SEA LIFE London Aquarium

Attractions, Zoos and aquariums South Bank
58 Love It
Save it
SEA LIFE London Aquarium
1/9
Crab (Michelle Grant / Time Out)
2/9
Michelle Grant / Time Out
Visitor enjoying the fish (Michelle Grant / Time Out)
3/9
Michelle Grant / Time Out
4/9
5/9
6/9
7/9
8/9
 (© Sea Life London Aquarium)
9/9
© Sea Life London Aquarium

Walk through, over and under colourful aquatic worlds from the tropical to the Arctic at one of London’s busiest attractions

It’s not every day that you see sharks and penguins in London, but on the South Bank you can. Almost literally, too, if it wasn’t for the fact that Sea Life London Aquarium is closed on Christmas day. Thousands of tourists and local alike visit this old council building daily, which has been home to a remarkable watery wonderland since 1997.

Upon entering – over a glass window that peeks down to the Pacific waters display – you’ll follow a winding route through every attraction in the building. Wade into Shark Walk before reaching the Atlantic Depths (look out for sand eels and octopuses here) and then drifting into Tidal Reach, which houses creatures common to British waters. Life gets a little more exotic and vibrant as the display merges into the Ray Lagoon and the Dive Discovery tropical waters.

Along with rockpool displays of brightly coloured anemones and the gliding green sea turtles that swoop past overhead as you walk through the Ocean Tunnel, there’s a chance to get down deep with the sharks as you peer into the Pacific Wreck gallery and see if you can find Nemo among the clownfish in the Coral Reef zone.

Visit during off-peak hours if you can, in order to avoid the usual hordes and get a better glimpse of the wild inhabitants. Like the piranhas, for example, the poison dart frogs and Cuban crocs in the rainforest section. Also see if you can time your visit with a feeding, because that's when everything comes out of any hiding places they might have been lurking in.

There's also a new permanent exhibition called Ocean Invaders, in which you'll be able to learn more about the weird, wonderful and wobbly world of jellyfish. Visitors can discover the most dangerous species and even create their own digital jellyfish. Sea Life also carries out research and conservation work, and the Thames Walk experience (opened in summer 2015) reveals some of the insights into life in the waters that flow just outside the aquarium, and the work done to make them a cleaner environment in which fish can thrive. The Breed Rescue Project display invites budding marine biologists of all ages to find out more.

Head down solo, with your beau or in a group and get hold of one of the special package tickets, which allow entry to other London attractions, or a VIP ticket, which entitles you to a tour behind the scenes. The latter is a particularly cool option as you get to snoop around parts of the aquarium that the public aren't typically allowed into. And if you really want to get up close and personal with the sealife, the brave adventurers out there can book a ‘snorkelling with sharks’ experience and dive into the shark tank.

By: Laura Lee Davies

Posted:

Venue name: SEA LIFE London Aquarium
Contact:
Address: County Hall
Riverside Building
Westminster Bridge Rd
London
SE1 7PB
Opening hours: Open Mon–Fri 10am–7pm (last entry 6pm); Sat–Sun 9am–7pm (last entry 6pm). Closed Dec 25. The aquarium opens for longer hours during school holidays, check website for details
Transport: Tube: Westminster or Waterloo
Price: From (adv online) £19.50, £14.50 under-16s, free under-threes. Tickets on the door will cost more
Do you own this business?
To improve this listing email: feedback@timeout.com

Pick a date

to
  • Thursday March 29 2018 - Friday October 26 2018
  • Quirky events Friday April 27 2018 - Saturday December 22 2018

You may be interested in:

Average User Rating

3.2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:6
  • 4 star:19
  • 3 star:21
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:10
LiveReviews|58
1 person listening
Tastemaker

If you didn't think that the Capital would be a good place to take in some SeaLife then you'd be wrong. The London Aquarium is a great spot for seeing all your favourite fishy pals close up and if you have kids all the better! With little ones in mind, there are plenty of aspects tailored to their needs like hands-on areas where you can touch starfish and such like where they can get their hands wet, and adults are free to join in too. Aquarium experiences are always quite therapeutic, and the London aquarium has some surprisingly large tanks and a variety of experiences on offer. So if you just enjoy sitting and gazing into huge tanks full of sea creatures you're in luck, and if it all looks a little familiar, remember that scene from the film closer with Clive Owen and Julia Roberts..? Yes, that was filmed here!

