Accessibility Guide

The National Marine Aquarium is proud to be a fully accessible public Aquarium. We make every reasonable effort to ensure that our facilities are accessible to all. The exhibition is fully serviced by ramps or lifts throughout, all corridors are wide and accommodating and we allow entry with assistance animals. 

General Parking & Travel Information Guide

Our Location

National Marine Aquarium
Rope Walk
United Kingdom

General Accessibility Information

Please check our website for opening times, prices and our Facebook page for any news about local travel issues. You must book in advance.  We have 3 allocated parking spaces for disabled drivers. These are located at the rear of the Aquarium off of Lockeys Quay, Plymouth. If using Sat Nav please use the postcode PL4 0DX for directions. The postcode for our building is PL4 0LF.

This will bring you to the rear of the Aquarium where the disabled parking bays are located on the right hand side behind the Aquarium.

Take the footpath around the left of the building which is gently ramped to get to the main entrance (approximately 300m from the parking bays). 

Wheelchairs are available free of charge, on a first come first served basis, for customers who require them. If you’d like to borrow one please make yourself known at the front desk where you will be asked to leave some form of collateral like a drivers license or bank card whilst you borrow it. Our chairs are all manual. We will sanitise all wheelchairs before and after each use. If you have any further questions do get in touch with the team.

We offer free entry to carers accompanying our visitors on proof of valid identification (e.g. a carer identity badge, DLA/PIP letter). Please book your free carer place when you book your ticket. 

Assistance dogs are allowed within the attraction. You will be asked to sign a waiver on arrival for your assistant dog.

*Please see our full terms

Sensory Sessions

If you would prefer a quieter experience, we also run special after hours events that allows families and people with autism, dementia and other sensory needs to enjoy our exhibits without the noise and distraction of our daily shows. These are known as our ‘Quiet at The Aquarium‘ sessions and are run a few times each year. To hear about upcoming dates, please sign up to the mailing list via the link below.

Join Quiet at the Aquarium Mailing List

On arrival

The main entrance doors bring you directly into the main entrance of the Aquarium. Although not automatic, staff are always on hand to assist with entry into the building. Free wheelchair hire is available, should this be required. 

Once you have passed through the ticketing system, you will be directed up the ramps to begin your visit. There are two flights of steps before the entrance to the Aquarium. If you are unable to use these then a lift is available in the Waves Café to take you to the beginning of the exhibition. Disabled toilet facilities are first located at Waves Café, then our Eddystone exhibit.

In the exhibits

All of the exhibits have been designed to allow viewing by all of our guests, including those in wheelchairs. There are rest areas, with seating located throughout the attraction. Some areas of the exhibition are kept deliberately dark to enhance the viewing of the aquatic exhibits.

Should you require assistance going around the attraction please let any member of staff know. The exhibition is ramped in full compliance with building regulations. Only one area within the exhibition requires a lift to access it. This is the Atlantic Ocean exhibit just passed the Ocean Drifters section.

Lifts are standard widths able to accommodate small and medium sized motorized chairs.

Disabled toilets are located next to the Eddystone Reef area, approximately 1/3rd of the way around the exhibit.

There is no flash photography allowed and no flashing lights are in use in any exhibit areas.

Catering Facility – Waves Café

  • Our Waves Café is open and ready to welcome you during your visit. It is found on the first floor of the Aquarium and is accessible by ramp or lift from all areas of the building. There is a wide variety of Hot Food, Sandwiches, Teas, Coffees, Hot Chocolates, Cakes, Biscuits & Pastries, Bottled Drinks and Ice Cream available to purchase.
  • Over the last 3 years we have increased our plant-based offering, whilst reducing our red meat offering.
  • We are also proud to be part of Langage Farm’s initiative of utilising food waste from local businesses as feedstock for the Anaerobic Digestion plant they run. The AD plant produces electricity and heat for use in the dairy products factory, and residual biofertiliser is applied to the farmland to grow forage for the Jersey Herd. The milk returns to the products factory for processing and the cycle begins again.
  • You can eat inside in our designated café area or outside in our ‘Seacret Garden’
  • You are welcome to bring your own packed lunch to eat in our garden. Picnics are allowed to be consumed but only in certain areas of the Aquarium. Please remove and dispose of your rubbish once you are finished eating. 
  • We have our location partner Rockfish just on our doorstep! The Barbican also offers a range restaurants and cafés, why not shop local!

Retail Exit

This is located at the exit of the Aquarium and is fully accessible being on one level.

General Statement

The Aquarium welcomes in excess of 300,000 visitors each year. Many of these visitors have special requirements for access. Many visit on their own or as part of organised groups. All of our staff are happy to help you in any way they can and to provide the best service for you to have an enjoyable experience.

Environmental Policy Statement

Key contact



Tel: 0300 102 0300

Opening hours: 10am to 5pm. Last entry is 1 hour before closing.

The National Marine Aquarium (NMA) is the UK’s largest aquarium, located in Britain’s Ocean City, Plymouth. It is run by the Ocean Conservation Trust, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the Ocean.

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