Top Aquariums in and around Kent 🧜
If you’re looking for some awesome aquariums in Kent, sea life centres, and more, you’ve come to the right place! Having lived in the area for several years, I’m super familiar with all of the best things to do here!
Aquariums are amazing because they’re fun for just about everyone, from the whole family to couples and even those on a solo adventure. They really do make the perfect day out.
Read on to discover where you can see tropical fish, sharks, and all sorts of gorgeous marine animals in or around Kent.
Although there technically aren’t lots of aquariums in Kent itself, there are several on the edge, which are well worth checking out.
Let’s get straight to it! Here are the best fish festivals, wildlife parks and aquariums in (and around) Kent…
#1 Wingham Wildlife Park
Wingham Wildlife Park is a popular animal park and conservation centre located in Wingham, Kent. It provides a home to a wide variety of animals from different parts of the world, including colourful fish and penguins.
The top highlights of Wingham Wildlife Park:
- Education and conservation: The park focuses on both education and conservation, aiming to raise awareness about endangered species and the need to protect wildlife. It also works closely with various conservation organisations and actively participates in breeding programs to help preserve and protect threatened species.
- Amazing animals: At Wingham Wildlife Park, you can expect to encounter animals from all walks of life, including mammals, birds, reptiles, and even creepy crawlies. Some of the animals you might come across include lions, lemurs, reptiles, and a variety of bird species.
- Colourful Fish: As well as awesome animals, you can also find some unique fish at Wingham Wildlife Park, including Japanese Medaka Ricefish. Also known as “ricefish” or “killifish.” These small freshwater fish are native to East Asia and known for their vibrant colours.
- Immersive experiences: The park offers informative talks and feeding demonstrations, which allows visitors to learn more about the animals and their habitats.
All in all, the Wingham Wildlife Park provides a seriously enjoyable and educational experience for people of all ages. If you’re an animal lover or obsessed with exotic fish, it’s definitely worth a visit!
#2 Sea Life, at Chessington World of Adventures Resort
Only 40 minutes away from Kent, you’ll find the SEA LIFE Aquarium in Chessington.
Here, you can expect to embark on an incredible underwater journey, encountering a wide variety of marine creatures from around the world.
Highlights of the SEA LIFE centre include:
- Marine Species: Get up close and personal with fascinating marine species, including colourful tropical fish, majestic rays, curious seahorses, and even sharks!
- Interactive Exhibits: Enjoy interactive exhibits that allow you to learn more about the marine world, conservation efforts, and the importance of protecting our oceans.
- Behind-the-Scenes Tours: Discover what happens behind the scenes at the aquarium with special guided tours, offering insights into animal care and conservation activities.
- Talks and Feeding Demonstrations: Attend informative talks and feeding demonstrations by knowledgeable staff members, who will share interesting facts about the marine animals and their habitats.
Overall, visiting the SEA LIFE aquarium is an amazing day out for both children and adults, offering a chance to learn about marine life and appreciate the wonders of the underwater world. There’s also plenty of tasty dishes served in the house cafe here.
#3 Hastings Aquarium
Less than hour away from Kent, you’ll find Hastings Aquarium, which is home to over 3,500 incredible aquatic animals and reptiles.
- Underwater Safari: At this amazing Aquarium, you can go on an underwater safari to explore the hidden mysteries of aquatic life in the UK waters, before exploring the freshwater rivers of South East Asia and the distant ocean reefs of the South Pacific.
- Awesome Marine Life: Along the way, you’ll get to see turtles, seahorses and even tropical sharks; as well as Huxley, the Giant Pacific Octopus! Hastings Aquarium is also home to deadly sea creatures in the Lethal Reef tank.
- Aquarist Experts: There’s never a dull moment here, with Aquarist Experts offering scheduled talks and feeds, as well as interactive animal handling sessions.
