Ilfracombe Aquarium
Ilfracombe Aquarium
4
About
This exciting and award winning, all weather, educational attraction provides a fascinating insight into the watery world of North Devon. The aquarium houses a diverse collection of local aquatic life in beautifully recreated natural habitats. The exhibits provide visitors with a unique zoned journey experience starting from the source of an Exmoor stream, down river to an estuary, local rockpool, Ilfracombe Harbour to Lundy and its marine reserve. Complimentary children's quizzes following fun trails are offered on entry.The aquarium also has a funky fish gift shop and a cafe, selling locally sourced delicious items.
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  • WantItGood
    Ferndown, United Kingdom79 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must see
    Took uni students who have an interest in wildlife. Not a massive place but cleverly packs in a lot to see by splitting the attraction into zones starting at a river source in marshland and following the stages a river takes to the sea. The sea tanks were a hit with us, a ray of some kind was cruising round on the surface looking us right in the eye, quite a special experience especially considering how different our environments are. Our ancestors came from the sea and you can reconnect here! We were made very welcome at the desk and were able to ask questions of the friendly staff. This place could be missed at the end of the harbour just after where the boat trip ticket booths are but I would encourage anyone to take the few steps along there and enjoy an hour or two. The aquarium has its own cafe too.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 24 June 2023
  • alanna_m88
    Loughborough, United Kingdom51 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Toddler friendly
    My 2 year old loved this aquarium. Toddlers are given their own stool so they can stand up and look in the tanks themselves. He loved running round pointing out the fish, starfish, crabs and lobsters. Plenty of friendly staff on hand telling older children about the different exhibits and feeding the fish.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 11 July 2023
  • Krissievisits
    Leicester, United Kingdom115 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A very cute little place to visit
    We visited this aquarium on a spur of the moment after picking up a leaflet in a local cafe. My little boy loves aquariums so we decided to pop in to escape from the rain. It's a very small aquarium and a bit of a squeeze if there are a lot of people there - especially with prams - but it's a very cute place to visit. It's different from all other aquariums as it's full of local species!
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 19 July 2023
  • Hayzi
    Oxford, United Kingdom64 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Small but Good
    Went here for a quick stop on a rainy day. There is limited parking as Ilfracombe was packed, but it is school holidays so expected. Ended up some way away but got up the step count. Easy to find and signposted well. This is a really small aquarium but has a lot to offer. It takes you on a journey from the top of Exmoor down to the sea and gives plenty of information throughout. You could easily go round in 10 minutes but we spent around an hour with the 2 boys who were gripped by the fish and crustaceans on display. They loved looking for the octopus! Staff were great, had good knowledge and answered questions. Maybe the entry fee was a little high for the size but it’s an independent business so I’m not averse to paying a little more. A really good way to spend some time in Ilfracombe and inspired some rock pooling too!
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 31 July 2023
  • arush13
    12 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fun small local aquarium- worth a visit
    While the aquarium is small, it is brilliant. The staff were friendly and knowledgeable and spent time chatting to us and giving us little facts and feeding the fish so we could see some action. Everything is very close and easy to view. The kids quiz was fun and my 7 year old enjoyed. Would really recommend spending a bit of time here if you’re having a day wandering around Ilfracombe.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 26 August 2023
  • Poppy :)
    Norfolk, United Kingdom125 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Informative staff
    Small but interesting aquarium. Staff were very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable! Love the Devon theme with English wildlife rather than tropical. Price could be slightly lower but enjoyable experience for a rainy day
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 29 August 2023
  • Natalie F
    Swindon, United Kingdom20 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great When Raining
    We visited the Aquarium at the end of August 2023. I knew from previous reviews that it wouldn’t take us long to walk round 30mins1hr, which turned out is about right… but with the heavy rain this was the perfect activity to do on our holiday. There was a bit of a queue on arrival, but luckily we got there when there was still space under the canopy… others weren’t so luckily. It cost around £24 for the four of us to go in and the children were given age appropriate activities to do as we went around, which they were given a sticker for completing. The aquarium focuses on local water life from the rivers through to the sea and there are members of staff dotted around to give you additional information. The viewing deck for the rays is really cool and my children loved looking over them and sticking there head in the viewing portals. There is a little eatery, sharing the canopy area with tables, offering basic lunch meals, such as pasties, sausages rolls, baguettes etc. They do a lovely curry flavoured pasty that went down very well with my family. Overall, a nice little place to visit if it’s raining and you’re in the area… but because it doesn’t take very long to go around, I wouldn’t travel in from too far to visit.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 2 September 2023
  • Jamie C
    Norwich, United Kingdom481 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Not sure if it's worth it to be honest
    Small aquarium, probably no more than 20 tanks. Good to see somewhere trying to showcase local fish etc though. We spent about 20 mins there and that was a stretch. There's a cafe of sorts on sight that looks ok. Not sure £8 each is worth it though. Ok for something to do i guess...
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 12 September 2023
  • ryboh94
    Chesterfield, United Kingdom96 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lovely small aquarium with a surprising variety of exhibits!
    Whilst small, the aquarium and animals are very well cared for and the staff are knowledgeable, helpful and friendly. I'd say this just about justifies the entry fee, as there is plenty to look at and see. The tanks with the rays and sharks that are found off the coast of Devon is very interesting and the journey the aquarium takes you, from river source to open ocean is a intriguing was of doing things.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 29 September 2023
  • Saskia F
    Weston super Mare, United Kingdom16 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing staff & experience
    Such a wonderful experience today at the aquarium; warmly welcomed by who I think was the owner, extremely friendly yet remaining professional while we briefly chatted as he worked minutes before they opened for the day. The level of service throughout our entire experience was exception. We were served by Lauren who sold us our tickets, a friendly & knowledgeable lady, she even went out of her way to ask if I was a student which was a nice way to save some pennies ☺️ when inside Harry was happy to answer any questions/general chit chat we had about the aquatic life and even fed some of the fish while we were there, we were delighted with the level of knowledge and profession across all staff we encountered Alongside this, we weren’t expecting much of a small aquarium like this, however the fact that all the animals inside are locally sourced gives it a special touch & sets it aside from any other aquarium we’ve ever been to! 10/10 service and a wonderful atmosphere inside would highly recommend ☺️☺️
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 7 October 2023
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Lesley C
Malvern Wells, UK574 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
Nice find just enough for you children not to get bored
Fish look very well cared for
Parking and toilets very close
A bit pricey for the size of the establishment
Written 29 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andrew
2 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
Friendly staff but vastly over priced for what is was. Whole experience took a few minutes as tanks very small and not much to see. Would not recommend.
Written 26 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gemma
12 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
Tiny place which we had been around within 10 minutes. So over priced for what it is. The staff reiterated about 10 times that we couldn’t keep the magnifying glasses. We weren’t going to but equally to give them away or to give something more than a sticker for the quiz may have made the huge entry cost a bit more worth it. We were a group of 10 (2 families) and feel really disappointed about the money we wasted doing this.
Written 10 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

