The Front Room
Our Front Room shows you what’s hiding under piers and harbours in the Pier Tank, with large flatfish camouflaging themselves against the bottom and swift grey mullet zooming around. Keep your eyes peeled for the colourful cuckoo wrasse! The cold-water tank is the lair of the Atlantic wolffish peering at passers-by from among the rocks – although grumpy-looking with large fangs, they are actually fairly docile creatures!
1 tonne of water is dumped down in this tank every 30 seconds or so, perfect for our plumose anemones. Don’t worry, you won’t get splashed!
No Bone Zone
No bones here! Discover incredible invertebrates like starfish, anemones, sea urchins, octopus and mesmerising moon jellyfish! Did you know starfish have an eye at the end of each arm?
Breeding & Conservation
This is the home of many of our juvenile animals as well as some very strange creatures – you might spot baby catsharks, cuttlefish or pipefish (relatives of seahorses!) You’ll also learn about marine litter, conservation and sustainable fisheries – grab a leaflet and sign a petition!
The dark and spooky wreck of the Seven Sisters is home to common shipwreck residents – the conger eels! Can you find them hiding in their dark tunnels? Spot the shy and elusive tadpole fish, the spiny spider crabs, and other shipwreck residents!
Food preparation area
This is where we prepare food for our animals. Check what’s on the menu today! You might even see one of our aquarists chopping up the day’s dinner for one of the big tanks…
In the tanks opposite the Lobster hatchery you'll see new arrivals and juvenile animals waiting to go on display. We also use these tanks for housing ill or injured fish, or as temporary housing for fish while their usual tank is undergoing maintenance!
Conservation in action! Female European lobsters in the hatchery carry eggs under their tails until they hatch. Learn about the lobster life cycle and check out the adorable tiny baby lobsters who’ll eventually be released back into the sea to boost the local population!
One of the visitor favourites! Our seahorse exhibit is home to both species of British seahorse – the short-snouted seahorse (Hippocampus hippocampus) and the long-snouted seahorse (Hippocampus guttulatus.) Learn all about the extraordinary lifestyle and reproduction of these amazing but vulnerable creatures, and the threats they face in the wild. If you’re lucky, you might even see a pregnant male in the spring or summer (yes, the males give birth!)
The Second Wave
Another big splash! Stay near the wall or stand closer if you’re brave! The wave stirs the water for the snakelocks anemones and provides plenty of oxygen. Find the bright blue lobster hiding in its rocky lair!
Shark & Ray Pool
Learn about British sharks and rays! Don’t expect to see large grey predators with huge teeth – sharks come in many different shapes and sizes! Our smallspotted catsharks and nursehounds are small bottom-dwelling nocturnal predators, so look underneath the grids under your feet as you make your way round the Shark and Ray Pool, and you might spot an oblivious shark fast asleep. Our pool is also home to 3 species of British skates – thornback ray, small eyed ray and blonde ray. See if you can find them, they are masters of camouflage…
In the nursery tanks you’ll find baby sharks wriggling inside their eggs, as well as new hatchlings! Basking sharks are far too big for tanks, but our model basking shark is hard to miss – would you believe they grow even larger?
Big Fish Forest
Our largest tank has a kelp forest full of big fish. Take a seat and watch the hypnotic group of silvery sea bass and gilthead bream, find the orange and green ballan wrasse (did you know they change from female to male?), and spot the large spider crabs climbing the rock walls and hiding in caves. You can also take a better look at our thornback rays, and you might even see their alien-like underside... Don't forget to have a go with the underwater camera!
Creatures you might find on the beach! Learn about rocky shore zones and see if you can find the little blennies hiding among the colourful beadlet anemones!