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“Alright for a rainy day”
Review of Blue Reef Aquarium

Blue Reef Aquarium
Ranked #18 of 63 things to do in Newquay
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: From the local Cornish coast to the dazzling beauty of the Tropical Reef, Newquay Blue Reef aquarium has an exciting world of underwater adventure waiting to be discovered. More than 40 innovative displays vividly bring to life the sights, sounds and smells of the sea, whilst regular feeding displays, rock-pool workshops and informative talks provide a fun and fascinating day out. Visitors can enjoy the closest of undersea encounters with amazing aquatic life including seahorses, giant octopus, pulsating Jellyfish and fierce Piranha. At the aquariums heart is a spectacular coral reef display housed within a 250,000 litre ocean tank - home to exotic tropical species like black tip reef sharks and Omiros the rescued loggerhead turtle. As well as hundreds of brightly-coloured reef fish and a huge Southern Stingray. Enjoy the sheer beauty of the display by taking a journey through its very own underwater tunnel, as well as through a number of viewing portholes, a floor to ceiling window and even enjoy close encounters from the surface - where Omiros often likes to pop up to say hello! Situated on Towan Promenade in the heart of Newquay, Blue Reef Aquarium not only offers a beach on its doorstep but also an amazing experience, whatever the weather!
Useful Information: Stroller parking, Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children, Food available for purchase, Wheelchair access, Stairs / elevator
Barnstaple, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Alright for a rainy day”
Reviewed October 28, 2013

We visited recently, when the weather suggested indoor activities would be best! Whilst there's quite a bit to see, it's actually the same things over and over, and subsequently struggles to keep anyone under the age of 8 interested. It's a bit overpriced for what it is, so do check the tourist leaflets for money off vouchers - we found these AFTER our visit which was a smidge annoying. Pretty good educational value though, but some age specific activities would make it even better.

Visited October 2013
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Thank S0phie2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Beautiful Creatures”
Reviewed October 22, 2013

This is the third time we have visited the aquarium over the years, as it is always wonderful to see the sea life in an environment that is probably less cruel than their natural one. It is clean and well looked after, with the only downside being whether the cost is a little too much for a centre which takes about an hour at a push to walk around with younger ones in tow. Nevertheless, worth a visit.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank TIMETRAVELLERANDCOM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Ok”
Reviewed October 21, 2013

Went on a rainy day so it was packed. Quite pricey. Small and quite worn out. Overlooks the beach and is only 5 mins walk to the shops.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank MrsCH2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Falmouth, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
157 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 147 helpful votes
“Getting rather tired, and no longer good value for money”
Reviewed October 20, 2013

When my daughter was between 4 and 8 we went to the aquarium a fair bit. It was a good size, fun exhibits, exciting exotic creatures. Then we didn't go for perhaps three years. So when we went back this October, we were somewhat surprised to find that... nothing has changed. Nothing. Everything was seemingly exactly the same since our last visit three years ago. In fact, everything was starting to look very tired. And it's expensive: £32.50 for two adults and two kids. You can save a whopping £2.50 if you book online. It took the kids exactly 40 minutes to get round. We tried to stretch it to an hour, but to no avail. That is not because they have some kind of attention deficit disorder, it is because the Aquarium looks and feels very tired now. Some displays were not working. Most were poorly interpreted. Yes, I've been spoilt by Oceanopolis in Brest, Cincinnati Aquarium and other amazing aquaria in the world and I know that at least some of my £32.50 is going on research and conservation work. But Blue Reef needs a facelift and there's no excuse for poorly presented information.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank OutAndAbout40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlueReefAquarium, General Manager at Blue Reef Aquarium, responded to this review, October 22, 2013
Thank you for your review OutAndAbout40, your feedback is important to us.

Sorry to hear you were disappointed with your visit and felt that nothing had changed since your last visit. However in the last 3 years we have added our rescue turtle and giant Pacific octopus, plus a few other exhibits. We do also provide opportunities to listen to regular talks and watch feeds that often extend each visit, plus don’t forget that our tickets are valid for the whole day and many visitors like to go around the aquarium several times.

Our current pricing means that we are much cheaper than many other aquariums in the UK and in-line with other local attractions.

We hope you visit again to see what’s new in the future as we are planning lots of changes to our exhibits this winter.
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Doncaster, England
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Needs to be bigger......!”
Reviewed October 16, 2013 via mobile

It wasn't crowded when we visited mid week but I thought it was pricey for how big it is. Some tanks were empty and in others we couldn't see the fish etc that the details reflected. The advert says biggest aquarium in Cornwall so I would hate to see the smallest. Go to The Deep in Hull or the aquarium in Plymouth for a proper aquarium but I suppose on a rainy summers' day it will pass an hour! Wouldn't recommend it. But other visitors with small children seemed to be enjoying it.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank DenTon145
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlueReefAquarium, General Manager at Blue Reef Aquarium, responded to this review, October 17, 2013
Thank you for your feedback DenTon145

There are a number of very small seaside aquariums in Cornwall and with over 40 displays we are currently the largest aquarium in Cornwall. Unfortunately we cannot do much about the size of the building we have, but we do take pride in having a lot of small unique exhibits that you will not regularly find in other larger aquaria, such as nautilus, garden eels, shimpfish and giant Pacific octopus.

It is misleading to say that some tanks were empty, as to date we have only had 1 display offline this month while it was being refurbished.

It is worth noting that our current competitive pricing means that we are cheaper than any other aquarium in the UK, with an all day re-admission to allow our visitors to come and go throughout the day if they wish, as many do.
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