We recently took a trip back to the UK, our first family trip home in almost three years. Despite the fact we arrived as the much talked about heat wave departed, we had a blast. Actually, after weeks of temperatures in the soaring thirties in Germany, it was lovely to have some cooler English weather. But all good things must come to an end, and homeward bound we found ourselves with a couple of hours to kill in Hull before we boarded the ferry to sail back to the Continent.
Now, I don’t think its unfair to say Hull has had a bit of a rough time, historically. It’s fortunes have waxed and waned. It’s been home to thriving industrial docks, a whaling hub and vital port city. Officially known as Kingston-Upon-Hull but more often referred to locally as ‘Ull, this place seen tough times and big changes. Today it is a thriving port, departure point for European ferries and minicruises and proud holder of the title of City of Culture 2017. Its a place I’d like to get back to and get to grips with a little bit more. All of that to say, in my usual long winded fashion, if you have time to play with here, you won’t go short of things to do.
We decided to visit of of Hulls most easily identified and iconic attractions, The Deep. Located a short distance from the ferry terminal, the landmark building is impossible to miss. And while the exterior catches the eye, what lies within captures the imagination. The Deep aims to educate as well as entertain. Entering the aquarium an interactive walkway that takes you through billions of years of ocean history. Exploring the oceans past sets the scene to dive into the underwater world of the present.
Once inside, tanks designed to recreate marine environments from all over the globe give a glimpse into life beneath the waves, from brightly coloured tropical tanks to freshwater environments. There are regular feeding displays for most of the tanks and we were lucky enough to catch one. You don’t think of fish as creatures who get excited but as soon as the divers were in the tank , every creature in there knew exactly what was happening.
Its not just about the underwater creatures, though. The Deep is also home to some feathered VIP’s – Very Important Penguins. The resident colony of Gentoo penguins are the star attraction of the Kingdom of Ice. The tri-level enclosure they live in might be ice cold but watching them waddle, swim and interact is heart warming. Keepers have had some success in breeding too, with new arrivals in 2016 being named after David Attenborough and her Majesty the Queen. Here’s to you, Dave and Lizzie!
The highlight of the visit has to be the Endless Ocean display. The vast tank featuring the walk through tunnel is home to a variety of sharks, a pair of turtles and the fascinating saw fish. There is something very soothing about spending time watching these creatures as they do what they do and being able to view them as the swim past and around you lets you have a special kind of up close experience. And, actually, that sums up our experience at The Deep perfectly.
The Deep is a fantastic visitor attraction, and a fun and interesting way to pass the time before you sail away…but it’s also much, much more than that. It is an education and conservation charity recieving no ongoing funding other than revenue raised via ticket sales and visitor spend and donation. If you want to find out more about the work of the Deep and how to get involved you’ll find the website here
When visiting the Deep we were able to take advantage of the Day Plus Pass, meaning that we can return to the Deep free of charge for a twelve month period. Full details of this offer can be found on the website. If you’ve been to the Deep or your a Hull based blogger who can fill me in on what else I should plan to visit next time we are in the area, lets chat in the comments, leave me a link to any attractions and blogs. I’d love to hear from you.