Fancying a bit of sea air to celebrate a family birthday, we headed off to the Blue Reef Aquarium and for a picnic on the esplanade in Portsmouth. I still find it strange that at the heart of English summer you may need to wear a sweater, but I swear, the photos are from August!
All your typical aquarium, fishy fun is there plus some seriously smelly & territorial otters (thankfully the door was open to air it out, but you’ll not want to linger long!). They’ve got the shark tunnel, and who could resist one of those!? One of the best bits was the outside area, something I’ve not really come across at other aquariums. Not only is it right on the sea so you get the nice salty sea air, there are also sand pits, ride on toys and squirty water jets to play in. I want to go back just for that bit.
Food: There was a small cafe, but you’re better off with a picnic or maybe even going full on native and clogging your arteries with some traditional sea side chips down on Clarence Pier. Or, even better, on the day there was an awesome Thai food van parked right outside that made me regret the vast amounts of picnic food we’d brought with us.
Changing: They had facilities, but we didn’t use them.
Prices: Under 3’s free, £9.75 for adults. There is an annual membership that gets you into 4 other aquariums too, but the website doesn’t give a price for it.
Verdict: Awesome fun, oddly one for a sunny day so that you can take advantage of the outdoor areas. Avoid otters.