There are around one million different species living in the earth’s deep oceans, which cover 71% of the surface of our planet. That’s a lot of marine life that we are never ever ever going to see. However if you fancy taking your children to cast their little eyes on just a few of these creatures, and learn about how life is for them in their natural habitats, there are four aquariums within fairly easy reach of here. Check online for opening hours and prices.
Barton Square, Trafford Centre, Manchester, M17 8AS
The attraction is split into zones: Turtle Beach, Shoaling Ring, Rocky Hideout, Jellyfish Seas, shark shipwreck and others. Talks, demonstrations and feeding sessions throughout the day.
MATLOCK BATH AQUARIUM
(open Easter — October) 110-112 North Parade, Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, DE4 3NS
A quirky place in an old Victorian building at the foot of the peak district, there are 50 species of fish in tanks and a number of exhibitions to see, including gems, fossils and holograms!
BLUE PLANET AQUARIUM
Cheshire Oaks (near the retail outlets), Cheshire CH65 9LF
An enormous collection to fill a whole day, with over 100 exhibits and Europe’s largest collection of sharks (complete with a walk through glass shark tunnel). Other areas to explore include Flooded Forest, Rock Pools and Caiman Crocodiles.
Upton-by-Chester, Chester, CH2 1LH
It wouldn’t make sense to go to Chester Zoo just for the aquarium of course. Stretching out across 125 acres of land, it is home to 21,000 animals including leopards, elephants, orangutans, bats, rhinos and a whole lot more beside. The aquarium (built in 1934) is worth a visit while you’re there.