Exploris Aquarium

Places to See | Co. Down, Northern Ireland.



Exploris: The Northern Ireland Aquarium, is ideally situated on the shores of a marine nature reserve and area of special scientific interest – Strangford Lough.

BE AWARE: Exploris Aquarium in Portaferry will close to the public from mid-November 2014 to allow a major programme of refurbishment and enhancement to take place. The planned reopening is Summer 2016.

UPDATE: Work is now complete at Exploris. The aquarium is set to reopen to the public on Monday 15 August 2016. We are delighted!

High on the list of places to visit in Co Down, the aquarium has been a favourite family attraction in Northern Ireland for many years.

Exploris enables the visitors to view and learn about the marine species that are indigenous to Strangford Lough and the coastline of the island. Marine communities are recreated to enable the visitor to gain a better understanding of the complex inter relationships between different species.

The Seal Sanctuary affords the visitor the opportunity to view the process of rehabilitation of rescued seal pups from their arrival through to full health when they are re-introduced to the wild. The sanctuary makes Exploris the larger of the two aquariums in Northern Ireland and one of the most popular aquariums in the whole of Ireland.

A narrow channel of water joins Strangford Lough to the Irish Sea. The waters in the Narrows can be treacherous, and run over rocky shores, out into the deeper waters of the open sea.

NOTE: Exploris Aquarium in Portaferry will close to the public from mid-November 2014 to allow a major programme of refurbishment and enhancement to take place. The planned reopening is Summer 2015.

Address: Exploris Aquarium, The Rope Walk, Castle Street, Portaferry, Co. Down, BT22 1NZ


3 Responses to Exploris Aquarium

  1. i wish i could come again i love aquariums especially this one.

    jamieleigh margaret hind August 17, 2013 at 11:32 am Reply
  2. Pingback: Belfast Tourist Attractions / Travel Guide / Tips / Blog

  3. HI is opened on sundays

    carmel June 18, 2016 at 12:35 pm Reply

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