- Massive Ocean Tank: There’s a massive ocean tank here that’s equipped with an underwater walkthrough tunnel, which reminds me of the famous one at Atlantis. This provides an up-close experience with an exotic coral reef, where you really get a greater appreciation of wildlife.
- Fun Learning Experiences: You’ll learn so much at Hastings Aquarium – from fascinating questions like whether fish ever get thirsty or what the fastest shark in the world is!
- Preservation Education: I love that the ultimate goal of this Aquarium is to raise awareness of the importance of preserving and protecting life under the sea – it doesn’t get much more wholesome than this 💙
With incredible displays and interactive fun that will take you from the British coastline to vibrant tropical reefs and beyond, Hastings Aquarium guarantees an unforgettable day trip from Kent.
#4 Whitstable Oyster Festival
The Whitstable Oyster Festival is a vibrant annual event that celebrates the town’s rich oyster heritage and maritime culture. It takes place in Whitstable, which is a super charming coastal town in Kent.
The festival has been a tradition in Whitstable for over 30 years and draws both locals and visitors from around the world.
During the festival, you can expect a wide range of fun activities and events, including:
- Oyster Eating and Shucking Contests: Watch or participate in competitions where participants showcase their oyster eating or shucking skills. It’s a chance to witness some impressive oyster-related talents. Before I developed an allergy to oysters 😭 this was something I did every year!
- Food and Drink Stalls: Indulge in delicious seafood, including local oysters (which are world renowned) and other culinary delights. The festival showcases Whitstable’s diverse food scene and offers a variety of options to seriously tantalise your taste buds.
- Entertainment: Enjoy live music, performances, and exhibitions throughout the festival. From local bands to street entertainers, there’s always something entertaining happening during the celebrations, making this one of the best outdoor activities in Kent.
- Arts and Crafts: Explore artisanal stalls offering unique arts and crafts, including locally crafted goods and oyster-themed creations.
- Parade and Processions: Experience the lively atmosphere as the festival kicks off with a colourful parade, usually with floats, marching bands, and community groups.
The Whitstable Oyster Festival is a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in the maritime traditions and community spirit of Whitstable, while savouring fresh seafood and enjoying some fab entertainment options.
Even if you’re not that into oysters I highly recommend heading to Whitstable anyway – it’s got to be one of the quaintest towns in the UK.
#5 Dover Sea Safari
Dover Sea Safari is an exciting adventure and sightseeing experience in Dover, Kent. It offers boat rides along the stunning Kent coastline, allowing visitors to explore the local marine environment, wildlife, and landmarks.
During a Dover Sea Safari, expect a thrilling ride on a high-speed RIB (rigid inflatable boat) and journey along the English Channel. The knowledgeable and experienced crew will guide you and provide commentary on the sights and wildlife you encounter.
Highlights of a Dover Sea Safari include:
- White Cliffs of Dover: Get up close and personal with the iconic White Cliffs of Dover, a symbol of the UK’s coastline.
- Dover Harbour: Explore the bustling Dover Harbour, which is frequently busy with shipping vessels and ferries traveling to and from Europe.
- Wildlife Spotting: Keep your eyes peeled for a variety of awesome marine wildlife, including seals, dolphins, porpoises, and seabirds. It’s a fantastic opportunity to witness these creatures in their natural habitat.
Overall, Dover Sea Safari offers a thrilling and unique way to experience the beauty of Kent’s coastline. It’s a great activity for nature enthusiasts, adventure seekers, and those looking to explore the region from a different perspective.
I hope you enjoyed this short article on all of the best sea life centres, fish festivals, and aquariums in Kent.
From colourful underwater creatures to fascinating exhibits and festivities, Kent’s aquatic attractions showcase the incredible biodiversity of our oceans and rivers.
A day out at one of these awesome places offers not only an exciting adventure for the whole family, but also an enriching educational experience as you delve into these aquatic ecosystems.
If you know of any other Kent aquariums or places to discover sea life in the area, please do let me know in the comments below! 🐠🐠🐠
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