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“Interesting but over priced” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Bristol Aquarium

Bristol Aquarium
Ranked #32 of 191 things to do in Bristol
Attraction details
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
125 reviews
77 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Interesting but over priced”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 January 2011

After reading other reviews I was worried this was going to be a massive let down. I was wrong, we didn't get a chance to see the IMAX but the aquarium itself was great. We watched one of the feedings and the staff there were great and answered any questions. The tanks are large and have a large variety in there. Not sure if I would go again but I did really enjoy it!

1 Thank joannelummy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bluereefbristol, Sales at Bristol Aquarium, responded to this review, 7 March 2011
Dear Joanne

Thanks for your feedback for Bristol Aquarium. We are glad you found the aquarium interesting and enjoyed your visit.

I'm sorry you didn't get the chance to try out our IMAX cinema. As Europe's only combined aquarium and IMAX it is a great part of the visitor experience and with new films planned for 2011 it will continue to make us stand out from the crowd.

We now have the ability to purchase online tickets which will save visitors money on the entrance price.

Again thank you for your feedback

Bristol Aquarium
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Devon UK
Level Contributor
98 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
“Well worth a visit”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 July 2010

The Blue Reef Aquarium is not cheap at £13.50 per person and the price almost stopped us from visiting. That said, it is comparable with most aquariums given that the price includes a 45 minute Imax presentation.

Like the previous comment, we also did not know where the Imax cinema was and found ourselves rushing around trying to locate it, so perhaps it would be an idea for visitors to be advised when they pay. The information on he tanks/displays should also be improved as several tanks either did not name the fish that were on display or named only a few of them.

The feeding times were given to us on a slip of paper on entrance and were also announced over the loudspeaker which was very helpful and there was no reason to miss anything.

We found the aquarium to be very well laid out with an excellent contrast of local and international marine and freshwater fish. Indeed, this is probably one of the best and most interesting aquariums we have visited in this country.

The only real complaint we had was with the cafe which, based on our experience, should be avoided at all costs. It may not bother others but plastic cups for coffee are not our choice and the blueberry muffin we bought was quite the worst we have ever tasted - we were thinking of sending it for forensic analysis to try to locate a blueberry ! Worst of all was the fact that all the tables were filthy with the remnants of food left by other diners, yet no-one made any effort to wipe a cloth over them which was inexcusable.

Overall, very interesting and well worth a visit - just avoid that cafe !

2 Thank Tillard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bluereefbristol, Sales at Bristol Aquarium, responded to this review, 7 March 2011
Dear Tillard

Thank you for your Bristol Aquarium feedback. We genuinely use this and customer comment cards in order to shape and change our business.

We are glad you enjoyed your visit to the Aquarium we like to think that we offer something for everyone and are glad you include us in your list of good UK aquaria.

We show a number of IMAX films which are all included in your visit and the entrance ticket allows repeat access for a whole day.

I am pleased to say that in direct response to feedback we have added home baked cakes to the cafe menu so hopefully no more repeats of the muffin and coffees are now made the old fashioned way!

Many thanks for your feedback

Bristol aquarium
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1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Save your money and go to the zoo instead”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 March 2010

Not including the 45 minute IMAX film this took us less than an hour to go round. There was minimal information on the displays, most of which were poorly lit - bad news for our partially sighted kid. The barriers were easily climbable - one of them was a 'cargo net' which looked prett dangerous. There was no information on any feeding times or any staff around to ask questions of. There was a tannoy announcement that the IMAX film was about to start but no arrows/directions to the cinema. For 3/4 of the price you could go to the zoo and spend all day, have much more fun, the kids have space to run around safely and will get much more out of it - and you won't feel like you have just been conned out of nearly 50 quid.

2 Thank TallLiz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bluereefbristol, Manager at Bristol Aquarium, responded to this review, 19 July 2010
Thank you for your feedback. This is vital for us to help improve the way we operate Bristol's fantastic new visitor attraction 'Blue Reef Aquarium & IMAX 3D Cinema'.

I am sorry you found your visit on this occasion did not meet your expectations.

Blue Reef Bristol is the Regions Premier aquarium with over 40 living displays featuring fascinating marine life from around the world offering something for everyone. In addition to the aquarium, admission also include films in the IMAX 3D cinema - the largest screen in the South West with daily 3D showings transporting visitors below the ocean surface to watch some of the planet's largest, most colourful and fascinating creatures.

Lighting around the displays has been carefully selected to be both in keeping with the exhibits natural habitats giving visitors a genuine feeling of being part of the animals natural environment while still providing the balance of well lit information. I will happily review this and see what can be done to help visually impaired guests.

The displays have some great information to highlight the key creatures in each tank. However this is enhanced by the guide book which provides in depth information of all the creatures in the aquarium and the touch screens which are available for use on the ground floor of each of our large tanks.

The barriers around the displays have been carefully selected for safety while not wanting to detract from the viewing pleasure of guests. We have many youth groups and schools visit throughout the week and have yet to receive a complaint from these child professionals. Many of our disabled visitors have praised us on how accessible the aquarium is.

Feeding times are now provided on entry and a feeding and talks board is displayed in the foyer. There are also regular tannoy announcements to advise guests of when talks and feedings are due to commence; we feel this is sufficient to communicate to visitors.

The IMAX 3D takes up half of the aquarium space so I’m sorry to hear you had trouble finding it. All visitors should be advised of it's location upon arrival and details of it's location are given in announcements.

The admission price for the the aquarium is currently a fantastic £43.40 for 2 adults and 2 children. This includes entrance to the IMAX 3D Cinema and tickets are valid all day so you can leave the aquarium and return for a later film or feeding demonstration. Annual membership is also available and starts at just £27.50 for a child. This entitles you to free entry for a year. We will refund your admission cost on the day of you purchasing your membership.

The displays are under continual improvement and we are constantly adding to our exhibits making the aquarium even more interactive in the future.

Again thank you for your valuable feedback and we do hope to see you at Blue Reef Aquarium soon.

Blue Reef Aquarium
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