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A Guide to Sea Life Manchester Aquarium

A Guide to Sea Life Manchester Aquarium

Fancy a deep dive without getting wet? Then splash into the magical underwater world of Sea Life Manchester Aquarium! Whether you’re a marine-life lover or just dipping your toes into aquatic exploration, this guide’s tailored just for you.

From jaw-dropping shark tunnels to delightful sea turtles, posh hotels, tantalising restaurants, and nautical-themed shops nearby, we’ve got all the fishy facts you need. So grab that snorkel (metaphorically, of course), my ocean-bound friend, your underwater adventure awaits!

Time Zone

Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+1)

Best Time to Go

Looking to avoid the school of tourists? Sea Life Manchester is a splash-hit throughout the year, but weekday mornings are typically quieter.

Want to catch a feeding frenzy? Keep an eye on their daily feed and talk times. You might just spot a diver swimming with the sharks!

Things to Know

Location: Sea Life Manchester, Barton Square, Stretford, Manchester M17 8AS, UK

Operating Hours:

  • Monday to Friday: 10 AM to 6 PM
  • Saturday: 9 AM to 7 PM
  • Sunday: 9 AM to 6 PM


  • Adults: £18.50 (Online price)
  • Children (3-14): £15.50 (Online price)
  • Under 3s: Free
  • Family and group discounts available

Duration of Visit: Plan for about 1.5 to 2 hours to make the most of your visit.

Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible, but due to the sensory nature, specific queries should be addressed directly to the facility.

Contact Information: +44 161 749 2875

How to Get to Sea Life Manchester Aquarium

Walking: Located at Barton Square, Trafford Centre, Sea Life is an easy stroll if you’re shopping in the area.

Buses: Public transport’s a breeze! Catch local bus routes like the 18, 100, or 245 for a quick drop-off near Barton Square.

Taxis and Ride-Sharing: Prefer a comfy ride? Taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber are ready to ferry you to your fishy fun!

Private Car: Driving yourself? There’s ample free parking at Trafford Centre. Just follow the signs and, like a salmon, you’ll swim right to it!

What to Do in Sea Life Manchester Aquarium

Dive into the shark tank

Fancy meeting Jaws up close? At Sea Life Manchester, Shark Tank isn’t just a thrilling exhibit; it’s a dare. A maze of underwater tunnels lets you walk right under these majestic creatures, so close you can almost feel their power. 

Don’t worry, you’re safe behind the glass—but the experience? It’s raw, wild, and as real as it gets. 

Kids will gawk, adults will gasp, and you’ll all leave with a newfound respect for these lords of the ocean. Let’s face it, it’s not every day you make eye contact with a shark, is it? One word: unforgettable.

Explore the jellyfish bloom

Ever wanted to dance with a jellyfish? Step into the Jellyfish Bloom at Sea Life Manchester, and you’ll be twirling in no time. Hundreds of these delicate creatures, pulsating in a symphony of colour and movement, create a spectacle that’s simply mesmerising. 

And guess what? There’s more to it than just looking. Interactive displays let you control the lighting, so you can see these ethereal dancers in every hue imaginable. It’s like being inside a living lava lamp, only cooler. Go on, give in to the trance. It’s a jelly good time!

Make friends with the turtles

Slow down and chill with the turtles at Sea Life Manchester. These ancient mariners have been around for millions of years, and they’ve got the wisdom (and the cool factor) to show for it. 

Whether you’re watching them glide gracefully through the water or munching on a snack, there’s something about turtles that just makes you smile. Perhaps it’s the way they seem to take life in stride, never rushing, always content. 

They’re like the Zen masters of the ocean. Want a bit of that turtle wisdom to rub off on you? Spend some time with them. Who knows, you might just learn to take life at a turtle’s pace!

Discover the Ray Lagoon

Ever felt the urge to high-five a ray? At the Ray Lagoon in Sea Life Manchester, you’re in for a slippery treat! Feel the soothing rhythm of the waves and reach out to touch the velvety wings of these gentle gliders. 

Let’s be real: it’s a sensation unlike anything else! Get ready to be mesmerised by their calm and graceful movements as they glide through the water. Don’t miss the feeding demonstrations; it’s a splash of fun that’ll make you feel like part of the oceanic team. 

Just remember to dry off your hands before the selfies; those rays know how to make a splash!

Explore the Coral Kingdom

A world of colour, a feast for the senses, a plunge into a painter’s palette — welcome to the Coral Kingdom at Sea Life Manchester. This is where the underwater world puts on its best show, with corals of every imaginable shade vying for your attention. 

From delicate pinks to vibrant oranges, the coral gardens are an endless canvas of beauty!

And let’s not forget the rainbow of fish that dart in and out, playing hide and seek among the corals. It’s like watching a living artwork, where every glance reveals something new. 