tastemaker

Overpriced, as expected for a main London attraction, but this is a nice aquarium. Quite well laid out with some really impressive tanks. Try your best to avoid school holidays and weekends. Weekdays as soon as it opens is ideal timing so you avoid barging into people to get a glimpse of the fish. Worth a visit, especially with the kids.

tastemaker

Overpriced yet peaceful the aquarium is one of London's main tourist attractions for kids. I would recommend going on a week day if you can so that its less hectic and a lot more peaceful then when its full of families on the weekend. Aside from the price its full of lovely tropical fish and lots of information about the conservation of them. My favorite tank is one filled with rays and sea turtles and reminds one of the great barrier reef. From sharks to penguins this place is filled with lovely fish which makes a change from the average attraction. I would recommend going if you can abre the price (around £50 for two adults).

tastemaker

A trip to the London aquarium really transports you away from the hustle and bustle of busy London to a serene, calming atmosphere of peacefulness and serenity. Although a busy attraction, especially at the weekends, the aquarium is a great day out for all ages! The scenic walks through the caves and water tunnel tanks allows you to see hundreds, if not thousands of different breeds of marine life from sting rays, jelly fish and even sharks. It took us approximately an hour and a half to walk around the aquarium with short stops to watch the feeding, listen to the expert commentary and to stroke the starfish. Although the ticket prices are expensive, it is a really great day out, especially for young ones.

tastemaker

Rather pricey but a great day out especially for families. Find out about what inhabits the waters around the world. Watch out for ticket deals and check out feeding times so you don't miss the action!

Tastemaker

Tickets can be expensive but still a great London attraction. Great one for kids and there are often two for one offers available!

tastemaker

Extortionate prices, but once in a while I suppose its ok to splurge a bit! I love sea creatures, but seeing them caged in like this makes me ponder for a bit, nonetheless there is information along the way about conservation.


I love the big sharks, I spent quite a while just watching them, I got there for when they opened, so there wasn't a mad dash inside, could freely walk around without being annoyed! The shark walk being one of my favourites. 


I liked seeing all the different coloured fishes, octopuses, penguins, jellyfish, crocodiles, you name it, they have it! Such a fun day out, it brought out my inner child! Would like to experience the silent disco someday too. 



tastemaker

Never really been that bothered about Sea Life Centres before, I was dubious about going- but I took my Mum for a treat as she loves anything to do with the Sea. 


Once you have battled through the crowds and got in the attraction, I must admit the overall atmosphere is quite calming which I was expecting. However, I  felt the whole place was very darkly lie, which I'm sure is to keep the fish happy, but it did make the smaller ones harder to see. 


I loved the shark area and could have watched them for hours, and compared to some other reviews I really enjoyed the Penguin enclosure. I have been a few years ago when it was the old penguin area, and yes I agree, this did feel cruel. The new space is much bigger, lighter and they seem to be having a lot of fun. Also, I have spoken to a friend of mine that works for Merlin and I know that a lot of effort and time has been put into making the penguins happy and have a safe environment, so I had no issue in seeing them and thought it was the highlight of the aquarium. 


For your money you see so much! The space is huge and we easily spent 3 hours walking around. I even got to stroke a starfish! Which trust me, again is safe and not harming the animal. They are rotated around and always have a member of staff supervising. 

tastemaker

 The Aquarium is in tourist town (Southbank) and I try to avoid this place at all costs if I dont have out of town friends and family with me. We decided to try out the Aquarium Silent Disco but I was dubious if it would be any good. 


The entrance is via the shop and in today's sad world its actually great that they were quite thorough with the search of bags etc. Once that was done you pick up your headphones and then off you go to pick up your free drink which is a great treat. 

