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Sea Life Centre (Blackpool)

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3 Reviews

Address: Promenade / Blackpool / Lancashire / FY1 5AA / England

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    3 Reviews
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    • More +
      06.03.2012 17:20
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      a great morning or afternoon outing!

      *Sealife Centre Blackpool*

      Promenade, Blackpool, FY1 5AA

      www.visitsealife.com

      The Sealife Centre in Blackpool is one of many around the world. This particular Sealife Centre is conveniently located on the promenade and is a short walk from Blackpool Tower and Central Pier. Whilst the centre doesn't have on site parking, there is a car park to the rear of the centre. Trams, buses and taxis also stop nearby.

      The Sealife Centre is opened everyday (except December 25th) from 10am - 5pm (4pm midweek). The centre welcomes groups and disabled visitors and will accommodate with any requirements. There are lifts within the centre. Toilets are in the middle of the centre and are very clean and tidy.

      Blackpool Sealife Centre is home to many aquatic creatures. Feeding sessions occur throughout the day and there is a play area, refreshement section and a shop within the centre. There is also an adventure Pirate Golf attatched to the Sealife Centre and this is included in the ticket price. Visitors can wear a wristband after the first visit to allow them to return to the centre during that particular day.

      *To See and Do*

      The main focus is on an array of fish and other aquatic creatures. The centre is proud to state that they have re-homed and protected some of the creatures which is excellent. The creatures are arranged in displays around the centre. Many of the creatures are displayed in open ponds with glass panels at the side. Others are in enclosed tanks. There is the option to get close to some creatures including crabs and starfish though the majority should be viewed with caution as they could bite if a finger gets too close!

      Each display or creature is discussed on various plaques around the centre and there is the option to purchase a guidebook to learn more about what you are actually looking at. The centre is home to some highly interesting creatures which you may never have witnessed before. A few creatures in the centre include Green Moray eel, clownfish, lobster and even piranha fish. There are numerous appearances from the shark family including the Bowmouth guitar shark and the White Tip Reef Shark.

      *Prices*

      Tickets can be purchased for the Sealife Centre alone or combined with other nearby attractions. The combination tickets are priced from £25 - £45.

      Access to the Sealife Centre alone is £15.00 per adult and £12.00 per child. There is the option to purchase a family ticket priced at £48.00. Purchasing online entitles you to a saving of 10%.

      *Our Visit*

      During our 5 days in Blackpool, we wanted to take our son to see the creatures at the Sealife Centre. We arrived bang on 10am and paid for our tickets at reception downstairs. We had a voucher entitling us to 1 visitor free (adult) so paid £27.00 for 2 adults and 1 child. This is expensive but worth it to see the creatures. I made all purchases by card within the centre.

      Navigating the centre is very easy as it is well laid out and signposted throughout. The centre was quite quiet during our visit with only a few other visitors with young children. Our son (despite loving fish) wasn't keen at first as the centre is quite dark inside. This is neccessary for the illuminated ponds and tanks to be visible. He got used to it! We did meet one worker as we walked around and he encouraged us to have a feel about in the rock pool but we couldn't find anything! I think the crabs were hiding.

      *Mesmerised By Creatures From The Sea*

      The Sealife Centre is well maintained and the creatures are placed in a safe, secure and clean environment. They are looked healthy and content with plenty of room to swim around and the displays were top notch as they looked very realistic to reflect the natural habitat of the creatures. We did look at every display but didn't pay attention to most as we were excited about a certain display more than anything!

      Some of the ponds and tanks were filled with some stunning fish. I am not familiar with them but I know there were clownfishes (think Nemo) in there! One particular creature I was taken by was the Japanese spider crab - amazing to watch as it 'climbed' around in the water. The seahorses were stunning to watch as were the jelly fish and appeared completely natural as they went about their business - blissfully ignorant of those watching. Some of the tanks could be viewed through little potholes giving them an 'enlarged' appearance.

      The centre has recently opened a 'Turtle Shelter' which is well displayed and allows you to view the turtles in various ways. This area was a treat to wander through and my son was pleased to 'meet' these beautiful creatures. There was a particular type of create in a huge, open pool with display area that caught my eye and made me laugh - I'm sure they are rays of some kind. One ray kept bobbing up from the water and showing its mouth like it was smiling - very amusing!

      We didn't get to experience any feeding demonstrations during our visit but they do happen daily depending on how busy the centre actually is. Once we had crossed the piranha bridge (without actually seeing any) we arrived at a huge room which is used for special discussions. This room has been changed since our last visit and now offers almost floor to ceiling views of the shark tunnel. We relaxed here for a while and simply admired the creatures as they swam around in this massive tank. The tank has been adapted to resemble a realistic 'under the sea' appearance complete with a make shift, sunken boat ruin! It looks so cool!