You’ll walk away with a sparkle in your eye and a colour in your heart!

Participate in the Rockpool Adventure

Ready for some hands-on fun? Roll up your sleeves and dive into the Rockpool Adventure at Sea Life Manchester! Here, touching isn’t just allowed; it’s encouraged. Feel the rough surface of a starfish, the cool touch of a sea anemone, or the tickle of a shrimp. 

Trust me, it’s a tactile delight that’ll have you giggling like a schoolkid. Knowledgeable staff are on hand to guide you, answer questions, and share fascinating facts. 

So whether you’re a curious tot or an adventurous grown-up, the Rockpool Adventure invites you to reach out and make a connection. Who knew learning could be so touchy-feely?

Try After Hours with the mermaids

Ever dreamt of meeting a mermaid? At Sea Life Manchester, dreams really do come true! When the crowds fade and the sun sets, the aquarium transforms into a magical underwater kingdom where mermaids come out to play. 

Glide through the shimmering hallways, and you just might find yourself face to fin with these enchanting creatures. The mermaids are more than just a pretty tail; they’ve got stories to tell, songs to sing, and secrets of the deep to share. 

Whether you’re a little one enchanted by fairy tales or an adult still believing in magic, this after-hours experience is something truly special. It’s not every day you get to meet a mermaid, you know!

Enjoy pirate treasure hunt with kiddos

Ahoy, mateys! Ready to set sail on a treasure hunt with the kiddos? Sea Life Manchester has the perfect adventure for young buccaneers in the Pirate Treasure Hunt. 

With maps in hand and pirate hats askew, your little ones will scour the aquarium, following clues and cracking codes to unearth hidden treasure. It’s more fun than a barrel of sea monkeys, and more thrilling than a pirate’s duel. 

They’ll meet colourful sea creatures, solve riddles, and maybe even talk like a pirate! Aye, it’s a swashbuckling good time for the whole family, and the best part? There’s real treasure to be found! Shiver me timbers!

Quiet at the aquarium

Sometimes, the most beautiful symphony is the sound of silence, and Sea Life Manchester knows how to play it to perfection with “Quiet at the Aquarium.” 

Designed for those who prefer a serene and tranquil atmosphere, this unique experience allows you to explore the wonders of the underwater world without the usual hustle and bustle. 

Imagine wandering through the aquarium, with only the soft sound of water and the gentle hum of marine life accompanying you. It’s not just a visual treat; it’s a soul-soothing, calming journey that offers a connection with nature on a whole new level. 

If you’ve ever longed for a moment of peace amidst the splendour of the sea, this is your escape. Shh… the aquarium is whispering!

Go for behind-the-scenes tour of the aquarium

Ever watched a majestic stingray glide by and wondered what it takes to keep all these beautiful creatures happy and healthy? Step behind the curtain with Sea Life Manchester’s Behind-the-Scenes Tour! 

It’s like getting a backstage pass to the coolest ocean concert ever. Dive into the day-to-day life of marine biologists, explore the feeding areas, and discover the secrets of water filtration that keep these tanks a thriving home for sea life. 

You might even get a chance to prepare a fishy feast for some hungry residents! It’s a one-of-a-kind peek into the world that usually stays hidden beneath the waves. It’s not just about gazing through the glass; it’s about diving into the heart of what makes an aquarium tick. 

If you’re an ocean lover, this is your VIP ticket to a whole new underwater world. A splash of knowledge with a wave of fun!

Experience the ocean from a whole new angle

Ever dreamt of exploring the deep blue without getting your feet wet? Sea Life Manchester Aquarium brings the ocean to you! Through immersive displays, interactive exhibits, and stunning aquatic creatures, you’ll gain a perspective of marine life like never before. 

Glide through the underwater tunnel as sharks and rays glide above, or take a peek into coral gardens that shimmer with colour. It’s a voyage beneath the waves that you’ll never forget. Dive in, the water’s fine (on the other side of the glass)!

Journey back and discover collection of fossils and artefacts

Ready for a splash of history? Sea Life Manchester Aquarium’s collection of fossils and artefacts takes you on a voyage through time. From prehistoric sea creatures to ancient maritime tools, you’ll uncover the secrets of the ocean’s past. 

Touch a real fossil, learn about ancient navigational techniques, or marvel at treasures from shipwrecks long forgotten. It’s a museum-meets-aquarium experience that educates and fascinates both young and old. All aboard the time-travel submarine!

Where to Stay in Manchester for Sea Life Manchester Aquarium

Travelodge Manchester Trafford Park

Address: 17 Trafford Way, Stretford, Manchester M17 8DD, UK

Phone: +44 871 559 1861

Pricing: £

Book Now

Looking to explore Sea Life Manchester without sleeping with the fishes on your budget? Travelodge Manchester Trafford Park is your maritime basecamp! Located so close to the aquarium, you might catch a glimpse of a dolphin from your window. 