Lets face it, a silent disco is a silent disco no matter how much you dress it up. What made the aquarium way better than other silent discos Ive been to (Glastonbury, The Shard) is its so cool to see the double floor to ceiling tank full of wonderful massive fish and turtles whilst your bopping away to one of three channels. 

I was really pleased they also opened up the jellyfish exhibition and even better is some of the staff are real marine biologists instead of just security making sure youre behaving. It was great to listen to one tell us all about the jellyfish lifecycle as we had a rest from bopping the night away. 


The aquarium and the silent disco is a super combination and perfect for a date or with a gaggle of friends. Youll leave feeling so pumped and in touch with all things sea life. 

tastemaker

A cruel disappointment.


I visited the SEA LIFE London Aquarium for the new 'Ocean Invaders' jellyfish exhibition but as part of the ticket you get access to the entire venue. The exhibition itself had a lot of promise and had a couple of tanks that provided some stunning visuals but overall, it was cramped and not overly informative. And cramped is an adjective I would extend to the entire aquarium; the fact that the main attraction is a big shark tank that takes up most of the space on every floor you visit just goes to show how little there is to actually see in there. Children may not clock on to the fact that they are repeatedly seeing the same tank from different angles and levels but I noticed it immediately and to be honest, felt a little short changed.


But the absolute worst part for me was the penguin enclosure; buried underground in a tiny space, I turned a corner to find the penguins huddled, seemingly scared, against a far wall as hordes of visitors took photos of them pressed banging against the glass. Whilst flash photography is forbidden, there were no members of staff to hand to stop people and whilst I insisted people turned their flash off, there were just too many people to stop them all. It seemed very cruel and completely unacceptable for these beautiful animals to be confined up in such a way.


I left angry at myself for supporting the aquarium; these days such institutions are supposed to be for conservation purposes primarily and whilst the money they make might go to great global causes, it felt as if they were sacrificing the standard of life of their few animals to raise funds for the many. Why does London need an aquarium anyhow as the only others I have ever visited have been in massive venues on the coast where proper humane enclosures can be built?!


I will never visit the aquarium again nor recommend it.



tastemaker

I have to agree with some other reviewers in that I am always torn when I think about animals in enclosed spaces and whilst it's awesome to be able to see them upclose, it does prick my conscious as to whether it is entirely ethical. Having said that I do think it's important to recognise that there is lots of information on your way around about conservation and educating people about these wonderful creatures which can only be a good thing!


I love sharks so I could have quite happily spent a long time watching the shark tank but all of the other exhibits were great too. I attended an 'After dark' event so the penguin enclosure wasn't open, whilst I love penguins having heard others say it was a small enclosure, I'm quite glad I didn't see it. 


I was concerned that it might be really busy and just packing people in but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. There was just the right amount of people so you had plenty of time and freedom to walk around and view everything without having to fight your way around people. The area half way where you could get a drink made for a fantastic bar with incredibly unique setting you definitely wouldn't get anywhere else. So all in all in was an enjoyable evening.

Tastemaker

Sea Life London Aquarium is so much fun! Great for a day out with friends or kids. This is a huge aquarium so be prepared to have plenty of time to fully enjoy it. You will see creatures and fish from Pacific waters, Atlantic waters, Tropical waters, sharks, eels, octopus, jellyfish.. You will wander through rainforests, penguins' land, crocodiles. And all these inside an old council's buiding - the County Hall just next to Thames river.

Tastemaker

I used my merlin family pass for this. Its a great day out with the kids especially if the weather is bad. I find it quite relaxing gazing around

tastemaker

Went here on a very successful date so forgive me if I am a little biased. I have to mention that I am also a massive fan of penguins so my excitement for this may have filtered though during the experience.

Firstly book in advance, this is a must if you want to avoid lengthy waiting times and secondly if possible try and avoid Saturdays (I understand this is easier said then done). The experience as a whole lasted around 2 hours dependent on the pace you choose to take. Overall lots of interesting fun facts to learn and creatures to see, some areas however looked like they were carrying out works (which some people may find slightly off putting) but it was masked well enough in my opinion. Aquarium definitely has the ability to bring out my inner child, look forward to visiting the silent disco soon.


