Sea Life London Aquarium: FAQs

September 3, 2019 9:21 am

What is it?

The Sea Life London Aquarium is a large and popular aquarium with a huge array of fish, reptiles and aquatic mammals, all housed in zones themed around their natural habitats. It is one of the most popular attractions in London, with over 1,000,000 visitors a year.

What can I see there?

Lots and lots and lots of aquatic animals. Around 500 different species, apparently. We lost count. And they’re all artfully displayed in their separate habitats.

There are 14 zones in total. There’s the Rainforest Adventure section, home to catfish and crocodiles, terrapins and swarms of piranhas. And Penguin Point which is home to…penguins.

The Coral Kingdom is the UK’s largest living coral reef. Its bursts of colour and blink-and-you’ll-miss-them inhabitants can keep your eyes busy hours. And the Ocean Tunnel takes you through an underwater land of Green Turtles and glittering schools of fish.

 

Is it all just looking at stuff in tanks?

Yes it is and no it isn’t. The Sea Life London Aquarium has thought long and hard about how it displays its differently themed tanks and underwater worlds, with walkthrough tunnels taking you right through tanks and glass walkways acting as viewing platforms over the water. The best is the Shark Walk, which takes you right over the Pacific display, with sharks swimming majestically directly beneath your feet. You’ll also find a couple of touch pools where you’ll get the chance to stroke a starfish.

How can I get to the Sea Life London Aquarium?

Swim, of course. No, that’s not true. Go by public transport if at all possible.

Westminster (Circle, Jubilee and District) and Waterloo (Northern, Bakerloo and Waterloo & City) are the closest tube stations. From Westminster, take Westminster Bridge across the Thames and you’ll see the Sea Life London Aquarium right there in front of you. From Waterloo, take Exit 6 for the South Bank, then walks towards the London Eye. You’ll find it right next to the Eye.

Waterloo Train Station is the closest mainline train station. Follow signs for the South Bank and walk toward the London Eye.

Buses that arrive into the Waterloo/Westminster vicinity are too many to mention. Check the Transport for London Journey Planner to see how to get there from where you’re staying.

If you need to travel by car, there’s a QPark car park in Westminster.

How much does it cost to get in?

A standard ticket is £30. They are £24 when you’re coming as a family (minimum one adult and one child, with children deemed at 3 to 15 year olds). Under 3s get in free, but they can’t come alone.

Fast Track tickets get you into the attraction quicker, and may well be worth the extra cost when booking for peak times. There are also VIP tickets, which get you Fast Track entry and a Behind the Scenes tour.

The Sea Life London Aquarium also holds adult-only lates once a month (except June, July and August). Tickets are around £30 and include a glass of Prosecco upon arrival. No kids!

A VIP turtle feed is £150 for two people. If you want to Snorkel with Sharks, it’s £150 each. If you want to propose at the Sea Life London Aquarium (a diver displays a ‘Will you marry me sign?’ from inside a tank and you get a half bottle of Champagne), it’ll cost you £250. Rumours that the salt in the seawater tanks is provided harvested from the tears of those who get their proposals rejected are as yet unconfirmed.

Basically, there are a lot of different ticket types. If it’s just you going to look at some fish, it’s 30 quid.

Sea Life London Aquarium

Are there time slots?

During peak times, yes. For all standard tickets, you’ll be given a time slot window when you’ll be admitted to the attraction. You’ll be turned away if you arrive more than 15 minutes late for your time slot.

Time slots don’t apply to VIP and Fast Track tickets though. You can enter whenever you want.

When is the Sea Life London Aquarium open?

Generally speaking, the aquarium is open 7 days a week. During peak times, such as Saturdays, bank holidays and school holidays, they open at 9.30am and close at 7pm, with the last entry at 6pm. The rest of the time, they’re open from 10am until 6pm, with last admissions at 5pm. They are closed on Christmas Day, and sometimes close a little earlier for special or private events.

I heard it’s pretty busy.

You heard right. As one of London’s most popular family-friendly attractions, it’s a busy one. On Saturdays and on bank holidays, it’s busy all day long. And during the school holidays. Turn up after 4pm or before 11am for the best chance of it being a little quieter.

If you can, go during the week when school’s on. If you’ve got kids…don’t tell them you went without them.

Is Sea Life London Aquarium accessible for those with disabilities?

The centre is totally wheelchair accessible, with ramps and lifts throughout, but there aren’t any wheelchairs available for hire. There are no hearing loops, although there’s good signage. Guide dogs are allowed and carers can come in free of charge with the correct documentation. Check their website for more details.

Sea Life London Aquarium

Are they a ‘good’ zoo?

You mean, do they do positive things for animals and the environment?

Yes, that.

Well, yes they do. They’ve set up a sanctuary in a large bay just off from an Icelandic island. Inhabitants include two Beluga whales who were previously held in captivity. The Sea Life London Aquarium supports lots of conservation charities, including Save Our Seas and the Shark Trust. And you’ll see a lot of information on conservation issues throughout the exhibits.

Anything else I should know?

Yes. It gets busy. And when it gets busy, it gets hot.

Bring water. Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink. There are more than 2,000,000 litres of the stuff here, but you don’t want to sip any of it.

Think about the heat when choosing your outfit. Leave your comedy Nemo body suit at home. Preferably in the bin.

Not done with top tourist attractions on the south bank of the Thames yet? Well…look here.

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