Blue Planet is one of the biggest aquariums in the country and so has plenty to offer. It’s worth allowing a couple of hours, as you can go round as many times as you like, and all kids seem to want to see that blasted clown fish one last time! The 70 metre moving walkway through the Aquatunnel is the best part for us – with huge sand tiger sharks together with mantra rays floating around you. When it’s busy though, this section can be a bit of a nightmare with a pushchair!
We enjoyed the Aquatheatre, a partially-seated auditorium with a large picture window, through which you can watch divers perform daily shows, feeding the fish in the enormous tanks. Blue Planet also run special junior shark-diving experiences if you really want to get up close!
The Coral Cave is a giant, darkened, underground rock cave with a central viewing area overlooking a coral reef display. You can also peer down the portholes to see the fish underneath. Our boys enjoyed climbing up into the creepy crawly section and getting a 360 degree view of spiders and other nasties. I was more “Get me out of here!”
Outside you’ll find a play area, along with the otters – which are gorgeous. The boys spent ages out here, and there are a number of picnic tables (if it’s raining, you can eat in the Aquatheatre). The café seating area is large, and sandwich boxes and hot meals are available; but it can get very busy.
Overall I was impressed with the layout of the tanks in the aquarium. And there were steps and benches to clamber up onto, to ensure that even smaller children could see into the higher-up tanks, so everyone could have a good look at the sea creatures. However I was taken aback by the entrance fee. £52 for a family is definitely not cheap – but as a family ticket to the cinema is around £34 maybe I’m just out of touch! Discounts and vouchers can be found online, and are definitely worth searching for. Inevitably Blue Planet does get extremely busy on rainy days and bank holidays, but you can fast track the queue by booking online.
Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, Weekends 10am-6pm
Adult £15.50, Child £11.50, Family £52
Blue Planet Aquarium, Cheshire Oaks,
Cheshire CH65 9LF
Tel: 0151 357 8804 blueplanetaquarium.com