I didn't get to see the whole aquarium because I came for a Time Out Silent Disco but what I did see I really enjoyed. The new jellyfish exhibition was hypnotic. It was an incredible venue for a silent disco. I would definitely come back during regular hours to see more

Tastemaker

I had never visited Sea Life London before I went this month for the launch of the jellyfish 'exhibition', mostly because of how expensive it is.
As it turns out, it's a brilliant place with extremely knowledgable and passionate staff who's very happy to pass on everything they know to whoever asks. The main attraction is this ENORMOUS tank that contains tons of fish, sharks and other big, big sea animals. i'm not sure it's completely worth the admission fee but if you can afford it, that's definitely a nice couple of hour visit.

tastemaker

It is weird to think this underwater world exists in the heart of London. I've never visited the aquarium before but I was extremely excited and the new jellyfish enclosure which is a brilliant exhibit showcasing off the species with great interactive features. It is mesmerising watching these almost alien creatures move in the water. The staff were brilliant and very helpful learning some interesting facts about jelly fish. The sharks weren't very cooperative when trying to take a selfie though haha! Somewhere to bring visitors to London of all ages for some underwater fun.

Tastemaker

I went to see the new "Ocean Invaders" exhibit, but was more excited to finally see the shark tank. I am usually not a big fan of animals in captivity, but on the other hand I was curious to see the set up of Sea Life for some time.


My feelings have been twofold: it's amazing to get a close look at sea creatures I have not seen before and on the other hand I thought some of the exhibits did not seem to fit. There were some information screens by the tanks, but not as much as I hoped for (maybe replace them with touchscreen ones and more interactive screens).


The staff was really nice and helpful and their knowledge really impressive. We had a nice chat with some of them. The "Ocean Invaders" exhibit was great and I learned a lot about jelly fish.


I am not sure if I would go back - it might be fun as a family trip, but due to its location I think you have to try to avoid the busy times.


All in all it was a fun evening and I'm glad that I finally managed to catch a glimpse of the sharks. 

tastemaker

Sea Life London Aquarium is a pretty cool aquarium and I’ve been to quite a few around Europe. The shark tank is breathtaking with a variety of species to see. There are a number of walk ways where you can see fish swim under your feet and over your head. The penguins are especially cute and I could stare at them for ages. The new Ocean Invaders – jellyfish exhibition is fascinating and presents them beautifully. The staff know their stuff and it was interesting to learn about the Cassiopea (upside down jellyfish) and the cute little polyps.It’s a great place for adults and kids to learn something new about the ocean. Recommended.

Tastemaker

I’ve been to this aquarium a few times, including one heaving Saturday with a toddler and a baby. I would recommend that you do not go on a weekend day, the crowds are unpleasant and really highlight that the aquarium hasn’t got a huge amount of space and is a little run down in parts. However, I really enjoyed the recently launched jellyfish exhibition, ‘Ocean Invaders’, probably the most interesting exhibition and worth a visit! 

Tastemaker

I came here mainly for the new Jellyfish 'Ocean Invaders' exhibit but got to see quite a bit of the rest of the aquarium too. Having lived in Plymouth with the UK's largest and National marine aquarium, I was disappointed by the size of this aquarium, and overall most exhibits were depressing - in particular the penguins who had barely any space and no natural light. 


The Jellyfish exhibit was alright, they had workers there who were incredibly knowledgeable and was really interesting to talk to them. I think the thing that most disappointed me about this was that it is a brand new exhibit but it already feels a little outdated. The tech felt a bit old, I understand much of it is angled towards kids, but the interactive game was really boring, and much of the tech just felt out of place and not very interactive. To be honest my favourite piece of tech there was a very small colour picker which changed the light colour inside one of the small jellyfish tanks and you could set the jellyfish to be any colour you wanted.

tastemaker

My first visit to Sea Life was to see the grand opening of the new jellyfish exhibition so I didn’t get to see everything that they have to offer but I did get enough of a sneak peak into some of the other exhibits including the shark tank, which let’s face it, that’s what we all want to see! Some of the teeth on those sharks are absolutely terrifying.


