General Information Before You Visit

We recommend all visitors pre-book whether or not you are paying or using your complimentary annual return pass. We cannot guarantee entry without a booking, especially in peak periods such as holidays and weekends. Walk-ins will only be available if we have not reached full capacity of the building. Thank you!

Opening Hours

The National Marine Aquarium is open every day except for Christmas Day and Boxing Day (25th and 26th December).

Standard Season Opening Times (March – October)
10am – 5pm daily*
Last entry to the Aquarium is at 4pm
*Except for Saturday 24th December where we will be open 10am – 3pm [Last entry: 2pm].

Winter Season Season Opening Times (November – February)
10am – 5pm
Last entry to the Aquarium is at 4pm

During our School Holiday period our opening time is 9:30am – 5pm, with last entry to the Aquarium is at 4pm. These periods will be highlighted in our booking calendar.

Arrival Times

To ensure all visitors have a stress-free welcome, we operate an arrival window system. When booking your ticket please select the hour at which you want to arrive. Once you’re in the Aquarium you can stay as long as you like

Arrival Windows
10:00 – 11:00
10:30 – 11:30
11:00 – 12:00
11:30 – 12:30
12:00 – 13:00
12:30 – 13:30
13:00 – 14:00
13:30 – 14:30
14:30 – 15:30
15:00 – 16:00 [Last entry]

Booking Tickets

Visitors are required to book an online ticket regardless of being a new paying customer, or any form of free entry customer. Please check that your return pass is still valid.

Online bookings are available up to 1-hour before the entry time.

When you arrive during your time slot a member of our team will be on site to welcome you and your party. Please have your digital ticket ready on entering the Aquarium. 

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Our Location

National Marine Aquarium
Rope Walk
United Kingdom

Travelling By Car

The National Marine Aquarium is located in the Coxside area of Plymouth. Follow the brown and white fish signs, which can be found on all entry roads into the city.

The recommended route is via the A38 to Marsh Mills (Sainsbury’s) then along the A374 Embankment Road. The route for the Aquarium and nearest available Parking is signposted from here.

Sat Nav postcode: PL4 0DX

Travelling by foot or bike

Walking and cycling are good for your health and a great way to socialise or meet people in your neighbourhood. We are listed as key number 9 (on the bottom map). This map can help you find local green spaces, cycle parking (listed as P) and cycle lockers (listed as L)

Travelling by electric vehicle

The closest EV chargers are located at:

Travelling by bus

There are several bus routes that stop at either Royal Parade (CityBus numbers St Johns Church on Exeter Street (CityBus numbers 5, 5a, 17, 18, 21, 21a, 50, 59, 85, 806), on the Barbican, (CityBus number 25) or Sutton Road (CityBus number 48).

Royal Parade and Exeter Street require a 10 minute walk, however the Barbican and Sutton Street are 5 minutes away.

Full directions and buses can be found here: Plymouth CityBus Journey Planner.

Travelling by coach

If your group is travelling to the Aquarium by coach, there is a drop-off and pick-up point at the rear of the building.

Travelling by train.

Walking from Plymouth Train Station takes around 30 minutes, the full route can be found on Google Maps here. There are taxis available outside Plymouth Train Station which will take around 10 minutes, fares may vary.

For up-to-date train information, we recommend visiting one of the following websites:


You can park on the Aquarium side of the bridge in the Sutton Harbour Car Park, or there are car parks on the Barbican side of the footbridge. There is a 2m height restriction on entry.

Please note: the Harbour car park is a privately-owned pay & display, operated by Britannia Car Parks. We recommend that visitors plan to spend 3 hours at the Aquarium. The car park has payment by phone and contactless payment.

We advise Sutton Harbour carpark users to ensure they understand and fully adhere to the requirements laid-out by the carpark operators – Britannia Parking.

Accessibility Guide

The National Marine Aquarium is committed to providing Access for All and is accessible by ramps and lifts throughout. There are a limited number of disabled parking bays on-site, as well as drop-off points for minibuses and coaches, and we also have a limited number of wheelchairs available on-site, free of charge and on a first-come, first-served basis.

The National Marine Aquarium provides full disabled toilet facilities. Carers for the disabled are admitted free of charge (1 per person) and guide dogs are welcome.

View Full Accessibility Guide

Food and Drink

Our Waves Café, with its unbeatable views over the Plymouth Sound, is located on the first floor of the Aquarium and is accessible by ramp or lift.

Our menu boasts a wide variety of hot food, sandwiches, teas, coffees, hot chocolate, cakes, biscuits & pastries, bottled drinks and Ice Cream.  

The café is open daily between 10am – 4pm, and our café kitchen serves fresh hot food until 2pm. If you’re still after a hot treat after our kitchen closes, then our delicious pasties and sausage rolls are available all day.

During the summer months our Garden Kiosk will be open for drinks and light meals, however this all depends on the weather!  

If you’re bringing a picnic with you, please check for our designated picnic zones and be sure to dispose of your rubbish in one of our many recycling bins located around the building.

We are 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. Their 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. Read more about it here!

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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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