Hello fellow budget hunters,
Today I am writing a super exciting post, about Bristol Aquarium. I am lucky enough to be working with Bristol Aquarium on this post which was super cool.
I have been to this aquarium twice before, for various birthdays – the last time was over 3 years ago! Showing my ages here as I remember when this aquarium was part of @Bristol (now ‘we the curious’) and was full of creepy crawlies instead.
However, now it is a large aquarium in Bristol Harbourside.
The aquarium is located in Anchor Square, just off millenium Square and down the road from the Hippodrome. You can find out the address and how to get there here. It is also a 20 minute walk from Temple Meads Station and easy to access from the we the curious carparks.
Rather than write loads about this – I will share the image of the ticket prices and also it’s clear to buy your tickets online as it is cheaper!
The Bristol Aquarium
So once you’ve found the aquarium and bought your tickets. It is time to go and see over 40 displays of thousands of amazing aquatic creatures, including tropical sharks, rays, seahorses, puffer fish, piranhas, and many many more.
There’s these barriers to go through (BUT YOU CAN GO AROUND AS MANY TIMES AS YOU LIKE)
The Aquarium is set into these different sections: –
- The Sunken Ship
- The Bay of Rays
- The Urban Jungle
- The Mighty Amazon
- The Underwater Tunnel
- Coral Seas
I will split my post into all the different sections and show you some of my images from each of the sections.
The Sunken Ship
The first section of the aquarium is designed to feel like you’re in a boat that has been shipwrecked and overrun by fish. There is a selection of eels, crayfish, lobsters and even jellyfish. It has been designed with the UK coastline in mind and features lots of fish that you can see by diving or snorkeling off our coasts.
Here there is also this super cool wall of tanks, displaying the common fish that we eat in the UK. That tank also gives you a first glimpse of sharks too!
I sat and watched this for ages, on my second walk around I sat here and ate my lunch!!
The other tanks around this area include lobsters, shrimp and my favourite were the jellyfish
The Bay of Rays
Did you know that Rays are closely related to sharks?
I remember one time that we visited the Aquarium and a small child ran towards the tank of rays shouting “LOOK MUM, STINGER RAYS, MUM THERE’S STINGER RAYS” and after that… I have always thought of sting rays as ‘Stinger rays’. It always makes me smile.
I always love the way that Rays look like they have tiny little faces.
These are found in the Urban Jungle, it is such an insane tank and is full of some very very nosy rays.
The Urban Jungle is warm and steamy. In fact the heat hits you in the face, and I went in June in the UK. It is a botanical jungle, with various tanks built into the rock walls.
There are some very unusual types of plants around here and it is very beautiful. I love the way the plants have been incorporated in a natural way with the tanks and water.
It is also a very creative way to avoid putting in stairs!
The Mighty Amazon
This is an area that is meant to imitate the Amazon. This is another area of the freshwater tanks and the Amazon contains 20% of all freshwater in the world. This area goes into the SECOND Botanical house, yes, there’s two different botanical areas.
The Amazonian section, includes electric eels, archer fish and piranhas – I also love this section. If there was an anaconda (obviously there isn’t) then this would be my favourite section, but at the moment it is still the Underwater Tunnel.
In this section there is also yellow-bellied turtles and the new turtle bay section!
The Underwater Tunnel
I love underwater tunnels – I can stand in them for hours and hours. I love watching the fish swim above my head, it feels like a noisy version of scuba diving to me.
In the tunnel, there is currently a couple of Leopard Sharks, Rays, hundreds of Tropical fish and some amazing displays. You can try and spot Nemo and Dory while you’re in there.
Upstairs you can view the underwater tunnel, from above. This is another awesome places to watch and I love the pictures of the sharks from above I have got here. The tank itself currently houses 250,000 litres of water which I think is insane!!
This is also the home of the new Bamboo Cat shark, who looks really box-shaped, but super cool.
There is a daily talk and feed session here at 11.30am. Which I went to today and I loved it. The fish knew exactly what time of day it was and there was a LOT of splashing!
This is Georgie, she is 30 years old and was circling the tank. Apparently leopard sharks have to keep swimming even when asleep, which is why she was circling – she was asleep the whole time!!
Well no post from me would be complete without a section on sharks. Sharks are one of my favourite animals and I have watched far too many documentaries about sharks (my boyfriend will vouch for me on that one).
Bristol Aquarium is home to 7 different species of shark. The species they have on display are tropical Leopard Shark, Bamboo Catshark and Port Jackson sharks to our native Bull Huss, Lesser Spotted Catsharks, Common Smoothounds and Starry Smoothhound sharks. I love the fact that they have 4 species of native sharks from the UK, which I think is amazing.
Obviously it is difficult to house large sharks in captivity, the aquarium wrote a blog post all about why they have no large sharks, find it here. I also find it so interesting that the most famous shark in the world cannot be kept in captivity – Vox did a great video on why Great White Sharks can’t survive in captivity, which I will link here.
Anyway enough about sharks, there are so many other interesting creatures in the Aquarium!
Coral Seas continues
There is a few final tanks, before you exit the aquarium loop – I love these and I got great images here too.
This is the schedule for the talks
11:30am – Daily – CORAL REEF
1pm – Daily – BAY OF RAYS
2:30pm – Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun – SEAHORSES
2:30pm – Tues, Thurs, Sat – AMAZON
4.00pm – Mon, Wed, Fri – NATIVE
4.00pm – Tues, Thurs, Sat, Sun – SHARKS
There are lots of events designed for children of different ages. Over the summer there is a ‘meet the mermaid’ experience and the ‘festival of fishes 2018’.
The Talks are great for children and there is even an area for kids to play, colour in pictures of fish and even crawl into a seahorse den.
Most of the fish at Bristol Aquarium’s Amazon Display are rehomed from private collections where the fish have grown too big.
They are trying to create more awareness about the size of these fish and are supported by Big Fish Campaign.
I personally know about this as we had some shubunkin fish which started off as an 2.5cm long, but they ended up growing to over 20 cm long, before we donated them to my former sixth form college – which had a large pond. Ours were only garden/fresh water fish are easier to rehome, but these Amazonian fish are not.
I love the aquarium. This aquarium is a great experience for all members of the family, it isn’t too big and has lots of informative signs. I love the way that they have conservation at the forefront of everything they do. It is a personal, less commercial aquatic experience and I feel that the animals are the most important thing to the people who work there.
The aquarium has changed a little in the past couple of years since I was last there, but I still feel nostalgic and really enjoyed my time at this aquarium.
I hope you enjoyed this post and have been persuaded to visit the aquarium in Bristol!
Until next time,
The Great Ambini
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**Disclaimer, I was given free tickets to Bristol Aquarium in exchange for publishing a review. I was not paid for this and all opinions are my own. **