The rooms are as fresh and clean as ocean spray, with amenities tailored to the budget-savvy seafarer. If you’re an early riser, catch the breakfast that’s more bountiful than a sailor’s feast.

With pricing that won’t sink your ship, this is the place for sea lovers who prefer to keep their treasure chests full. Ahoy, your ocean adventure awaits!

Hotel Football Old Trafford

Address: 99 Sir Matt Busby Way, Stretford, Manchester M16 0SZ, UK

Phone: +44 161 751 0430

Pricing: £££

Book Now

Blending the world of football with your aquatic expedition, Hotel Football Old Trafford is where the sporting spirit meets underwater wonder. It’s not just about soccer here; it’s about enjoying your stay in a room that’s as classy as a midfield playmaker’s pass. 

A short journey from Sea Life Manchester, this hotel offers comfort on par with the VIP box at a top-tier match. Indulge in fine dining at the in-house restaurant or play a match on the rooftop football pitch after meeting the sea turtles. 

For the marine enthusiast who loves to mix sport and sea, this is the winning goal.

Hilton Garden Inn Manchester Emirates Old Trafford

Address: Talbot Rd, Old Trafford, Manchester M16 0PX, UK

Phone: +44 161 868 7100

Pricing: £££

Book Now

For the aquatic aristocrat, the Hilton Garden Inn Manchester Emirates Old Trafford brings a splash of luxury to your sea adventure. Think of the ocean’s depth, the grace of a dolphin, and the grandeur of a whale – that’s the ambiance here. 

You’re in the captain’s quarters with rooms that exude sophistication and finesse. Located conveniently near Sea Life Manchester, this hotel offers fine dining that could impress even King Neptune. 

Enjoy the rooftop view and breathe in the city’s horizon; it’s the perfect spot to reminisce about your day’s undersea exploration. With elegance that echoes the vastness of the ocean, this hotel is a sailor’s dream come true.

YOTEL Manchester Deansgate

Address: 55 Cook St, Manchester M1 2AL, UK

Phone: +44 161 880 0100

Pricing: ££

Book Now

Ahoy, tech-savvy seafarers! YOTEL Manchester Deansgate is your futuristic port of call. Just a quick sail from Sea Life Manchester, this hotel’s design might remind you of a modern submarine. 

The cabins are a marvel of efficiency, with a comfort level that rivals a dolphin’s graceful glide through the sea. Enjoy amenities that are as cutting-edge as a shark’s fin, with a hospitality team ready to make your stay as smooth as calm waters. 

Want to mix city life with your aquatic adventure? You’re in the right spot! After a day of playing with the penguins, dive into the vibrant Deansgate nightlife. The YOTEL is your urban harbour, where innovation and ocean inspiration meet.

Pentahotel Warrington

Address: Aston Ave, Birchwood Park, Warrington WA3 6ZN, UK

Phone: +44 1925 847100

Pricing: ££

Book Now

For the casual explorer with an eye for style, Pentahotel Warrington is like finding a pearl in an oyster. Situated a short drive from Sea Life Manchester, this is where the shoreline meets chic design. 

The rooms are as inviting as a sandy beach, with a laid-back vibe that makes you feel right at home. Fancy a seaworthy cocktail? The bar’s mixologists are ready to create a splash in your glass. Hungry for something more? 

The restaurant serves dishes fresher than a catch of the day. Whether you’re a family on a marine mission or a solo traveller diving into sea life, Pentahotel Warrington sets the perfect tone. It’s not just a place to stay; it’s your beachside cottage in the heart of the city. 

Where to Eat in Sea Life Manchester Aquarium

The Real Greek

Address: Corn Exchange, Exchange Sq, Manchester

Phone: +44 Your Phone Number

Pricing: ££


From the shores of Manchester to the sparkling waters of the Aegean Sea, The Real Greek takes you on a culinary journey that’s as authentic as a sun-kissed Greek island. Close your eyes, take a bite of that succulent Souvlaki, and you’re there! 

It’s an Athenian feast, whether you fancy some fabulous feta or a gyros galore. The decor? Blue and white, of course, just like a Santorini dream. And let’s not forget the wine. It flows like the tales of ancient Greek myths. 

If your day at Sea Life has made you long for the Med, this place is your delicious boat ride to Greece without leaving Manchester. Opa!

Mardi Gras

Address: The Trafford Centre, Trafford Blvd, Trafford Park, Stretford, Manchester

Phone: +44 Your Phone Number

Pricing: ££


Who needs a plane ticket to New Orleans when you can waltz right into Mardi Gras in Manchester? It’s a colourful celebration on your plate and in your glass. From sassy Jambalaya that dances on your palate to Beignets that kiss you sweetly goodbye, it’s a love letter to Creole cuisine. 

