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Another Cornish delight!
Blue Reef Aquarium (England)
Member Name: Mummy_to_2
Blue Reef Aquarium (England)
Advantages: Fish, food, toys
***This review is based solely on Newquay aquarium.***
As many of you will know I have recently come back from Cornwall. This is one of the places we took the kids for the day.
Newquay blue reef aquarium is situated above Towan beach at the bottom of Newquay.
The website claims......
'Situated on Towan Beach in the centre of Newquay, opposite the famous island, the Blue Reef Aquarium is a stunning visit.
Be amazed by the local marine species from the Cornish coast to hundreds of tropical species in the gigantic ocean display complete with underwater tunnel.'
Well I wouldn't call it gigantic........
Upon arrival you are given a ticket which is valid all day and a list of feeding times and also an opportunity to buy the guide book priced at £2.99 which I was conned into by my 4 year old. The staff were all friendly and pleasant although we did feel rushed in places like the shop and restaurant. In the reception there is also a penny press and ride on submarine.
***It is very warm inside the aquarium we ending up having to remove layers of clothing***
To be honest for what it was I found it very expensive at
I thought that due to the size of the aquarium the entrance cost was steep, as I paid for 3 adults and 1 child it did start to mount with also the restaurant and gifts. This was however my only problem with the aquarium.
10am until 5pm daily during holiday season. Last admissions are an hour before closing.
There are 2 lifts one upto the gift store and one to the tunnel and there is a ramp into the building. The gift shop is VERY small and difficult to navigate with a pushchair.
***What kinds of fish are there***
It would be easier to ask what's not there!!! At the start of the tour you have the British species such as Bass and Pollock leading on to the sea-horses and crabs. Then into a large tank room containing of all things a alligator and other small fish and turtles. Through the corridors to the octopus and tropical fishes I did get particularly excited at this point when I saw a puffer-fish!!! Then onto the greatest bit the under water tunnel which was amazing and a definite crowd pleaser-the only problem is that it is rather small!! It contains giant turtles sharks and sting rays amongst other things. We then took the life up to the top of the tank and other smaller tanks containing clown fish etc and then out into the gift store and restaurant area.
***What will my children learn?***
There are touch screen computers in every room around the aquarium which tells them about all the fish/species in that room and some interesting facts etc.
One word expensive!!! No real surprise there though. I managed to spend the best part of £20 on 2 snow globes, 4 tiny plastic shells, a colouring book and a magnet. I was admittedly shocked at the price of the plastic fish at £6 each or £12 for a teddy- I nearly passed out!!! I do admit though that they do have a great selection of gifts ranging from eco-bags and candles to the usual tacky plastic toys. Its just so small that you really cant navigate around it with a buggy, and therefore ending up buying anything the kids see just to get out of there. As I mentioned there is also a penny press in the reception which my kids loved doing and this was cheap 50p a go.
This is located on the top floor overlooking some of the exhibits and reception. Again expensive but I found it worth it. The food was lovely and fresh. We paid around £25-£30 for 3 lots of lasagne and chips and 2 lots of chips and nuggets. The meals were all of decent portion size with salad on the side. The dining area looked clean and tidy and we couldn't see any mess. The staff were friendly and polite. The children were also given little activity packs containing a colouring book and crayons with their meal. The restaurant overlooks the beach and sea with amazing views.
Despite the entry cost and the prices in the gift shop and restaurant I would recommend a visit I will be going again)as it's a definite crowd pleaser, yes it is small but it does pack a lot in!! The main reasons for me are these-
The range of fish and animals.
The food there is great as is the quality of most of the gifts.
Its location is great above the beach it passes an hour or two.
It teaches children via the interactive computers dotted around.
I am only awarding 4 stars, it loses one because of the price of admission i know thats petty but when you are paying for the amount of people i was it is expensive.
Summary: a great way to pass the time
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