Happy Sunday, once again, Bristots Gang! We’re back, with another instalment. This time, something less familiar to us as we’ve only just visited for the first time! This week we are reviewing Bristol Aquarium , having visited it just last Sunday on Mother’s Day.
Darcey absolutely loves animals, which won’t come as a surprise to most toddler-owners out there.I think kids, generally, do get a huge sense of curiosity and excitement from animals, which is lovely to watch. We also keep Malawi Cichlids at home so Darcey has always been fascinated by fish, too. We decided on the Aquarium, as we didn’t have the whole day to fill so we wanted something that would nicely complete a morning or afternoon but would still allow us some time to take my Mum out for lunch before or after. Bristol Aquarium is situated on the Harbourside, not too far from @ Bristol, which makes it really easy to find and incredibly accessible. I booked online as there is a small online discount and was able to gain entry just by showing the ticket on my phone, which I always appreciate as we don’t have a printer.
This, as far as aquariums go, is the best one we’ve visited by quite a long way. I always find aquariums fairly pricey, particularly as they are never big enough to fill an entire day, and this one isn’t an exception to that rule. At £14.50 an adult and £9.75 a child, it is something that for many families would be an occasional treat rather than a frequent occurrence but I genuinely felt that we got our money’s worth here.There are so many different elements to the aquarium, as you snake your way slowly up to the top of the exhibits and then discretely make you way back down to the stunning coral reef at the end.
The indoor/outdoor style of this one is great for keeping little ones guessing and Darcey loved exploring the rainforest as much as she found it really exciting finding her way around the dark indoors. I especially loved the Mighty Amazon exhibit where we got to see turtles and sting rays lapping up on the side of the pools, whilst a lazy blue lobster cruised its’ way along the river bed. Darcey was awestruck by the colours and the sounds of the gently lapping water and I must admit, we were all enjoying it, too!
Another awesome thing about Bristol Aquarium is that it sets these water dwellers within the context of our home town. One of their exhibits; UK Waters, is housed in a mock up ship wreck and there are lots of industrial relics around, with a beautiful mural of Bristol in the background. I really liked this nod to our home town, and I can imagine having some lovely conversations with Darcey about it when we revisit as she gets a little older.
Finally, they save the best ’til last and give you little sneak peeks of this incredible coral reef tank on three different levels; you can look down into it, walk underneath it and stare right at it on a ceiling to floor viewing wall right before the end of the aquarium trail. Darcey was utterly enthralled by the colours and movements of these fish and we had to prise her away from the living TV at the end of it. I said to Nath, actually, that I’d far rather a wall of fish than a TV any day!
- Where is Bristol Aquarium? Anchor Rd, Bristol BS1 5LL
- When is it open? 10am – 5pm every day, closing on Christmas Day
- How much does it cost? A little on the steep side: £14.50 for adults, £9.75 for children. Under 3s are free. Buy online for slight reductions in these prices.
- What facilities are on site? A restaurant, shop, toilets and baby change.
- Is it pushchair/wheelchair accessible? Yes – many of the exhibits might be better seen if the child is out of the pushchair but it would be easy to manoeuvre around.
- Is there parking? We parked in the Casino car park, just down the road on the Harbourside. Charges do apply, though.
Overall, we had a thoroughly lovely morning at the Aquarium and we’ll definitely be revisiting. It’s definitely one for children as the colours and sounds are so captivating! Let us know how you get on!
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