My feelings about places like this are always mixed. On the one hand, I have such an intense fascination in being able to see all these creatures up close in all their glorious beauty. But on the other hand it’s quite cruel to see creatures that would usually be roaming free in the oceans cooped up in such small spaces with kids banging on the glass. I wouldn’t mind so much if it was a case of rehabilitating animals or some sort of breeding programme for endangered species but I didn’t see any signs of that. The saddest were the penguins, in such an enclosed space, they really did look quite miserable.


Putting my ethical concerns to one side, the jellyfish exhibition was both fascinating and informative. I could honestly spend all evening just watch the jellyfish elegantly float up and down in their tank with the changing colours of their tanks. It was incredibly peaceful and relaxing. I was surprised that despite the number of jellyfish in this exhibit, they were all very similar looking. There are so many different types and colours of jellyfish out there I wonder why they didn’t go for a bit more variety.
tastemaker

We came here primarily for the 'Ocean Invaders' exhibit. We managed to explore facts about various types of jelly fish including the upside down variety. There was a child friendly interactive game which aims to teach participants about the ecology of jelly fish. The aquarium guides were extremely enthusiastic and knowledgeable. 


However, the rest of the aquarium was dingy and uninviting. It was a lot smaller than I imagined it to be. Only the sharks, turtles and sting rays were worth watching in the tank containing the 'whale skeleton'. The penguin enclosure was not a great sight. The penguins are probably most active during the day rather than in the early evening when we visited.  

tastemakerTastemaker

I'm not much of an aquarium fan, to be honest. After watching Blackfish, the idea of animals in captivity - sea creatures or otherwise - turned me off going to any of these types of attractions. But as I was given press tix to check out the new Jellyfish exhibit, and since I have heard nothing but glowing review of this place, I grabbed a friend and thought I'd check it out. 


SO COOL. First off, the jellyfish dancers (not sure if that was just for the press evening or if they are going to be a permanent fixture) added a cool ethereal quality to the proceedings - though I wasn't sure if we were supposed to interact with them or not. As we walked through the building (or at least the parts that weren't closed at the time), we passed through a clear tunnel with tons of fish and sea life directly above us. A turtle had perched just to the side, almost waving at people as they walked by. Epic.


Through the aquarium some more to find clown fish, penguins (my fave), sharks and stingrays (I had a revelation that they were the birds of the sea, I know), until we finally got to the jellyfish.


WOW. Some of them were so tiny! And yet, so deadly as well! It was awe-inspiring to watch them contract and release as each fibre of their tentacles and bells pulsed slowly through the water. And who knew there were so many species?! The staff on hand were really helpful, explaining different types and their features, as well as the geographical locations in which we might find a particular species.


I think it's worth checking out, though I'm not so sure about the price... maybe if you could get a deal or something. Just judging by the size and scope of the building, I'm not sure that it's as big as it should be... in spite of my earlier musings about captive animals.

tastemaker

The new jellyfish exhibition helps to dispel the popular belief that these sea creatures are horrifying beasties which deliver darts of fatal venom from their all encompassing stinging tentacles. The exhibition is informative, interactive and fascinating, allowing visitors to learn about different species, their environment, their habits and life cycle. Facts and educational videos feature throughout and the aquarium staff are incredibly knowledgeable about these unusual ocean dwellers. Tanks are filled with the pulsating jellies drifting in and out of sight, with neon lights illuminating their translucent form. They’re mesmerising, hypnotic and therapeutic to watch, or eerie, ghostly and sinister, depending on your viewpoint.

tastemaker

The new jellyfish exhibition is a fantastic addition to an already great attraction. Knowing little to nothing about jellyfish before, I loved learning more with the fantastic staff on hand to answer all the questions I didn't even know I needed to know! There are a bunch of different types on show, and they're all exhibited beautifully.

Tastemaker

Come on, jellyfish are amazing. They're such bizarre ethereal creatures, like storybook inventions. And this exhibition has plenty of varieties, including organisms no larger than a sticky note and upside-down jellyfish that remain so largely dormant that algae grow on top of them. It's occasionally depressing to see the confined environments these sea creatures are in, but that's a feature of all zoos and aquariums.

tastemaker

It was my first visit to sea life aquarium and I went to see the new ocean invaders jellyfish exhibition.

