The Deep aquarium, Hull

NO visit to Hull is complete without going to the Deep – one of the UK’s most spectacular aquariums, with more than 3,500 fish and stunning marine life.

We’ve been several times thanks to the fact you can pay once and get an annual pass for free, making it very cost-effective.

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I often go with my with my eight-year-old nephew, six-year-old niece, four-year-old son and one-year-old daughter and they all love it there.

At their ages, it’s all about running around in the large open spaces and pressing their faces against the glass to look at the fish, whereas when I’ve been with older children, they have really enjoyed the interactive learning zones and reading up on the sea creatures.

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From babies to adults, there is something for everyone and its hard to tear them away from watching.

The Deep is dedicated to informing visitors about the world’s oceans and the challenges they face.

TIP: There’s a car park on site which costs £2 per car for a four hour period.

It operates as an education and conservation charity, with all money made being reinvested back into pioneering research and new exhibits.

If you’ve not seen the gentoo penguins yet, that really is a must. There are several different viewing areas, so you can see them in the Kingdom of Ice and below swimming in the water.

The Lagoon of Light remains my favourite area. Here you can see the underwater reef at the tropical lagoon, teeming with hundreds of colourful fish.

Over in the Endless Ocean, trained divers carry out animal feedings at 2pm daily. We were lucky enough to catch the show and the kids were fascinated to be able to see the divers so close, feeding the sharks. You can imagine the questions that followed!

The presentation was really interesting and certainly captured their imaginations. We learned why the sharks don’t eat the other fish.

We were also lucky enough to take part in the touch pool sessions, which take place several times a day.

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The kids were really excited to see the guides handling some of the smaller species, including bumpy starfish, velvet swimmer crabs and spikey sea urchins, which they were allowed to touch.

TIP: The Deep accepts the Tesco vouchers for entry

Obviously, you can take pictures throughout, but you can’t use a flash because, unlike most animals, fish do not have eyelids and, therefore, cannot close their eyes in response to any bright lights.

TIP: There is a picnic area, so you can take your own food, or there is the Observatory Café, which is open from 10am to 5.30pm, with hot meals served until 3pm.

The Deep is also home to the Two Rivers Restaurant, which is open Friday and Saturday evenings from 7pm. Diners are treated to a Mediterranean menu with a Yorkshire twist next to some of the best aquatic displays in Europe. Booking is essential.

As well as being open for a family day out, you can also get married at the Deep or hire it for business use.

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And, if you are looking for a quirky present for those with a love of marine life, The Deep offers a half-day experience to spend a morning doing some of the jobs the aquarists do.

The Deep Experience includes cleaning out tanks, preparing food and feeding some of the smaller animals, as well as a behind- the-scenes tour, taking in some of the plant rooms and quarantine. The package costs just £75.

On average, people tend to spend two to three hours at the Deep. It’s all indoors. There is a very small soft play area in the middle of the centre – but not big enough to describe as an attraction itself.

  • Reviewed December 2015

NEED TO KNOW..

LOCATION: The Deep, Tower Street, Hull, HU1 4DP.

OPEN: The Deep is open every day, from 10am to 6pm (last entry at 5pm), excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day when it is closed.

PRICES: Tickets are cheaper online. Adults £10.80 online. £12 on the door. Child: (Three to 15) £9 online, £10 on the door. Under-threes are admitted free.

CALL: 01482 381000.

VISIT: http://www.thedeep.co.uk for more information

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