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Marine Aquarium (Lyme Regis)

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1 Review

Address: The Cobb / Lyme Regis / Dorset DT7 3JJ / United Kingdom

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      04.07.2013 10:27
      Very helpful
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      Lyme Regis Marine Aquarium.

      About the Aquarium
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      The Aquarium is in Lyme Regis which is in Dorset. It's located on the end of the historic harbour wall known as The Cobb. Access is along the Cobb Wall. We were staying in Weymouth so decided to visit Lyme Regis for a change of scenery. We found out that Lyme Regis had an aquarium after reading some information about it on a leaflet which we picked up from tourist information in Weymouth. The aquarium has won Certificate of Excellence for the past 3 years and it's also rated excellent by 191 travellers on Trip Advisor. The aquarium is compact in size but you will get to see a range of marine life including Lobster, Mullet, Starfish, Ballan Wrasse, Short Spined Sea Scorpion, Hermit Crabs and Sea Mouse. Other exhibits include nautical artefacts and presentation about the history of The Cobb, making the aquariums an interesting place to visit come rain or shine. During your visit you will get to see the different types of Marine Life and you can even hand feed the Mullet and hold a star-fish. Hand feeding the Mullet seems to be a popular attraction of the aquarium after reading reviews on Trip Advisor.

      Getting There
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      We drove from Weymouth to Lyme Regis and parked in a long stay car park in Charmouth Road, this is within walking distance of all the attractions and the sea-front. There is another long stay car park which is also within walking distance to the sea-front. Parking for the day cost us no more than £2.00. Lyme Regis is easily accessible from the nearby towns and coastal resorts of Charmouth, Bridgport and West bay in West Dorset and Seaton, Beer and Sidmouth in East Devon. A Park and ride service operates during busy periods and throughout the school summer holidays from two locations either side of the town. You can also get a bus to Lyme Regis from various different places such as Weymouth, Sidford, Charmouth, Abbotsbury and more.

      Prices
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      Adults - £5.00
      Seniors & Children - £4.50
      Children Under 3 - Free
      There is a 20% off discount voucher on the website which you can print off and use.
      They do not accept debit or credit cards here.

      The Aquarium
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      I visited the aquarium with my dad, sister, older nephew and younger nephew. I would advise anyone with children to have hold of their child's hand firmly when walking to the aquarium as there is no fencing around this area. The Cobb Wall is big and there were many people walking along it, how-ever it's far too dangerous for children as it's uneven with no fencing. We stayed on the lower part which was much flatter and slightly safer for children, although there was no fencing around the harbour area. The Aquarium looked rather small and was a lot smaller than I expected. The location of the aquarium is quite good as you get to see the surrounding area as you are walking to it. This is a short walk from the main town and on route is a range of take-aways and restaurants selling and range of different food, drinks and ice creams.

      The entrance to the aquarium is quite small and as soon as you enter the building there is a desk on the left hand side, which is where you pay. A very kind and polite man took out money and also asked if we wanted to hand feed the Mullet. We were unsure and he told us a little bit of information about them and my sister decided that she would get some food in-case my older nephew wanted to feed them. The food was an additional £3.00 per person so we only paid for one person to feed them.

      After paying the man shut the window to the desk and showed us through a beaded curtain into the aquarium. We followed him through to the left hand side where he would show us how to hand feed the mullet. It looked very easy and simple and he explained to us that it would just feel like someone kissing your hand constantly. My older nephew didn't want to feed them and my sister wasn't too keen either so I had a go at feeding them instead. The tub of fish flakes we were given was quite big and had plenty of food in them. Although it was meant to be an additional £3.00 per person to hand feed the mullet me, my sister and older nephew all had a go. The man stayed with us whilst each of us had a go at hand feeding the mullet and he told us some information about them and then he left us on our own to continue feeding them. He also told us not to put our hands in the tank opposite us as the fish in there had teeth. The Mullet are very tame fish and are the tamest fish you will ever see in your lifetime. I put some of the fish flakes into my hand and closed my hand into a fist. I then lowered my hand into the water with my fist shut and the Mullet came towards my hand and started to suck. I then opened my hand to release the fish flakes and I could feel the mullet sucking the food from my hand. After the food had gone the mullet would stop sucking and I could then remove my hand. Although I wasn't too sure about doing this at first this was an amazing experience and one I really enjoyed. My sister also did this as well and also enjoyed it. My older nephew wasn't too sure so I ended up using all the food to feed the Mullet. You get a really good amount of food to feed them. If you don't want to feed the mullet by hand, younger children can simply drop the flakes into the water.

