Planning on visiting on a wet weather day?

Please be aware that on wet days during school holidays and weekends, the Oceanarium can get extremely busy. 
Although we don’t have any maximum capacity as we are classed as a walk through attraction, we are very aware of a sensible limit of visitors and will stop admitting people when we reach this. This means that if you visit on a wet day in the school holidays or on weekends, please be advised that you may have to queue for a long time to get in (some of which may be outside without cover), and that it will be very busy once you are inside the aquarium, particularly around feeding times.
Please be aware that Penguin Beach Encounter is an outside exhibit so wet weather clothing is advisable. 
The Oceanarium is open 364 days per year (closed Christmas Day) and is an ALL weather attraction, suitable for any weather condition; not just rainy days. However we look forward to welcoming you whichever day you choose to visit.



The Oceanarium displays are situated on two floors with lift access, as well as stairs. Wide passageways are throughout the displays for ease of access. There are some steps within the Oceanarium but all of these are clearly marked and alternative routes are available.  Disabled toilet facilities, the Offshore Café and Cove gift shop are all located on the ground floor.


 We offer a discounted rate to disabled adults and children and if required we offer one free registered carer ticket. *We do require proof and accept the following documentation. Please note documentation should be dated within the last 24 months.

Please don’t be offended by our staff asking – some disabilities are not visible and we try to treat all our visitors the same.

 Proof of Disability

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Blue Badge (please note, if you are displaying your Blue Badge for disabled parking, please ensure you take a photograph of the front and back to use as proof at Admissions)
  • Disabled Persons Bus Pass
  • Access Card
  • National Disabled Identification Card (DID)
  • Signed letter from your GP confirming disability.

 Proof of Carer

  • Valid Carers Card
  • Carers allowance letter
  • Any other valid form of proof  

 If you do require a registered carer ticket this will need to be claimed on arrival when presenting your proof.   

 If you have any questions or need further assistance regarding our disabled and carer tickets, please email


These are just a few suggestions to help you get the best out of your visit.

  • Plan ahead - we appreciate that sometimes it's reassuring to know what to expect during your visit. On our website, you'll find copies of our map, talk times, animal information and much more, so please do feel free to browse.
  • Avoid busy days - for visitors who prefer not to be here during our busier times, we would recommend that you visit outside of the school holidays and on weekdays where possible between 4.00 - 6.00 pm during the summer and 3.00 - 5.00 pm during the winter.
  • Visit as often as you'd like - if the prospect of a whole day at the aquarium is overwhelming, we do have a membership scheme available, so you can visit as you'd like.


The Oceanarium offers sensory sessions for those with additional needs. For more details, click HERE.


Our pushchair and buggy park is located upstairs next to Eddie the Iguana. Our Buggy park is now OPEN for Summer. Our buggy park is open from befinning of February half term until end of October half term. During Winter from end of October half term until beginning of February half term, the buggy park will be closed.


Unfortunately, due to the seafront location, we do not have our own car park. Please find below details of Blue Badge Parking in Bournemouth.


Badge holders may park free of charge and without time limit at on street “pay and display” machines unless a local traffic order is in force. Signs explaining any restrictions will be in place. The Blue Badge must be displayed.

There are disabled parking spaces available in the following town centre locations:

  •     Westover Road
  •     Hinton Road
  •     St Stephens Road
  •     Commercial Road
  •     Old Christchurch Road
  •     Glen Fern Road
  •     Richmond Hill
  •     Gervis Place
  •     Avenue Road
  •     Terrace Road
  •     Bourne Avenue
  •     Post Office Road
  •     Yelverton Road

Please note that at some of these locations a time restriction may apply during certain hours. Please check the signs and display your disabled badge.


In car parks operated by Bournemouth Borough Council, badge holders must pay unless the VEHICLE is tax exempt.  The Road Fund Licence will show nil and the word disabled.

If you hold a disabled blue badge you may park in a disabled bay.  Please purchase a pay and display ticket and clearly display your disabled badge.

For further information on parking in Bournemouth, to view a map of Bournemouth Borough Council car parks and the tariffs applicable please click here

For further information on parking in Bournemouth please contact Bournemouth Borough Council Parking:

t: 01202 454721 (24 hours - out of office hours answer machine)

f: 01202 451492



Dogs are not allowed into the Oceanarium unless they are ADUK registered assistance dogs or guide dogs. Relevant documentation will need to be emailed to us prior to your visit at or presented on arrival.