grace w
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
What a brilliant time we all had! So informative and all local so interesting too. The staff went over and above to give my boys relevant quizes to complete and took the time to find out their prior knowledge before. The staff within the aquarium were incredibly knowledgeable and were more than happy to answer all our questions. We took our time to work out way round and spent time looking at each tank which made it value for money. A really lovely way to spend a rainy morning. Thank you.

It is worth noting that this is a small aquarium and could have been completed very quickly making it not value for money. But there is plenty of things to read and see and we didn't feel pressured by the staff to move through it quickly.
Written 21 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LondonTravellerUK
London295 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
Small aquarium showing local species and with very friendly staff.

Doesn't take long to walk through but interesting enough and good on a rainy day.
Written 18 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ron B
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Solo
Wow! what a little gem of a place nestled into the ilfracombe harbour! Staff very friendly and informative! The highlight for me were definitely the clouded leopards and the chinpanzees. Fabulous place! One slight improvement the empty enclosure you have would be great with possibly a great white shark or perhaps a blue whale ? Just to make it that extra special!
Written 14 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hugh J
4 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Solo
It was a mild winters day, a gentle breeze rolled by but the sun rays were shining through the clouds in ilfracombe, the smell of the harbour set the scene, persuading me unknowingly to visit the aquarium, I entered. The gradients of blues and whites on the interior mirrored the tidal seas and skies sprinkled with clouds. I tiptoed onward and was in awe by the diverse creatures they had inside, “incredible” I muttered, at first glance, in one of the tanks I thought I saw a sea snake, upon closer inspection, a long windy turd floated by.. spectacular, “what sea creature in this quaint seaside town aquarium could produce this beast?” I pondered, floating by staring at me, I was startled yet fascinated. An experience that only comes to few. I recommend visiting! I shall return. One day.
Written 14 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Claire032
Birmingham, UK34 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Family
We weren’t sure about visiting as it looked so small from outside but had a lovely time there on a rainy day. We loved that it was based around local wildlife and were particularly fond of the rays and octopus. We also got to see them being fed which was a bonus. The staff were really friendly and very knowledgeable and spent time explaining the environments and lifecycles. Definitely an unexpected highlight.
Written 4 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MrsH87
Bracknell, UK73 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Family
Nice visit to the aquarium, it is quite small and doesn’t take too long to long around. But lots of information and marine life from the local area. However you can revisit again during the day so you can have another look around. Staff were very friendly and informative. Would definitely consider returning again if in the area.
Written 2 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michelle B
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Family
Very overpriced for what it is. Was only in there for 6 minutes as not much to see. Very cramped, waste of money.
Written 22 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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ILFRACOMBE AQUARIUM (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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