      After feeding the mullet and handing the empty container back to the man when we saw him again we moved round to look at the other tanks which were opposite the Mullet. In the tanks opposite were Ballan Wrasse, a large Lobster and two large crabs. The tank was quite big and you could see the fish clearly through the water. There are small benches in front of the tanks so younger children can also see into the tanks as well. We moved down to the aquarium into a slightly bigger room which contained lots of small tanks with starfish, fish, crabs and other marine life. This area was a reasonable sized and you could clearly see the different main life in the tanks. By now there were a few more people in the aquarium, but not many. There was room to move around in the aquarium and we got the push-chair around the aquarium very easily. Disabled users would also be able to go into the aquarium; how-ever they may not find it easy seeing the fish in the first 2 tanks where the Mullet and Wrasse are.


      The man called everyone over and told us he was going to feed to the Ballan Wrasse which is the fish with big teeth. He had a blue bucket containing smaller fish and dangled this slightly above the water and the Wrasse jumped up and ate the small fish. He did warm us before feeding them that we may get a little wet as they tend to jump out the water a little when grabbing the fish to eat. We were there for a good 5mins, whilst he fed the Wrasse which we really enjoyed seeing. We moved back down to the Aquarium where we were before and he came and asked us if we would like to hold a Starfish. My sister and nephew again weren't too sure so I said yes and he got one out of the tank for me to hold. He told me to have my hand flat and he was going to place the starfish on it. I touched the top of it before he placed it on my hand and it felt quite rough. He carefully placed the starfish on my hand which felt really cold and wet. He told us a little about the starfish and after I had held it for a good few minutes, he then took it off and placed it on my sister's hand for her to hold. She said the starfish felt a little tickly but I didn't think it really felt of anything apart from cold or wet. The man then took the starfish and then placed it back into the tank and told us a little about how they move. After this we looked at the other small glass tank which contained other marine life and we then made our way to the exit. We were surprised at how small the aquarium was, how-ever the man was very one to one with each group or person visiting the aquarium and he was spending time with his customers to ensure they enjoyed their visit as much as possible whilst here. There is a very small gift shop here which sells a range of shells and other items. We didn't buy anything from here but it was reasonably priced.

      Overall Opinion
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      I love visiting different places, especially Aquariums. Although the Aquarium was a lot smaller than I expected I was really impressed at the man who clearly owns and runs the aquarium as he was really polite and helpful. The man here obviously takes pride in ensuring all his customers have a good experience here and I thought it was amazing the way he spent a little time with each group of people or person to ensure they were getting a good experience here. Although I wasn't too sure about hand feeding the Mullet, I am really glad I did it and I would definitely do it again. It was brilliant watching the Ballan Wrasse being fed as they jumped out the water to get the small fish that the man was holding for them. It was also really good that you have the chance to hold a Starfish as well and I also enjoyed doing this. I also believe that some days he also gets the lobster out of the tank as well for you to have a good look at and even touch. Although the aquarium was small I thought the admission price was reasonable and it was a really good experience and one that I won't forget. The man here is extremely polite and helpful and gives you plenty of information about some of the different marine life here and also answers any questions if you have any. I can understand why this aquarium has been awarded Certificate of Excellence for the past 3 years. I would highly recommend a visit here to anyone who happens to be in this area.

      Additional Information
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      Address: Lyme Regis Marine Aquarium, The Cobb, Lyme Regis, Dorset, DT7 3JJ.
      www.lymeregismarineaquarium.co.uk
      Tel: 01297 444230 / 0782 598 5120
      E-Mail: info@lymeregismarineaquarium.co.uk



      (review also on ciao)

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