Reviewed by Sophie Wrench
The Brighton SEA LIFE center is the world’s oldest aquarium, dating back 140 years! Its right in the center of Brighton, opposite the beach and near the pier. There are steps leading down to the building, however pushchair and disabled access is available via a tunnel on the beach front, clearly labelled.
Booking your tickets online through the SEA LIFE website is cheaper than paying at the door on the day you visit.
Just before you enter, you have the chance to have your picture taken with the others in your group. At the end of your visit you can see the photo(s) and choose whether you would like to purchase it or not. We loved our photo which is now sitting on the proudly on our mantelpiece at home.
There is a huge amount of exhibitions to see with over 150 different species and definitely interesting for the young through to the elderly.
As you walk in you’ll see massive fish, tiny fish, ugly fish (wolf fishes, sorry!) and everything in between. There is a raised platform by the tanks to help get a better view.
At one station, there are shallow stands with rock pool creatures in (star fish and crabs etc…). You get the opportunity to touch one, which is a great experience. My two year old loved it. A member of staff was always nearby to answer any questions we had and tell us some information about what we were looking at. There is also basic information is next to each exhibition which is useful for identifying and also simplifying the main points.
As you walk around, you will see many different creatures such as seahorses, octopuses and jellyfish to name a few and all areas are well lit to ensure good viewing.
There are feeding demonstrations throughout the day which is great to watch so make sure you make a note of the feeding times so that you don’t miss them.
Near the end of the walk, there is a massive tank with things such as humongous sea turtles (our favourite!), sharks and sting rays. You go through an underwater tunnel and get to see them up close and just going about their day. It really is amazing.
There is also a glass bottomed boat that you can go on in the big tank and be really close to them, although we didn’t do this.
A new area called ‘Rain Forest Adventure’ is now open which is pretty cool. Children can have fun entering it via big ‘mangrove roots.’ Inside, under the Rainforest canopy, there is one of the biggest species of snake you will ever see as well as the deadly piranhas and poisonous dart frogs to mention a few.
After all the excitement you may to relax and have a snack or a drink. There is a cafe in the middle of the attraction that serves hot and cold drinks, sandwiches and cakes, all of which are reasonably priced.
Overall I would really recommend visiting the SEA LIFE center in Brighton. There are a lot of things to see and do and children love it, adults too. It can be very busy and sometimes crowded with pushchairs etc.. so patience is needed to be able to see some exhibitions, they’re worth waiting for though and you are not rushed through and can always go back and visit anything you may have missed or want to see again.
Definite value for money, fun and educational.
Open every day from 10am to 6pm.
Book tickets online from £9.95 and save up to 30% off the on the door price. For more information on ticket prices or to book tickets visit www.visitsealife.com/brighton/buy-tickets.
SEA LIFE Brighton, Marine Parade, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 1TB | 0871 423 2110