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The Deep Vs Scarborough Sea Life Centre

Visitor Attraction, Hull, East Yorkshire

Last year I published a review of the Sea Life Centre in Scarborough following a number of negative reports on TripAdvisor. I promised a visit to The Deep in Hull to make a comparison, so here is that report.

The first thing to compare is that parking at The Deep is considerably cheaper than parking at the Sea Life Centre in Scarborough. The cost in Hull is only £3, of which £2 can be used to gain discounts in the venue's shop. Even more interesting is that I didn't notice the requirement for a pay and display until I'd finished my visit and was leaving the venue, hope I don't get a ticket in the post.

The deep received around 50 million pounds of public and associated funding, it is well promoted and so my expectations were very high. It's always better to have a second opinion, so with that in mind - I took my 13 year old daughter along with me.

The Deep claims to be one of the most spectacular aquariums in the world with over 3,500 fish, including spectacular sharks and rays & making it the perfect family day out.

The Deep is operated as a charity dedicated to increasing enjoyment and understanding of the world's oceans. A conservation and educational charity, working on a programme of conservation and research from the Caribbean to the North Sea oil fields.

Admission charges were £9.50 per adult and £7.50 per child. Some concessions are available.

Unlike the Sea Life Centre, The Deep is housed in a large modern building complete with high tech displays. On our visit, it was quite busy, so we didn't spend too much time looking at the tv screens and monitors giving out information. The one thing that struck me quite quickly is that large areas of the building had been given over to the design of the building itself, long ramps create walkways, seemingly just for the sake of design. Yet the aquarium itself can only be described as vast and impressive, large shoal of fish swimming by the huge viewing windows. Spiralling stairways offer an opportunity to view the aquarium at several levels. A glass lift / elevator designed to give users a feeling of being inside the aquarium provides a great sense of closeness to the fish.

At regular intervals I asked my daughter if she was enjoying the display and she approved, she was certainly impressed by the large Sawshark and Tuna shoals.

But then suddenly the tour came to an abrupt end, exiting via the cafe area, where you are also presented with elevated views over the Humber.

An enjoyable visit was the conclusion by both myself and my daughter.

In comparison to Scarborough Sea Life Centre, The Deep has much better car parking facilities and much better priced parking too. The 50 million pounds of funding have permitted the venue to be housed in a large modern and user friendly building that incorporates a massive aquarium. This means larger fish and higher numbers can be housed in the aquarium. But, while Scarborough Sea Life Centre may not have had the 50 million pounds of funding, I would say it will give The Deep a run for it's money. Oh yes, on the day of my visit last year, there were areas of the Sea Life Centre that needed some TLC, but there also seemed to be much more to see there too. Some of the fish weren't so large, but they did seem to have a much more varied selection of species, including an outside area too.

The Deep is good, but on balance with the 50 million pounds taken into consideration, it should be leagues ahead of the Sea Life Centre and it just isn't. Both have similar admission fees and both have terrible websites which provide hardly any information about the species - that is an opportunity missed by both.
I would recommend both companies consider having species fact files added to their website. Simple to navigate areas with images and detail. It's not difficult and it does not need to be expensive.
The Deep offers a PDF file for download, no doubt someone somewhere at The Deep has nothing better to do that create work and clutter for the people visiting their website. The PDF file contains no information that cannot be added to a standard web page, it is therefore completely pointless and serves only to annoy those of us who know better.

Article: 30 July 2010

The Deep www.thedeep.co.uk

Scarborough Sea Life Report http://www.pureyorkshire.co.uk/yorkshire/listings/l0097.shtml





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