The aquarium itself is really big, although it does seem a bit run down and dingy. There is a nice range of sea life to see and my favourites were the penguins, although they didn't seem quite as enthusiastic about seeing us! There were loads of jellyfish and the baby ones were really cute. As well as looking at the fish there was an interactive area that seemed to be popular with the youngsters. A great day out but if you have a big family it could get very expensive and not sure it would be worth the cost!

tastemaker

I've been to the aquarium my first time to see the recent jellyfish exhibit. All in all I was bit disappointed. The aquarium doesn't reflect the size and vibe of London at all. There were not that many fish, yes, you can see the shark, few other species and the new jellyfish. It's two different types of jellyfish and that's it. I can see how kinds can still enjoy this, but it's not worth going more than once.

Tastemaker

The new jellyfish exhibit at the aquarium is to gives it a new lease of life. The aquarium is a little worn around the edges but contains some pretty good features like the glass walkway, huge sharks in floor to ceiling ranks and a stingray pool. 

The jellyfish exhibition is cool and modern with interactive portions to engage children. It's probably best received by scholarships age children but can still be enjoyed by preschool children (and much older of course)

tastemaker

I was in the Aquarium for the first time to see the new Ocean Invaders exhibition, which is all about jellyfish. The exhibit in and of itself was super cool and the staff members were very knowledgeable, shared fascinating facts about jellyfish, and--very important-- didn't make me feel like a moron for making ignorant jellyfish questions (which unfortunately can't be said about experts in every London museum). The jellyfish themselves are quite a sight to behold. They are fascinating and somewhat magical creatures (I got some benign dementor vibes?) and the way the exhibit is laid out really allows you to appreciate them in full splendor. 


The aquarium itself has some pros and cons. The shark tank is incredible and you can really see sharks up close, something I never thought I would have an interest in doing but I was quite taken by them when I finally did for the first time here. There's also a lot of interactive bits for kids that I think I would have enjoyed as a kid myself. Unfortunately though, the aquarium does feel a bit rundown and has literally no open air spaces or even windows, so there's an element of claustrophobia to it,  at times like walking through a basement that just happens to house some pretty incredible sea creatures. 


Ultimately, there were a lot of hands on deck (including jellyfish dancers in AMAZING costumes) at the first night of the Jellyfish exhibit to make sure everything went smoothly and this made the experience feel really special, but I'm certain you won't need all the bells and whistles to appreciate this awesome exhibit and enjoy yourself at the aquarium. 

Tastemaker

My review of the aquarium is based largely on the jellyfish exhibit which we were there to see. I really enjoyed seeing these wiggly wonders and they were lit beautifully so you could really see them well. I also got to learn some facts about jellyfish that I never knew before and the display was educational and interesting. 


This was my first visit to the London aquarium and I enjoyed it - we were there for a special event where there were fewer people than on a normal day as well as dancers and prosecco. All of the elements made it rather special! I enjoyed having a wander and the big tanks including the sharks were cool to see too. Watch out for 'Boris' the turtle. You'll know him when you see him. 



tastemaker

I've always tended to avoid 'touristy' places, but I ventured into the Aquarium on a lates / after hours event. Without the usual screaming kids and tour groups, it was a joy. I was surprised at the size of the place, given its central location, with lots of fascinating sea life to discover. 


The shark tank is brilliant (amazing photo opportunities!) and the rays provide hours of entertainment. But the new jellyfish exhibit, Ocean Invaders, is something else. Modern, intriguing and interactive, it shows the real beauty of these amazing creatures. 


If you want to visit, try to go outside of peak times (if there is such a thing as off-peak here) as you will be able to meander through the depths at your own pace and really marvel at the wonderful creatures. 



Tastemaker

Wow!

The new space invaders aka the jelly fish exhibition was out of the world. It's amazing to see them from Babies to being fully grown.

