Hull's The Deep

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Slug on February 24, 2013

Although it's primarily for families and children, my beloved and I have mused for a while that we would like to take around Hull's premiere tourist attraction The Deep. My beloved had occasion to work in Hull from time to time so we kind of figured it would be a formality, but as it happened her work patterns changed and we had to make a special journey.

As you might expect for such a modern and popular attraction the place knows how to charge, but to be honest I thought the £10.50 entrance fee could have been even steeper. The Deep is a large aquarium tank with a lot of other smaller display cases displaying creatures that live in or near water – fish, frogs and the like. The Deep was part of the regeneration program for the docks and it is just across a bridge from the nicer part of Hull city centre, the Old Town.

I did like the modern angular building jutting out to sea, which in the mist rather reminded me of a landlocked ship's hull. Of course, Hull was hiding many of its better aspects on the day we arrived as a sea fog had taken over the city. To be truthful, Hull isn't the prettiest of places so perhaps that fog was a blessing in disguise.
After a short queue to buy our tickets and enter the building, we spotted a couple of restaurants and rather helpfully for those on a budget, a picnic area. Obviously the spots are very geared and occupied by children, so we found them very noisy and the smell of sweet doughnuts and popcorn very sickly sweet. I'm so grateful not to have children.

Given the sweet smell and noise we couldn't decide whether to use our hands to cover our ears or nose while we entered the attraction.

For this attraction you start at the top of the water and then go down; entrance is up quite a few steps, or you can wait with the screaming toddlers and get your legs bashed by pushchairs. There is quite a queue for the lift, but as we were only going up three (quite high) stories we took the steps and found it a lot less stressful and noisy.

The first slow descent goes down a ramp where you go back through time to discover some of the beasties of the sea from long ago. I thought this bit was quite nicely done, and then our tour took us into the main tank area where different plant and animal types displayed in small areas (both sea and river life) from various places in the world.

I'm sure anyone deeply into their sea life would find the display rather basic, but it offered a reasonable starter for 10, and the wordings of the boards were heavily eco influenced. It also stressed how some of the plants and animals might be beneficial to humankind but we are losing the species and thus the opportunities to exploit them.

Of course "the deep" is mainly about the massive tank in the centre of the display, with various viewing windows and a tunnel to walk through with the fish swimming around you. We did find the size of the tank truly impressive, but the biggest windows in the bottom had reflected light on them. My tip is to find one of the darker smaller windows onto the tank on the way down for photos and for an undisturbed view.
The other star attraction is the glass lift which slowly takes you back up to the start of the attraction; again, we couldn't bother with the scrum of push chairs and sticky fingers on the Perspex so chose to take the quieter stairs out of the attraction.

The Deep wasn't the best thing I've ever seen as the displays were fairly simply explained, but it was pretty and impressive enough for us to spend almost 2 hours wandering round at our own pace, so I didn't consider the Deep to be poor value overall.

The Deep Aquarium
Tower Street
Hull, Yorkshire, HU1 4DP
+44 1482 381000

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