Ilfracombe Aquarium

CURRENTLY CLOSED
Pier Cafe & Gift Shop opening 12th April | Exhibits hoping 17th May

Explore nature's underwater wonders via a unique, fascinating and local journey of discovery from an Exmoor stream source to sea at North Devon's only & much loved aquarium!

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Local Aquatic
Exhibits

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Pier Café
with views

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Funky Fish
Gift Shop

About Us

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Ilfracombe Aquarium consists of Local Aquatic Exhibits, Pier Café & Gift Shop. It is a much loved, award winning, and ever evolving, all-weather, family-fun, educational attraction. It is located in the Old Lifeboat House on the pier. Conveniently located, it is surrounded by Ilfracombe’s picturesque & historic harbour which is home to Damien Hirst’s Verity sculpture and 14th century St. Nicholas’ Chapel. Ilfracombe town is located on the dramatic and spectacular North Devon coast. It is 20 mins. drive from Barnstaple, 10 mins. from Woolacombe. It is set within the North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Just some of our species often on display...

What's available

Living Exhibits

Lovingly cared for, living exhibits displaying up to 75 species of local aquatic species in carefully recreated and realistic habitats.

CHILD FRIENDLY - FREE QUIZ TRAILS

Exhibits multi-sensual, free fun quiz trails, viewing stools for little ones, feeding demonstrations, interactives, and animal encounters. Experienced guides in attendance. Shop & café all child friendly.

EXHIBIT INFORMATION & INTERACTIONS

Extensive info. & visuals. Experienced fish-keeper guides on hand sharing knowledge, offering feeding demonstrations and personal, sensory, animal encounters.

THE PIER CAFÉ

Delicious, sensibly priced, quality products available to enjoy via table service in a relaxing, all-weather, harbourside environment. Sun deck available during peak times when weather allows offering unrivalled harbour, Verity and coastal views. Takeaway also available.

FUNKY FISH GIFT SHOP

A great range of good value, aquatic themed gifts and cards. Perfect as souvenirs and gifts for friends and loved ones.

WHEELCHAIR FRIENDLY

We are wheelchair & mobility scooter accessible throughout exhibits, shop and café.

DOGS WELCOME

Well-behaved dogs are welcome within the cafe. Only assistance dogs allowed within exhibits.

CONVENIENT
& PICTURESQUE

On the pier at Ilfracombe harbour. Is alongside pier car park, 1 minute from Damien Hirst’s Verity and directly below Lantern Hill and 14th Century St Nicholas’ Chapel.

GROUPS, MEMBERSHIP, EDUCATION

Families, school and other groups all catered for. Annual Membership available providing unlimited entry for 12 months from date of purchase.

VENUE HIRE, CONSULTANCY

The aquarium provides a unique and most memorable venue for a special event. Consultancy is available via our experienced team. Simply contact for details.

COVID-19 MEASURES

As per current governmental guidelines we conduct all necessary safety measures to comply and ensure the safety of our customers.

Reviews

Great fish! Amazing! Informative & fun!

Megan Beth

I liked the sharks

Jack

We all had lots of fun, we loved it

Grace

I liked the ginormous spider crabs

Mungo

Local Aquatic Exhibits

Starfish with face Whether you have a mere passing interest or ingrained passion for all things nature you are sure to find this local and extensive exhibit collection fascinating. Average dwell time within the exhibits varies between 30 – 45mins. but with no time restrictions many dwell longer. Along with the Pier café, Funky Fish Gift Shop, convenient harbour location and Ilfracombe town all being accessible by foot it is worth a special day out.

Enlarged & Improved for 2022

We continue to take COVID-19 seriously. We want to keep everyone safe whilst under our care. We will continue to comply with latest Government guidelines.

Exhibit COVID-19 measures include;  

  • Staggered entry managed.
  • Mask wearing, whether it be voluntary or obligatory, remains very much appreciated.
  • Hand sanitisers available on entry. Hand wash facilities available in exhibits.
  • Vents and powered fan ventilation provides fresh air through exhibits.

Pier Café

Everyone is welcome to our established and ever-popular café. We offer table service and takeaway. It is a place to relax and enjoy a wide variety of fairtrade teas, freshly ground coffee, award winning savouries, fresh cakes, cream and savoury teas. A selection of snacks, cold drinks and locally sourced luxury dairy ice cream in tubs are also available. Everything is sensibly priced and served with a smile.

The sheltered outside seating is a lovely sun-trap throughout the day. The space adjoins a large pedestrian area which is great for kids to move safely.

From the sun deck, available during peak times when weather allows, enjoy the spectacular coastal views and busy harbour life. Damien Hirst’s ‘Verity’ the renowned 25 tonne bronze statue is located 100m from the aquarium at the end of the Pier.

Adjacent public pier parking and toilets are also both conveniently available.

Funky Fish Gift Shop

We’ve got a wide variety of good value aquatic themed gifts. Pocket money toys, souvenirs, unusual nautically themed gifts, cards and locally handcrafted items are all available for sale.

Come and have a browse. A purchase could be a wonderful way to remember your visit to the aquarium and Ilfracombe.