The staff on site were very knowledgeable and answered all our questions! What ever age, you will enjoy this, there is interactive games for the kids and lots of useful info regards jellyfish for the adults.

It's my first time at the aquarium and the shark tank, penguins and now jelly fish were all pretty cool and I can wait to go back and take my nephew.

Top tip

Don't forget to take a jelly fish or shark fish selfie

Tastemaker

London aquarium is not famous, and I have to say now I know why :/ it's a bit run down, tanks are dim and you can't see really well what's inside, there's not much really. The penguin area is depressing, you can see those poor little ones need more space :( 


I liked the big tank with sharks and other big fishes, they seemed to have enough space although I still felt sorry for them. 


The new Sea Invaders exhibition is really cool though! They did a great job with jellies and it's fun and entertaining, kids will love it! There is also a cool game in which you are a jellyfish and need to create the perfect conditions to grow and live. Tanks have very cool lights which make  jellies look like dreamy creatures from another world. The experts working there are all very passionate and they will tell you loads of things!

Tastemaker

The new jellyfish exhibition was good - the staff are very knowledgeable, and it's a pleasure speaking to them. We were lucky enough to speak to Beth, one of the conservationists, whose knowledge was unbelievable. 


It would've been great to see some bigger jellyfish, but at the same time I'm pleased that the larger ones are in their natural habitat. I did feel a bit sorry for the penguins - I definitely felt like they didn't have enough space to really live a happy, snow-filled life. 

tastemaker

The 3 stars are for the overall experience, dragged down by the sad penguins deprived of outdoor space or sky! There is always a feeling of guilt seeing wild animals in tanks/enclosures and it is my belief that this will one day be a thing of the past. However, as a keen scuba diver it is such a treat to relive memories of swimming close to these amazing creatures and learning even more about marine life so we can cherish and protect it's future and that's why I think it's great to see children mesmerised while learning, and in awe of nature. I would give 5 stars to the NEW JELLY FISH EXHIBIT! and if the aquarium keeps up this type of refurbishment and continues with educational installations then they will get my vote.

tastemaker

Generally, I am not a huge fan of Aquariums and Zoos, but as my friends came to London and got me a ticket so I gave it a shot. And I have to say, it was actually a lovely experience. 

The best part was seeing Gentoo penguins - absolutely amazing. I spent almost an hour watching them being fed. The shark tank is also pretty impressive. I would recommend the place for adult and kids. What I really liked, were info boards about overfishing and encouraging sustainable seafood. Kepp it up See Life London! 


WORST AQUARIUM EVER VISITED ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. ALSO TOTALLY NOT KIDS FRIENDLY.

It all started with a family weekend plan to keep our daughter entertained and do something different. This is my view of the facilities and the overall experience as a parent with a 19 month old child. 


The main entrance is hardly buggy friendly as only equipped with stairs. The only way to use the non-stair entrance is to purchase the priority entrance pass, which costs extra!


Secondly, about a quarter of the attractions were closed due to renovation work being carried out. Yet, the full admission price was charged. Also no mention of the work being carried at the ticket desk.


Thirdly, the aquarium was extremely crowded causing long queues at almost every stop.


Forth, hardly any bathrooms and only ONE baby changing room. Amazing.


Last, but not least, the penguins are kept in an enclosure which I can only guess is meant to simulate their natural habitat the Antarctic, amongst other places. Although, it reminds one more of a mental institution with a lack of fresh air/wind, sky etc. The penguins appeared lifeless and not happy at all. London Zoo is doing a much better job at keeping penguins outside, with a large outdoor pool and lots of interaction with nature.


Overall, the facility is run down and lacks everything a world class aquarium in a city such as London SHOULD offer to its visitors.


So if you are considering a family-day out which involves long queues, horrendously high ticket fees, unfriendly staff, a crowded aquarium where you have to force yourself to the front to get your kid to see anything and by default have a strong bladder to overcome the lack of bathroom facilities and baby changing rooms then you should visit.


Otherwise, stay away!

Tastemaker

As Sea Life centres go, this is probably the best one I have been to. I must say I am surprised to see so many negative reviews. The place is huge! We found it to be an interesting layout with plenty of space for all different species of sea creatures. Even the start is exciting as you walk across a glass floor above the water.

