#Holiday time – visit to DEEP SEA WORLD, Edinburgh, #Scotland

After the awesomeness of the 20BooksEdinburgh conference, I’d planned a mini-break, which began with the weather breaking (summer had been in incredibly full swing throughout the conference, with temperatures in the high 20s – very rare for Scotland!), so I chose my planned indoor option – a visit to Deep Sea World.

It’s been a few years since I visited, and to be honest not much has changed, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive. From the official website:

“At 112 metres long the Underwater Safari at Deep Sea World has the longest moving walkway in Europe. The exhibit holds a million gallons of sea water, making it the largest temperate marine exhibit in the UK and one of the longest underwater safaris in the world.”

Walking through the underwater tunnel (or rather standing on the moving walkway) is an amazing experience. I’m not good with being under things (mild claustrophobia), but this is comforting:

“The arched shape of the acrylic gives the tunnel the strength to hold back the enormous weight of millions of litres of water. In fact, the acrylic is the same material used by NASA in space shuttles and each panel of acrylic can withstand the weight of two African elephants!”

But let me start at the beginning!

Deep Sea World is located underneath the iconic Forth Rail Bridge, on the north side of the Firth of Forth, at North Queensferry

The car park is right alongside some of the pillars supporting the end of this amazing bridge, which has become the basis for the English idiom, “It’s like painting the Forth bridge!” referring to an endless task. Until recently, with innovations in modern paints, this was true – the bridge took so long to paint, that once the end was reached, workmen had to start immediately back at the beginning and do it all over again.

(Andrew Shiva / Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 4.0)

Here’s what it looks like from close up

(Sounds like someone didn’t relish their visit!)

You it’s down, down, down, into the bowels of the earth…

Well, not quite, but certainly down!

Inside, there is a lovely café (always a good starting point), and then an exhibit hall, with lots of varied sea life and amphibians (lots of poison dart frogs – so small I couldn’t get a decent picture of any!). Here’s a small selection.

One of my favourites has always been the octopus – he used to be in a tank with a series of small aperture holes, and watching him squeeze through was one of the highlights of the visit. Now, he’s in a rather less interesting tank (from my perspective) but perhaps its better for him.

Considering he spends much of his time just sitting around, I was thrilled to get this action sequence

Then there are piranha – and no, that lady isn’t inside the tank!

And sea horses – ahhhh…

That’s just a tiny selection, but this was during a school holiday, and the place was swarming with small children, so I didn’t linger!

Onward, then, to the main feature, and remember: “the curvature of the 6.5cm thick acrylic makes everything appear about 30% smaller than it actually is. So when you see our large sharks, just imagine how big they actually are!”

We chose to go at feeding time, and as you can see above, so did all the other visitors!

Feeding does, of course, entail divers getting into the tank and feeding the sharks by hand – doesn’t everybody do it that way????

I think they’d been over-feeding them, as the divers really struggled to get the sharks’ interest.

There are lots of other fish in there, aside from sharks: rays

and dogfish

So after going all the way round a second time (it’s worth it, especially once the crowds thin out), it was back upstairs and outside, to the seal pool in time for the interactive session.

There are 3 seals, an older female and two younger siblings, all rescues, and they clearly love to entertain.

That’s it for now – I hope you enjoyed your virtual visit to Deep Sea World, Edinburgh? I have a couple more posts to share from this wonderful short break, with some magical images I’m looking forward to sharing with you – see you back here again soon.

 

 

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19 comments

  1. I didn’t know there was a place like this.

    1. Well now you do!

  2. Thanks for this post, Deborah. We didn’t know about this aquarium and we were recently in Scotland. We visited the Britannia, Holyrood Place, Edinburgh Castle and the Edinburgh Vaults. That was all we had time for but it was great.

    1. I’ve now had two mini breaks in Edinburgh and there’s still SO much more I want to see!
      I discovered Deep Sea World over 10 years ago, as easily accessible when driving past Edinburgh without needing to go into the city, so visited it a couple times in passing.
      If you get the chance, its worth half a day to take a look.