      The shark tunnel is incredibly spacious but I still felt a little anxious knowing how much water was actually above me. The sharks and fish swam freely in this tunnel/tank and were a true to treat to watch. One particular shark was relaxing on the bed of the tank and refused to move whilst another posed for a picture - almost like it knew what I wanted! My fiance lifted our son up to touch the top of the tunnel and he thought this was amazing as the fish skimmed by him. The tunnel is quite long and definitely the most intriguing part of the centre by far.

      *Playarea, Shop and Golf*

      We spent a good 2hours wandering around the main part of the Sealife Centre but school groups could spend so much longer there. We arrived at the gift shop and my son wanted to buy a little colouring set and a balloon. We also picked up some juice and I think we paid £7.00 for the lot. The usual merchandise was on offer including bottles, pictures, teddies at a premium price. There were a few amusement and vending machines here including an ice lolly machine - no cafe but a small seating area overlooking the Irish Sea.

      Our son was more excited about the play area than he was about seeing the fish! The play area is ideal for toddlers and is very colourful and safe. It has lots of play balls, a chute and other bits to play with so we spent a further hour here before heading down to the golf. The golf is normally £5pp but we were given free entry. It is indoor golf - a bit like crazy golf but with a Pirate Theme. This was fun but we didn't spend long as our son was getting a bit bored!

      *Conclusion*

      Our son did eventually enjoy the Sealife Centre when he realised that the fish wouldn't harm him. Most children (and adults) would love it here as the displays and creatures are just so amazing to look at. Yes it is expensive but the option to return during the day is an added benefit especially if you want to nip out for some lunch and return - perfect on a rainy day.

      Overall we can recommend the Sealife Centre in Blackpool. Any staff we came across were engaging and informative, the centre is family and disabled friendly and there is plenty to see and do. Loses one star as it is expensive.

      Thanks for reading :)

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      • More +
        15.03.2010 14:48
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        Brill day out

        Last weekend I visited the Sealife Centre in Blackpool. My Husband suggested we have a family day out and I had a buy one get one free voucher from Tesco and my little girl loves fish so this seem the perfect place.

        We got there about dinner time unfortunately they don't have a car park so you have to use the Blackpool ones which cost us £4.50 for 4 hours. But with our voucher it only cost £13 to get in as my little girl is 2 so she was free. To see the look on her face was priceless. When you first walk in you have the chance to get your photo with a Shark (plastic one). Then you walk into the rock pool area where they let my daughter touch star fish and different types of crabs. The staff where great always willing to give you answers on the fish.

        On the walk round there is plenty to see and there are different sections for the different types of fish. I saw my fish glow in the dark fish was excited myself.

        Once you get through the seahorses we found Nemo and Dory my little one spent about 20 minutes just watching them swimming as she has never seen them close up before. After we finally manage to get her away we reached a bridge that was the home of the piranha's very ugly looking fish.

        After that you walk into a large room where you can take a seat and watch the sharks swim. They do feed them but we never stayed to see. Once your ready to move on you get to go through the tunnel where you get up close and personal with the Sharks.

        All the way round there where colouring stations to keep the kids entertain. When you finish and go into the shop there is also a small children's play area which is free to use.

        My daughter had fun in the ball pool. We stayed to have a dink in the cafe which was a little on the pricey side.

        You get to see the photos and like all places in Blackpool charge you about £6 for the picture but when you have had a great day out you buy it.

        I will be going back as I thought it was one of the best places I have been its not huge but it's just enough to keep the kids entertain for a few hours.

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      • More +
        31.07.2009 14:28
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        One of the best attractions in Blackpool. Recommended

        I'm a really big fan of Blackpool. I go there for a least one weekend a year & I have done for nearly a decade. I've been in every attraction at least once & am trying to review them all at the moment.

        The Sealife centre is in my opinion one of the better attractions in Blackpool. It is located on the prom in between the Tower & central Pier. You won't be able to miss it because it has an exterior that looks like a cave & tends to pump out Under The Sea from The Little Mermaid on Loudspeaker.

        When you first get in you have the opportunity to have your photo taken with a mock background. Next up you approach a small pool with crabs & starfish & are given the opportunity to hold one in the water. Very good fun & I had never held a starfish before.

        Once you get out of the entrance area you enter the main aquarium. There are many different exhibits all containing different types of aquatic life. Also the centre tends to change it's focus every year so it's difficult to say what'll you get when you visit.

        There are Keepers in the centre you feed the fish in front of you & give informed talks on the lifstlyes of the exhibits.

        Duration wise it's very easy to spend two hours in here. If you want to here all the talks & see all the feedings you could spend the majority of the day. There's a cafe on the first floor along with a small childrens play area. Fun, but not as good as Jungle Jim's in the tower. Plus there is the obligatory gift shop near the exit. They do sell some interesting books on marine life.

        I would definitely recommend this attraction. For me it's the second best in Blackpool bettered only by Blackpool Tower. Please feel free to have a look at my other reviews of Blackpool Attractions!

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