After our trip to Bruges, we arrived back in Hull quite early on a Sunday morning. At this point we could have just got a taxi back to Hull Paragon station and got the first train back home, but instead we decided to visit The Deep.
The Deep is one of the world’s largest aquariums, with a huge central tank home to several species of shark, swordfish, stingray and many other fish, plus several other smaller tanks. Christine and I last went in 2010, and I also went with my Dad in 2o05, so this was my third visit. On the whole, not a lot has changed since it opened in 2002, but one of the main reasons we visited was for its newest attraction – penguins!
The Deep’s penguins are Gentoo Penguins. They’re not compiled from source (sorry, Linux joke) but were shipped over from Moody Gardens in Texas. Whilst they’re not exclusively native to Antarctica, I got the impression that The Deep chose gentoo penguins because they’re found in an abandoned Antarctic port which was used by whaling boats that docked in Hull, and because gentoos are ‘near threatened’.
The Deep is an indoor attraction and so the penguins are also kept indoors. The lighting levels vary to simulate day and night and their enclosure is temperature controlled. They have a reasonably large and interesting space to use, and visitors can view them on two levels. Which is good as they were very popular when we visited – probably because they’re new.
Penguins aside, The Deep is a great place to visit, in my view. Even though I’ve been before it’s still really enjoyable, and far better than many other aquariums with smaller tanks. There’s enough to keep kids entertained but also plenty of information about the fish in the tanks for adults to read.
The day we visited The Deep was a Sunday during school half-term holidays which was perhaps against our better judgement. There were a number of additional activities put on as a result – the ocean exploration exhibit being temporarily replaced with a soft play area, for example – but it was busy. We were there for when it opened and the car park was almost empty – by the time we had left at lunchtime the car park was full.
I’m sure we’ll end up back there again in future. Here are my photos from my visit.