      1. It does sound lovely – hopefully, next time.

  3. I have never heard of that. What an amazing tour! I can’t imagine why there aren’t more like it around the world.

    1. I guess it needs someone with passion to put a place like this together?
      Obviously huge investment to build and ongoing costs, this one is dedicated to conservation, as they should be, not just entertainment, but the entertainment is what keeps if viable.

  4. Oh, one thing we have in common, Debby, being just north of Sea World. I’ve visited other large aquaria and loved every one for various reasons, but Sea World is utterly amazing. It looks like yours is very similar, down to the long acrylic tube with the moving walkway. I’ve always loved visiting there, and would definitely want to check out Deep Sea World when I someday manage to get to Scotland. I don’t even think I’d be distracted by men in kilts. Much. 😀 Lovely post, and really enjoyed the videos. Thanks! 🙂 ❤

    1. I’ll always visit anything like this – so awesome to be able to get up so close without having to risk diving in the sea – so not my idea of fun.
      You really will have to come visit – I’m in the throws now of my final move to Scotland. It’s been a hard week – my mum died a few days ago. Long expected – she was 99 – but that doesn’t make it any easier. This now means closing down the house in southern England and finally moving to the Highlands full time – so you are welcome to come and stay, with full guided tour from me!

  5. I am so sorry to hear about your mum, Debby! (I’m behind on so much of my blog reading and FB posts.) I know you were as prepared as one can be, but having gone through it myself about a bit over 2 years ago, I know it’s still painful and difficult.

    I’m so glad you’re moving to Scotland. I hope that means your other big problem has been resolved? And I PROMISE, if I can ever get there, I’d make it a point to come see you! You can show me Edinburgh and Mary Smith can show me Dumfries. Or we could maybe meet up for a group hug! ❤ 😀 ❤

    Now to see if I can figure out how to get from here to there without having to fly over–or cruise ON–the Atlantic. 😯 Got any ideas on that one? 😀

    1. Thanks Marcia, it’s proving tougher than I anticipated, considering how long I’ve had to prepare for the inevitable.
      And I’m fingers crossed on the other big problem – it should have been ended tomorrow, but somehow the solicitors are hanging it out, and have suggested another month! Really, there’s no reason for it other than they can’t get their ***** in gear – I’m not impressed, and I wonder how much its costing me, as I haven’t even had an interim bill yet. Just praying nothing goes wrong while it isn’t resolved.
      I’d love to have a meet up in Scotland, but it sounds like you are waiting for teleportation to be invented. Or will you balk at having your molecules scattered, beamed, and restored at the other end???

      1. I’m waiting for Barbara Eden, decked out in her full I Dream of Jeannie outfit, to show up, cross her arms over her chest, and blink me straight to Scotland! The heck with worrying about scattered atoms. I just worry about ending up in the middle of the ocean, via whatever catastrophe works for the machine I’d be traveling in. 😯 GAH! 😯

        Seriously, I hate flying, but I do it when I need to, because it’s the only practical way to get from Point A to Point B, if long distances are involved. So if I ever find out I really CAN visit, I’ll screw up my courage (with the aid of a few vodka gimlets) and board that plane. Probably. 😀

        Meanwhile, I’m sending you much love and well wishes to help you through the healing process and to keep you sane during the wait for the other problem to reach a final, FINAL resolution. I know how long you’ve had this dream, and personally, I think you deserve it! ❤ ❤ ❤

  6. Deb, I love your videos, and fantastic vacation mini tours. Claustrophobic like you, not sure you would have got me there. I could hear the shrills of a child in some of those videos too, lol. ❤

    1. I had to consciously think about being fascinated by the sights rather than think about the depth of water and soil above me!
      There were definitely some over-tired kids there – sometimes the parents pack too much into a day, methinks.

      1. Me thinks you are so right! 🙂

  7. Looks like a fun place to visit, Deborah. I used to scuba dive and love the underwater world. Great photos and video. 🙂

    1. I’m not a fan of diving, so this is a great way for me to see such large fish underwater – which I do love and appreciate, I just don’t want to join them!

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