“ County Hall Riverside Building / London / SE1 7PB / Fon: (020) 7967 8000 / Fax: (020) 7967 8029. „
A pretty expensive day out (or morning in our case) at 13.50 per adult to get in and kids over 3 pay! Huge queues too to get tickets, with very few staff at the ticket desk not helping and those that were there appearing to be on another planet! Once inside, a fairly basic aquarium compared to others we've visited, with small tanks of fairly uninteresting fish. Only one large tank with some sharks in, but nothing very noteworthy - my 4 year old was very diappointed as even with his limited experiences he thought it was dull compared to others he could name. Overall, it took us about 1 1/2 hours to go through the aquarium, and the tiny cafe inside offered some pretty awful options for lunch so we decided to head out and leave - making the whole no re-entry thing very annoying as they can't really cater for food breaks. We will not be returning or recommendign it to others. An expensive morning and the kids were not that excited by it.
The London Aquarium is located in County Hall on the south bank of the River Thames in Westminster, central London. The aquarium has up to a million visitors per day and is a very popular place with the tourists. Due to the aquarium located where it is you have the London Eye just a few yards away, a clear view of the Houses of Parliament and the famous Oxford Street just a mile down the road.
Getting to the aquarium is very easy with a range of transport links including bus, train, tube, car, coach and bicycle. The opening times are 10am to 6pm, 7 days a week. Summer late opening times are 10am to 7pm, the aquarium is only closed for one day being Christmas day.
The aquarium has over 350 species of fish over 3 floors. There are 14 different zones with tanks and displays with freshwater, stream, Atlantic, rivers and ponds, Pacific, Indian ocean, touch pools, temperate waters, coral reef, invertebrates, tropical freshwater, mangrove and rainforest. In the tough pools there are turtles and terrapins that visitors can touch and observe. In 2005 the aquarium added another attraction in the shape of robotic fish, these fish are made so that they move just like real fish but are sensory based so that they avoid other fish and objects just like real fish would do. Although they are robotic they are incredibly graceful, interesting and entertaining to watch. Children are very enthusiastic in seeing these fish and how they operate. These fish took around 3 years to make after scientists did a lot of research into how real fish move and act. This has proved to attract even more visitors to the aquarium.
There is a gift shop on the ground level of the aquarium where visitors can purchase anything form key rings, fridge magnets to laser lights, you may wonder why laser lights? Well, this is because the aquarium is quite dark with the lighting provided by the tanks so kids love to actually explore the aquarium whilst holding the laser lights. There is also a McDonalds next door so you will not have to go far to get a bite to eat, the restaurant has two floors to cater for the overwhelming amount of visitors to the aquarium.
Everyone is welcome to the aquarium whether it be an educational visit or just a day out. You can purchase educational resources from the ticket desk such as the Aquatic guide or the Aqua safari priced at £6.00 each. Group discounts are offered to groups of up to 10 people, with a tour guide also being available at around £2.00 per hour. There is wheelchair access all over the aquarium.
The aquarium also provides visitors the option of adopting certain invertebrates, there is a choice of sharks, stingrays, rainforest fish, temperate water sea life, rays coral reef, Indian Ocean and Atlantic Ocean prices vary from £60.00 for sharks to £30.00 for rainforest fish.
From 2007 the aquarium gives 42p for every ticket sold to Conservation and Research initiatives. The ticket prices are as follows :
Children under 3 are free
Children between ages of 3-14 years £9.75
All students £11.25
Senior citizens £11.25
Disabled children £8.25
Disabled Adults £11.25
Family ticket (2 adults + 2 children) £44.00
You can be guaranteed to spend most of the day here as there is so much to see and discover.