Picture this: you, a feathered mask, a zesty cocktail, and a plate of shrimp that’s serenading you. Now, that’s festive! The atmosphere is as lively as Bourbon Street, and you can feel the rhythm of jazz in every bite. 

After a day of swimming with the fish at Sea Life, dive into a culinary carnival and laissez les bon temps rouler! That’s how they say “let the good times roll” down in the Big Easy.

Gourmet Burger Kitchen

Address: 117 – 119, The Orient, The Trafford Centre, Trafford Park, Stretford, Manchester

Phone: +44 Your Phone Number

Pricing: ££


Craving a meaty masterpiece after a day with the sea creatures? Gourmet Burger Kitchen is the juicy answer to your call. A parade of sizzling gourmet burgers, right from the classic cheeseburger to the adventurous lamb or wild boar options, is ready to send your taste buds into overdrive. 

Forget fast food experience; these guys are artists with a spatula. Each bite is like a high-five for your mouth. And don’t even get me started on the sauces. Chipotle mayo? Yes, please! Need something veggie? They’ve got you covered too. 

Pull up a chair, roll up your sleeves, and get stuck into a burger that’s as big as your passion for underwater wonders. It’s a great place, mate, no beef about it!

NAMCO Funscape

Address: 14, The Orient, The Trafford Centre, Trafford Park, Stretford, Manchester

Phone: +44 Your Phone Number

Pricing: £


After witnessing the beauty of marine life, how about playing a game or two? NAMCO Funscape isn’t just a dining place; it’s an arcade wonderland with bites! Think burgers, hot dogs, shakes, and a side of Pac-Man. 

No, seriously! Play, eat, repeat is the mantra here. Whether you’re into classic arcade games, a bit of bowling, or maybe pool, this place lets you satisfy your hunger for fun (and fries). Imagine chomping on a burger while beating your high score. 

Sounds like a perfect day? That’s NAMCO Funscape for you. Trust me, it’s game on in more ways than one!

Oh You Pretty Things

Address: Trafford Park, Stretford, Manchester

Phone: +44 Your Phone Number

Pricing: £££


Darling, if you want to sip on something splendid after exploring the depths of Sea Life, Oh You Pretty Things is the place to be. It’s not just a cocktail bar; it’s a glamorous affair with every glass. 

Think sparkling chandeliers, plush seats, and concoctions that would make even a mermaid blush. Their mixologists are like wizards with a cocktail shaker, creating unique drinks that are as dazzling as they are delicious. 

You could go for a classic, or you might be adventurous and try something new. Either way, you’ll be toasting to a day well spent with something fabulous in hand. Cheers to that, beautiful!

YO! Sushi

Address: Trafford Centre, Stretford, Manchester M17 8AA, UK

Phone: +44 161 747 1161

Pricing: ££


YO! Sushi is more than a meal; it’s an adventure. This isn’t just sushi; it’s an authentic Japanese experience in the heart of Manchester. With a revolving conveyor belt delivering fresh bites right to your table, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported straight to Tokyo. 

From tuna sashimi to quirky tempura, the variety is enough to make your head spin (in the best way possible). And if you’re feeling brave, why not try some wasabi? It’s a punch of flavor that’ll wake you right up. 

Perfect for sushi veterans and newbies alike, YO! Sushi will have you planning your next visit before you’ve even left.

Coast to Coast

Address: The Orient, Trafford Centre, Stretford, Manchester M17 8AA, UK

Phone: +44 161 747 0984

Pricing: ££


At Coast to Coast, you’ll feel like you’ve been swept away on a Route 66 road trip. With classic rock playing and vintage American décor, this place is as much about the ambiance as it is about the food. 

The menu? Think juicy steaks, finger-licking ribs, and milkshakes that could bring anyone to the yard. If you’ve got a hankering for a taste of the USA, Coast to Coast is where you’ll find it. So grab your friends, wear your stretchy pants, and get ready to feast like you’re at an all-American barbecue.

Tampopo Trafford Centre

Address: Trafford Centre, Stretford, Manchester M17 8EH, UK

Phone: +44 161 747 8877

Pricing: ££


Tampopo is your culinary passport to Asia. Ever wondered how pad Thai tastes in Thailand or ramen slurps in Japan? Well, look no further than Tampopo Trafford Centre. This place serves up authentic flavours that’ll transport you to the streets of Bangkok or Tokyo. 

With an open kitchen that lets you peek at the magic happening behind the scenes, you’ll get a dining experience that’s as fun as it is tasty. 

Perfect for date nights, casual lunches, or even a solo meal where you can take your taste buds on a journey, Tampopo is where East meets West in a culinary dance you’ll want to join.

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