As the UK prepares for scorching temperatures, SEA LIFE London Aquarium’s colony of Gentoo penguins have been p-p-pecking away on ice treats with a difference ahead of this week’s heatwave.

Aquarists at the famous South Bank attraction have replaced sandcastle buckets with ice, filled with the Gentoo’s favourite fish Sprats, to help the inhabitants of Penguin Point keep cool as the colony comes to the end of their yearly mating season.

Penguin mating season usually runs from March to July, during which time prospective couples take part in a series of mating habits, including one where male penguins give their beloveds a pebble to not only win their love, but as a sign of their breeding credentials. The pebbles are then used to build a nest before the females settle down to lay their eggs.

Not one to be left out of the summer fun, SEA LIFE London Aquarium’s resident octopus Shakira has also been preparing for the summer weather by latching onto its brightly coloured bucket and spade as part of its everyday enrichment.

Catherine Pritchard, General Manager at SEA LIFE London Aquarium, said: “Our creatures are fully embracing some unusual ice treats as the rest of us swelter.

“Ice cakes made of fish might not be everyone’s idea of the perfect cool-down delicacy, but our penguins are thoroughly enjoying the treats and are fully chilled out ready to welcome families when schools break up for summer.

“And with temperatures skyrocketing, Penguin Point is also a perfect spot for our guests to cool down!”

Families visiting SEA LIFE London Aquarium over the summer are in for their own treat as Captain Careless is in town and needs the help of little ones to salvage his lost treasure.

Guests will be able to take part in trail-led activities throughout the aquarium as they hunt for the lost shiny booty. Those lucky enough to find the missing treasure will earn themselves their very own pirate map and certificate as a reward from Captain Careless himself.

SEA LIFE London Aquarium, situated on the South Bank, is open seven days a week. For further details on the latest opening times, feeding times, prices and more, please visit