The Shark tank is unbelievable! Such a massive area for some massive beasts! Great opportunity for some interesting photos. The walk through tunnel is good too and my personal favourites are the penguins. Such funny animals.

Definitely worth a visit although I can see why the steep price tag would put people off. Make sure you take advantage of the many 2 for 1 or discount vouchers available.


The tiny penguin prison is the most depressing sight. No natural light, with penguins slipping about on a fibreglass ice berg. I don't understand how it's allowed. Go to London Zoo instead - large animal enclosures wirh penguins on a naturalistic beach.

tastemaker

*sigh*

I don't know what to say. My family and I came here for an after hours experience,so technically it should've been better than the day time where screaming children and noisy students impede on ones enjoyment. That was not the case. This is not a good aquarium at all I'm afraid. Hardly any exotic fish and what was there was so mundane I'm sure I could've found them in mY local pond. We didn't get to see the penguins which is the highlight of this place. One saving grace! The shark tank! You can take some really great pictures there... but that's it in my opinion

Tastemaker

Fancy a tour down the aquarium? Don’t! It’s not worth the ridiculous price.


Sure the shark tunnel is cool and the animals are great (especially the rays – who knew they could be so funny?), but the place itself gives such a sad experience it needs to be avoided at all costs. Situated in a dark basement, it feels quite grim. The place is too old and tiny to be enjoyable for you or comfortable for the animals. Plus, with numerous photo booths and souvenir stands, it’s so salesy, it kills the ambiance.


So, trust me, give it a miss.

Tastemaker

As aquariums go, this Sea Life centre certainly isn't the best (if you're looking for an awesome UK aquarium, try The Deep in Hull). It's a cramped space, with narrow walkways that make it difficult to see anything if you're there at a busy time. On a normal day, it's overpriced. The exception to this rule are the adults-only lates events, which see far fewer visitors and have a reasonable ticket price (if booked far ahead) that includes a glass of fizz. This was a truly fun evening, where you could take a leisurely stroll, stroke some starfish and sip at your glass of vino. I actually preferred it to the Zoo lates: with fewer guests and less of the 'outdoor drinking' atmosphere, it was much calmer and the guests didn't seem to be impacting negatively on our underwater friends, which was always a concern at the Zoo. In all, there are much better places in London for a family day out, but for those adults looking for an interesting pre-dinner experience, the lates are ace!

Tastemaker

Recently went on a Friday afternoon to the aquarium lates. At £15 inc a glass of fizz and with no kids allowed i thought it was a really good hour or so to spend before Friday dinner however at the usual price of £30 on a busy weekend - well that's just a rip off and I would rate it 2*. Great for kids but just so over priced.

As it was we didn't get to see the Penguins and the place isn't actually that big but the Sharks were impressive and there were lots of staff around to talk about the fish which was interesting. It was also in collab with Lego so there were tables full of it to play with. 
Would recommend the adults lates - think there is one in September and tickets for the early bird price are reasonably priced.
Tastemaker

Along side Waterloo is the enchanting London aquarium where you can see sharks, turtles and penguins oh my. The set out is quite relaxing there are plenty of fun facts to keep the visitor entertained and amused. Having visited other aquariums this one is fairly small in comparison. With all the aquatics and the blue planet life there is something quite hypnotic about it all. There are obligatory cheesy photo opportunities at the beginning that the staff will try their hardest to persuade you to buy. There will lots of events and activities to keep kids amused and offer late evening visits if you prefer to explore during quieter and less chaotic times.


Lots to see but unable to see most of it as they don't limit the number of people in there. Had my son's buggy with me - impossible. Only care about the takings, not about visitor experience. My daughter enjoyed the parts she did manage to see but will not be returning anytime soon. The ones outside of the city are much more user-friendly.


Very very fun the aquarium is.It has loads of amazing animalls.Its very fun when you get to tuch a star fish and a crab!Plus if you go to the London zoo it is very cold in the winter so you should go to the London aquarium in the winter.

Show More