilets are available too.
Conservation, Research and Breeding
There are a range of conservation, research and breeding programs in place at the aquarium. If you would like to play a part in supporting these initiatives then you may be interested in the Adopt a Fish program. A variety of different species can be adopted including sharks and rays.
No Eating and Drinking
One point to take into account before your visit is that the London Aquarium has a strict no eating and drinking policy.
Suggested Visiting Time
Obviously everyone will go round the aquarium at their own pace, but I would suggest setting aside a minimum of two hours to explore the attraction fully. More time will be required if you take advantage of the talks and decide to watch the feeding displays.
The Aquarium is also available for group tours and birthday parties.
More details including current prices and opening times can be found by visiting the official website: London Aquarium.