Under the Sea: Review of Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay
Living in Cornwall is great, the kids get to have loads of time at the beach and they've learnt so much more about our planet by spending time out by the water. There's just one little problem though, the weather in Cornwall isn't always perfect. During the summer my kids might wear their sandals every day but make no mistake, if they're not in their sandals it's because they're in their wellies, and believe me, they're in their wellies a lot. As a family, we can struggle a bit to find places to visit that are good whatever the weather so a trip to the Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay sounded like a great idea.
The Blue Reef Aquarium is located on the Towan Promenade in Newquay, a popular beach for surfing so if you've managed to pick a dry day (or don't mind getting a bit wet!) it's a great place to watch a bit of surfing and have a play on the beach too. Once you've paid to enter you're free to come and go as you please so if you'd like to explore for a bit and then come back you can, a great idea as there are talks and feeds all day including a rockpool encounter and watching sharks, octopuses and turtle feeds.
From the moment we went in my kids were rushing to have a look at every exhibit, there are 40 habitats which range from the Cornish coast to more exotic seas so it's a great way to find out about the ocean outside the front door as well as those miles away. We loved the seahorses, water dragon and turtles and the pool containing the crocodiles seemed hugely popular with all the kids (and grown-ups) visiting, with large see-through viewing panels meaning that it was easy for everyone to get a close-up look.
The highlight of Blue Reef Aquarium though has to be the underwater tunnel where you can get up close with sharks, rays, moray eels and angelfish gliding over your head. My kids have been shark obsessed recently so they were stood in awe as the sharks were swimming so close to them. You can view the underwater tunnel from above too which is a really nice way to see the animals all interacting together.
Blue Reef Aquarium is a great way to keep the kids busy when the Cornish weather isn't quite what you'd hoped for but it has loads to offer on sunnier days too or just when you fancy a change from the beach. It's educational, but in a way that keeps it fun, we do beach cleans quite often so it was a good way for my kids to see the animals I keep telling them that they're helping to save! The Aquarium also has a cafe so between looking at the exhibits, grabbing something to eat and going to view a feed or two it would be easy to make a day of it. I've had Blue Reef Aquarium recommended to me by other parents as a great place to take the kids and I'm sure we'll be taking that recommendation up again soon.
5 reasons to visit Blue Reef Aquarium:
- It's a great day out, whatever the weather!
- Once you've paid entry, you can come and go as often as you like during the day - perfect for making the most of your entrance fee
- The underwater tunnel - it's a great way to see lots of different underwater creatures up close
- Everyone will come away having learnt something, even the grown-ups!
- There are three other Blue Reef Aquariums in the UK, so even if you don't live near Newquay you don't have to miss out! Try Blue Reef Aquarium Tynemouth, Blue Reef Aquarium Hastings or Blue Reef Aquarium Portsmouth