When you think of Skegness, crazy golf, fish and chips and ice cream comes to mind, not coral reefs.
Well this hidden gem is hiding in plain sight. Not in the murky brown sea, but in the crystal clear waters of Skegness Aquarium!
If you have ever wondered how your goldfish felt being in a fishbowl, now is your chance to find out as Skegness Aquarium is one of only a few UK aquariums that let visiting divers into their tanks.
There is a big focus on conservation which is why it’s called a “Shark Educational Dive.”
When I say diving, it was more like underwater walking because you don’t need to be a qualified diver to take part in one of their 2 hour experiences. Participants are loaded up with enough weight to keep their feet firmly on the floor of the tank, and their new full-face scuba masks make ear clearing and underwater breathing super easy.
Certified divers can do a more traditional scuba dive if you bring tour own equipment so the option is there. They also offer snorkelling experiences for children as young as 6 years old. The tank itself is very well maintained and the staff are very friendly and knowledgeable.
The Coral Reef of Skegness
We were reminded several times not to wee in our wetsuits as the urea can build up in the tank and harm the fish. I never do this anyway after an unfortunate “wee rash” on a diving holiday. We also washed off any lotions and hair products before entering the tank too. This is their home after all.
The batfish have apparently become very friendly since lockdown, and really enjoy the interaction with divers in the tank. This is why we were all instructed to wear hoods and gloves to stop the “friendly” biting of heads and fingers. They were just checking us out I’m sure.
You get a full tour around the tank, sticking together in a group for the duration of the 40 minute dive. It was amazing to be scuba diving again, it’s not just the batfish that have missed it!
So how do goldfish feel in a bowl? I hardly noticed the people looking in at us, the Marine life in the aquarium was far more entertaining and I only spotted spectators a couple of times during the dive. The goldfish probably don’t remember anyway.
So all in all, it was a brilliant experience and certainly the best thing I’ve ever seen in Skegness.
View from the goldfish Bowl
The scariest creature in the tank: The Cyclops Shark!
This was a real eye-opener for me. I had no idea how freaky I looked with my massive camera replacing my head! No wonder I make so many children cry. (This is a joke by the way).
Credit: Richard Ertansel
Underwater picture in The Telegraph: