The Deep in Hull, East Yorkshire is a non-profit aquarium featuring over 3,500 fish and Little M’s favourite – a colony of Gentoo Penguins.
It has been on the things to do list for a while, but it is one of the more expensive family days out – so we waited for a special occasion before we ventured ‘into the deep’.
The journey is relatively straight forward and parking was stress-free outside the striking building. However, we hadn’t read the bit on the website where it suggested arriving after 2pm and arrived at around 1.30pm where families were queuing through the door!
- Parking is £2 for 4 Hours
- Entry was £12 Each (Little M was Free)
- The Day Plus Pass – Means we can now go for FREE for 12 months!
It was a relatively quick moving queue and well organised. Following admission, we started our decent through the attraction. It was full of colour and interesting images, stories and facts that interested Little M visually and gave Mrs M and myself plenty to discuss.
In some places, it was hard to see all the fish due to the number of people at the attraction. The petting area was closed, but Little M found a sandbox nearby which kept him entertained for quite a while.
He wasn’t sure about some of the larger fish and was by this point obsessive about seeing the penguins, so we fast-tracked through some of the early parts before we came to the Penguins.
The enclosure for the Penguins felt a little forced into its position and didn’t give a complete view of the penguins – perhaps to give them privacy, but we managed to stand and watch them for quite a while. There is also a second viewing area, which at feeding time was tough to find a spot, but we held our own and got to see them speeding around the pool and being all penguin like. Little M loved it!
Other highlights included the ice wall, The Spotted Garden Eel, The Underwater Tunnel and obviously Sharks and Rays.
When we got to the end of our visit, we then discovered that we had still a couple of hours before we were due to leave, thanks to a cunning plan to avoid the ‘bedtime routine’ enabling Little M to fall asleep in the car.
We decided to go round a second time and this was by far the best idea of the day. The deep is open until 6pm and they recommend coming later in the afternoon (between 3-4 seems to be optimum) and they are right!
We weren’t quite on our own, but we got to see the whole exhibit with fresh eyes and enjoy feeding time in one of the pools and unrestricted access to the Penguins and other popular attractions. We also got to benefit from the lift on our own at the end.
Finally, we settled in the restaurant where although they were clearing up, we could enjoy a sandwich meal deal and some milk before the drive back home. Prices were reasonable and the selection was good.
While ‘The Deep’ may not be the cheapest day out, it was great to see how much excellent work it does in research, conservation and education. Not only is it an enjoyable, engaging and entertaining day out, but we did feel we had done something positive with our money and our time.
As a day out with our ‘almost’ 3-year-old, it provided all the facilities we needed, had excellent access and plenty of things to look at. As a family, it was a great day out. Little M loved it, especially his 50p penguin souvenir he has named ‘Penny’.
The Deep is a fantastic family day out for all ages. With sharks, unusual fish, penguins and plenty to absorb and enjoy. Arriving after 2pm is a top tip along with claiming an annual pass on entry. It is the kind of place that Children will remember visiting from their childhood.