We went as a family of 4 in January 2013. Our youngest is under 3 so gets free entry and we paid £25. I think you can get an internet discount too. Very friendly and enthusiastic staff, all ready to help and full of smiles. Our visit was slightly impeeded by a birthday party but we could easily overtake them and come back later. Lots of lovely fish of various sizes but much better displayed than in a pet shop (as a previous reviewer said you can get the same experience at one). Also, a walk-through tunnel under the big tank with lots of amazing fish and sharks in it. Don't go expecting the kind of thing you see on TV from America - nothing is bigger than about 3 or 4 ft but they are very well displayed and there's lots for little ones to see. As an adult I was enthralled too! Food in the cafe was very cheap but you can see why when it arrives! If you get a year's pass it gets you 20% off in the shop and cafe I think. There's a pay and display carpark right outside and it's next to the beach so you can base yourself there, go for a (gravelly) beach walk, stroll past the fun fountains over to the little train which takes you along the enormous pier out into the sea. Overall, we had an unexpectedly great time in Southend!
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