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The UK's largest Sea Life Centre
National Sea Life Centre (Birmingham)
Member Name: birdcharlotte
National Sea Life Centre (Birmingham)
Advantages: Lots of attractions, Cheap deals, Interesting
Disadvantages: Paying full price is quite expensive, seems to get extremely busy
The National Sea Life Centre Birmingham is the largest centre in the UK, with a 360 degree tunnel, sea turtles and a range of sharks there seems to be something for everyone.
**Queing and Admission**
I visited the Sea Life centre during the October school holidays so was expecting to que for a short while to get in. When I arrived, the que was huge and I was slightly put off getting in it. However, my boyfriend talked me round and we jumped in the huge que. Suprisingly, we were only queing for 30 minutes before we were in and paying.
Admission for an adult costs £17.50, which I think is a little pricey just to look at some fish. However, we had some Tesco 2 for 1 vouchers and discount vouchers can be printed off the internet for most times of the year. Also, I noticed that the Birmingham Central Library has a sign outside advertising discounts vouchers.
The centre has a wide range of attractions, as with most of these centres, you start by looking at small fish in small tanks and sting rays in big tanks. If you have visited any other Sea Life Centre, you have seen all of this before.
You will also find more exciting animals, such as jelly fish, sea horses and poisonous frogs.
The centre has an otter sanctuary, here you can watch the otters in a 'natural' habitat and, at certain times, see them being fed. We came to the otter sanctuary around 2pm and they were sleeping, so we could not see them. However, we were advised that 3pm is feeding time and they come out then.
The 4D cinema is probably one of the most exciting features of this centre. Sadly, we did not get a chance to visit this as the ques waiting to go in were so long we could have been waiting for up to an hour.
After these, you go back to the same basic features, more small fish in tanks. Until you come to the 360 degree tunnel. I was quite excited about this as it was one of the main attractions on the advertisement. However, you only walk about 10 steps and you are through it, which was quite disappointing. In this tunnel you can see sea turtles, hammer head sharks and a range of other fish.
The centre finishes with a mirror maze, which I was worried about as I always seem to get injured in these! The maze was surprisingly easy to get through but still fun.
At the end of the centre there is a gift shop and restaurant. Sadly, the centre had been so busy the day that I visited that you could not move in the gift shop so we didn't have time to look around.
Whilst queing, there were several members of staff walking along the que. These staff members were having out cardboard shark hats and trying to keep the children in the que entertained. I found this quite interesting as I have never seen anywhere do this before and thought it was a great idea.
All of the staff inside the centre were very helpful and gave you any information that you required. Also, the paying process was done very quickly so that they could get people in faster as the que was getting longer every minute.
**Is it worth it??**
I do recommend Birmingham's Sea Life centre as it was one of the most interesting centre's I have visited. However, I would avoid it during school holidays, and maybe weekends, as it was extremely busy and difficult to get around.
As we did not take any children with us, we were happy to wait to look in tanks and take our time walking around but I can see a child getting very restless waiting to look at things for such a long time.
Summary: Recommended....but not during school holidays!!