The Deep is one of the UK’s biggest aquariums and can be found up at Hull in East Yorkshire. Hull is easy to get to from most of Yorkshire and the East Midlands. For us living in Lincolnshire, we cross the Humber via the Humber bridge and we are soon at the Deep. Today I will be telling you all about everything that there is to see and do at this award-winning attraction in my review below.
The Deep in Hull | Review of one of the Biggest Aquariums in the UK
Review of The Deep in Hull
We visited on a Sunday just after the clocks had gone forward for Spring. After the winter we’ve had it was a lovely surprise to not only see the sun but experience warm temperatures and no clouds. The Deep has a large pay and display car park with a few smaller overspill car parks. It cost us £3 to park there for 6 hours. If you visit in the evening it costs just £1. The Deep has an evening restaurant on a Thursday, Friday and Sunday evening where you can dine next to their largest fish tank.
Before we headed inside we had a walk over to the end of the car park to look out over the Humber estuary. It was a lovely view with the sun shining on the water. There’s also a shark to pose for photos by.
Once your tickets have been purchased, or your return tickets looked at, you head for the lifts to start your journey around the Deep. It is set on a few floors which are accessible by ramps or lifts, which makes it fully accessible for everyone. One of the great things about the Deep is that once your tickets have been purchased they then entitle you to return for the next 12 months for free. All you have to pay for is the car park. Which makes sense as to why it’s a pay and display car park.
Café at The Deep
On the same floor as the entrance to the aquarium itself you will find the café. This has tables on two floors some of which have views out to the estuary. They serve hot and cold food, snacks and hot and cold drinks.
Once inside I have to say that one of the main things I noticed was how great this attraction was for toilets. They were in abundance which is always very welcome, especially for an attraction that attracts a lot of families.
The Deep is incredibly educational. There are so many signs to read, more than we had time for with our fast moving four year old. Your first point of call is a long slope with interactive exhibits taking you through 4 billion years of Ocean history. Due to the dark ambience the fossils on the wall are rather spooky looking and there’s some 3D screens with prehistoric and toothsome fish which all add to the fun.
Some of the signs are large and bold, others full of information about the great conservation work carried out by the Deep. Some are via apps on tablets which are great for the slightly older visitors. I have to say that Jamie actually paid attention to a lot of what we were telling him and he was genuinely interested, especially in finding out what certain types of fish were called.
Coral Reef tank – Lagoon of Light
The coral reef tank was recently restored and they are clearly very proud of the restoration that they under took. They have a film playing showing you the renovation process and I have to say that they are right to feel proud. The tank is stunning. The coral reef is beautiful and equally so are the fish that are swimming around the tank. Jamie was delighted to spot Dory and especially loved the white juvenile zebra sharks who were born and bred at the Deep.
The ‘Hands on’ Area
Right next to the Lagoon of light there is a really good interactive area. There’s a sand area where you can brush the sand away to find fossils, plus some touch and feel holes.
There’s a new and fun projection on the floor that feels like you are walking or even jumping on water.
Plus at select times throughout the day, you are given the opportunity to touch and feel starfish and sea urchins.
Gentoo Penguins and Ice Wall
One of the Deeps star attractions is their Gentoo penguins. They are certainly the largest penguins I have ever seen. You can view them from two different levels which are above or below. They have a tank where you can watch the penguins jumping in or out of the water and swimming around. These penguins are such characters and a pleasure to watch. They also have a few feeding times a day which you are able to watch.
There are a few other exhibits in this area including two walls made of ice which you can touch for as long as you dare. Brrrrrrrrr.
Endless Ocean – The largest tank
This tank is enormous. There are a couple of main viewing areas which includes a large glass wall where you can view the divers going into the tank and feeding the fish, later on in the day. They have a commentary here a few times during the day which tells you all about the fish in there. The rays are huge! They also have a couple of Loggerhead turtles. One was very much asleep (we hope) when we visited.
The other main viewing area is the glass tunnel. Around a lot of the Deep you will find glass viewing areas for the tank. One of our favourites was just past the tunnel where we had a really good view of the green sawfish, sharks, the huge grouper fish and some other very large fish.
Cool seas and the Twilight Zone
These sea creatures have a much tougher life living in cold sea water and sometimes with no light at all. The exhibitions in this area is very informative and we liked the tank where you have to wait for your eyes to adjust to the dark before you can see anything in the tank. There are tanks big and small with fish and jellyfish. I could have watched the jellyfish all day.
Underwater Tunnel and Lift
As mentioned above there is a small underwater tunnel where you can view the fish in the large endless ocean tank. A little on from here there is a lift back up to the top and the exit. You can either walk up the stairs and view the tank from a couple of viewing areas or you can wait for the scenic lift back up. We waited for around 10 minutes and although the ride up was relatively short it was fun going on the only underwater lift in the UK. You can watch our lift journey at the end of my video from our day out below.
Other tank exhibits – bugs and more at The Deep in Hull
As well as everything mentioned above there are many other tanks and exhibits to see at the aquarium. There’s not only fish but bugs as well which have some very informative signs. Look out for the ants next to the soft play. They were fascinating. Here are a few more photos from our day out.
There is even a small soft play for the little ones to burn off some energy. It’s for kids 1 metre tall and shorter.
The Deep is only ever closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. They are open from 10am until 6pm. It is cheaper to purchase your tickets online in advance. Online it is currently priced at £12.15 for an adult, £10.35 for a child aged 3 to 15 and under 3’s are free. A family ticket for four online is £40.50. All prices etc. are subject to change. They also have a very large shop full of a really great range of toys and gifts.
The best thing about purchasing a ticket to the Deep is that your ticket will then entitle you to return for free as many times as you like over the next 12 months.
The Deep has many themed activities during the school holidays, throughout the year. They also offer a variety of extra special experiences. “With prices starting at just £25 for a birthday sign being held up by our divers, ranging right up to £175 for a unique dining experience in the tunnel. ” They even have junior experience days and sleepovers!
Disclaimer: We were invited to review the Deep and they provided us with a goody bag which included a Gentoo Penguin and an activity book for Jamie. Which he was absolutely thrilled with and it was such a lovely touch. We were also provided with complimentary tickets for the purpose of my review. I can highly recommend their sticker activity pack. It was full of even more useful information for the kids and Jamie loved all the different activities. Thank you for making our visit extra special.
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