We are thrilled to have received some fantastic reviews and feedback from visitors, particularly from those with additional access needs.
See what our visitors have to say about a day out at The Deep:
Visit date 18th September 2016 - 5*
We came yesterday for my nieces 8th Birthday and we couldn't praise the Deep enough! Not only is it an amazing facility which clearly cares for the animals it looks after, but the staff that work there were brilliant. We required a wheelchair which they provided without hesitation and offered support throughout our visit. Leanne in particular made our experience a great one and went out of her way to get my niece a birthday treat! I would highly recommend the Deep we will definitely be coming back.
Visit date 23rd August 2016 – 5*
Fantastic experience and lovely staff , As a mother of an autistic child I always worry about how my daughter handles busy places to start with she started having a meltdown in the very short queue and me thinking I would be walking out with her yet again I was pleasantly surprised at being asked if everything was OK by the lady behind the counter and after explaining the situation she perfectly explained to my child what happens walking round and then told me if she struggles too much and needs a break to ask a member of staff and they will sort out a quiet place for us to go and calm down so we can then carry on looking round with this knowledge my daughter instantly calmed down and we managed to get round the whole building abet very quickly (nothing new there though) with only one hiccup which she managed to walk away from . Although we didn't need it, it was reassuring to know we had other options other than just leaving so thank you and well done for being autism friendly.
"Excellent access and great fun"
Visit Date: 10/03/2016
This visit included a person who uses: Wheelchair
This is an enjoyable day out for all ages, although I suspect it could be very crowded at weekends and school holidays. I would therefore try and go mid week especially if you are in a wheelchair. You lift to the top then the exhibits are a gentle slope down. Everything was accessible except for a dome into one of the tanks that you had to go up a ladder. There is a lift that runs up the side of the main tank so you can still get the feeling of being in the tank with out peeping through the dome. It is informative but also fun. We watched divers doing maintenance in the main tank and then watched the penguins being fed - so funny to watch. The staff were so helpful. The coffee shop by the penguins had just closed but we were after a quick drink before the penquins being feed. So I didn't have to wheel all the way up to the main cafe staff accompanied my other party members to go and pick up some drinks to bring down. This was so kind and it was at there suggestion.
5* Transport & Parking
I don't know about transport but there where quite a few accessible parking bays which were wider than the normal parking spaces. Parking with a disabled badge was free.
There was an accessible entrance with a wide automatic door. Lifts take you to the top then there is a gentle slope down. At one level there is a small platform lift, which is also for pushchairs. This was fine on my visit as there was no wait but it could be frustrating during weekends or school holidays. The only inaccessible bit was a dome into one of the tanks that was up a ladder but the glass fronted lift made up for that. In the restaurant cafe on the the top floor there are about four tables that are supposed to be for wheelchairs. They are a little higher than the other tables but the arms on my wheelchair still would not go under. The tables were mainly being used by parents with pushchairs as these tables were the first you came to, even though there were other empty tables they could have used. I would imagine this could be irritrating at busy times.
What was nice was that there were three accessible toilets each at a different level. One near the entrance, one by picnic area/cafe and one by the restaurant cafe on the top floor.
Staff were so helpful. Nothing was too much trouble. I wanted to see the penguins being fed but had half hour so we thought we would grab a drink. The cafe near the penguins had just closed, the staff however, took the rest of my team a quick back way to the top floor cafe so they could buy a coffee and a cake then allowed them to bring it down to me so we could all drink it together. We may have missed the feeding if we had made are own way plus for me it would have been all up hill. So kind. This suggestion came from them rather than us.
"Total access at The Deep"
Visit Date: 07/11/2015
This visit included a person who uses: Powerchair
Annie is fifteen and lives in Halifax. Her interests include music, exercise and enjoying social outings to new experiences – a bit of a thrill seeker really! She is quadriplegic and uses her power wheelchair to get about. Her dad Matt, director of Visits Unlimited, took her on a voyage to The Deep as she wanted to visit the penguins!
5* Transport & Parking
It doesn’t get any better than this. Met at the entrance by a welcoming marshal who directed us to the accessible parking bays next to the entrance, a dedicated entrance for disabled visitors where we found level access, loads of spaces and clearly marked signage stating ‘free parking for disabled.’
The facility is ramped throughout so Annie was independent throughout the whole experience. Particular nice touches included raised tables in the café so Annie could slot her chair in and not drop food down her front from reaching for her meal (her tartan dress stayed crumb free). Many of the exhibits are interactive – grab, turn, twist stuff round as well at watch listen and learn experiences.
The only area for improvement is the toilets. They are clearly signposted and placed all around the site so no chance of delays and possible accidents as a result, but they are small. The ‘crew’ team will offer assistance and there is the use of the first aid room to change Annie if I’d needed to, avoiding the humiliation of changing her on the deck! Usual equipment in the loo, clean and tidy.
If there is a Euan’s Guide 6 rating the crew at The Deep would receive it. Dedicated access team meet you at the entrance and take your booking – no hassles over proof or negotiations on ticketing prices. There is the offer of help throughout the experience if required and a big smile from everyone for Annie and her team. We were made to feel special throughout the whole experience. It was noticeable how many disabled visitors were there on the day and how many young couples with buggies were enjoying the day. What more could you ask for.