New species have been introduced so in addition to thousands of fish, guests encounter green turtles, seahorses and octopuses. Sea Life have 30 attractions in the UK and Europe and intends Sea Life London Aquarium to be their top destination.
What To Expect at Sea Life London Aquarium
- Key Highlights:
- Modern-looking aquarium – new species, new surroundings
- Thousands of marine creatures in themed settings
- One of the world's biggest collections of Cownose rays
- Gentoo penguins
- Glass tunnel walkway encased in a blue whale skeleton
- Shark Walk finale
- Public participation feeding
- More feeding times and talks
Sea Life London Aquarium ReviewThe London Aquarium underwent a £5 million refurbishment and transformed into Sea Life London Aquarium in 2009, and still continues to improve. My 2008 visit during the building work found a dark and dingy attraction that was looking tired, then my 2009 visit for the relaunch in April 2009 found a vibrant and revitalized London attraction. Honestly, I could hardly recognize the place! I've been back again in 2010 to see the new creatures that have arrived over the last year.
If you haven't visited for a few years, the changes are too many to list but I can say it seems like a different venue as the floors are now being used in a much better way with more open spaces and less narrow corridors.
There are themed zones over 3 floors and the first zone always gets busy as we are all so excited when we arrive. Don't worry as it's not usually that crowded all the way through the aquarium.
You start by going down in an elevator/lift and arrive at a dark tunnel with plenty of low displays, and platforms for stepping up, so it's great for kids. The information is now on video screens that rotate if there are more than one species in the tank. (My 3 year old wanted to press the pictures and presumed the screens were interactive but they're not.)
At the Ray Lagoon there are over forty Californian Cownose rays. The ray pool has 2 glass sides so leave these for the shorter visitors and move round to the other sides as you can see just as much. Note, there is also room for buggies to be around the edge without blocking the path.
Please be aware you must not touch the rays as we could damage their skin. A member of staff is always here so you can ask questions. There are dog fish in with the rays and they are very friendly so don't hang your hands over the side! I had a wonderful dancing demonstration from a dog fish shimmying backwards while vertical!
Dive Discovery Rock Pools
Don't feel you've been cheated by not being able to touch the rays as the next section is all about touching. The Dive Discovery rock pools are a hit as visitors can touch creatures such as crabs, anemones, and starfish (hand washing facilities available).
Glass Tunnel Walkway
Not only is there now a glass tunnel walkway so you can watch tropical fish, sparkling coral and green turtles, but the tunnel has been constructed from a gigantic hand-crafted 25 meter long blue whale skeleton. As you would expect, the tunnel is very popular, so don't block the way for other visitors in this area.
Top Tip: You can view the sharks from all floors - it's a huge tank! - so don't crowd around the first window at Pacific Wreck. Walk round to the other side and you are likely to have a window to yourself.
I found the 'atmospheric' music a bit loud but I was in early and there weren't many other visitors. I expect when the place is full I wouldn't have even noticed the music.
Try and stick with your friends/family as the twists and turns in the dark can be quite disorientating. There are always arrows on the walls to guide you through.
Rainforests of the World
Look out for dwarf crocodiles, Piranhas, and a family of Poison Arrow Frogs. You'll know you'll in this section when the flooring feels like soft leaves and twigs.
When you finish on the lowest floor there's an elevator/lift and an escalator to take you up one level to the 'Thames Walk' showing river life from the local area. You'll also find a 'pit stop area' with some 'pick 'n' mix' sweets, a movie theater, and the fun souvenir photos where you get superimposed onto a shark or a turtle, etc.
After this, there are a few more exhibits and then it's decision time. Are you brave enough to walk over the shark tank? If you are, go up one more level (stairs) and take those adrenaline-filled steps over the sharks before coming back down and visiting the well-stocked shop.
London Aquarium Visitor Information
The London Aquarium
Westminster Bridge Road
Nearest Tube Stations: Waterloo / Westminster
Use Journey Planner to plan your route by public transport.
Telephone: 020 7967 8000
Official Website: www.sealifelondon.co.uk
Check current prices online. Best prices are offering for booking online at least one day in advance. Note: Under children under 3 year go free.
Top booking tip: Book your ticket online and visit after 3pm and not only do you get the best value ticket, but you also get to stroll around the attraction while it's quiet AND catch the penguins last feed of the day (4pm). More info.
You can also book tickets at the VisitBritain Shop (Buy Direct).
The London Aquarium is open 7 days a week (except Christmas Day).
Monday to Friday: 10am - 6pm (last admission 5pm)
Saturday and Sunday: 10am - 7pm (last admission 6pm)
Visit Duration: Up to 2 hours.
Full disabled access with lifts to all levels. There are also disabled toilets on each floor.
Buggies and pushchairs can be used throughout and there is lift access to each level. Note: There is no buggy park.
No Eating and Drinking:
The London Aquarium has a strict no eating and drinking policy, but there are plenty of cafes and restaurants nearby.
You can take photos for personal use but no tripods or flash.