National Sea Life Centres (Part 2 of 2)

Published on: 06/10/22

‘Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside’- but what if you can’t be? Last week we took a watery tour around five fabulous Sea Life venues in the south of the UK. But there are so many of these wonderful educational, conservation and entertaining visitor centres that we had to share five more favourites from the northern half of the country. And, just like lots of the population, not every one of them is at the coast. (To see our southerly recommendations, just do a gentle backstroke to last week’s blog.)

Perfect for landlocked and land-lubbers alike, it’s a great opportunity to get up close and personal to amazing marine fish, mammals, birds and those odd creatures that definitely defy description! And just like the beside-the-seaside Sea Life centres we’re showcasing, they celebrate both wildlife from the seas surrounding the UK, and many from more exotic climes. So whether you want to take a long look at the view at Loch Lomond, mainline some extraordinary creatures at Manchester, or savour some scintillating shark-spotting at Scarborough, you’ll find plenty to whet your appetite- while keeping your feet dry.

Sea Life Scarborough

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Think you know what to expect at Sea Life Scarborough? You might just have to think again. Of course this attraction reflects its location within the jewel of the Yorkshire coast, sited alongside Yorkshire’s only Seal Hospital, responsible for the rescue, rehabilitation and release of over 50 seals every year. But rubbing shoulders (do jellyfish have shoulders?) with these friendly locals are over 2,500 creatures from the oceans of the world, in displays which carefully recreate their natural habitats.

Discover the incredible creatures of the Great Barrier Reef, including the beautiful blue spotted stingray, and take a breath-holding stroll through the incredible 200,000 litre Ocean Tunnel, with blacktip reef sharks and Antiopi, the rescued Loggerhead sea turtle. Dare you brave the brand new Rainforest Adventure, and immerse yourself in a world of creepy crawlies, lurking lizards, and curious critters? Come just centimetres away from green tree pythons, poison arrow dart frogs. Enjoy the special walk-through penguin enclosure, and delight in the antics at Otter River. With indoor and outdoor attractions, it’s the perfect international animal experience, whatever the British weather!

Sea Life Manchester

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Ultra-conveniently located within Trafford Palazzo, right next door to the Trafford Centre, you don’t even need to get your feet wet or drive to the coast to experience the magical underwater world of Sea Life Manchester. With 30 display tanks and more than 5,000 entrancing and entertaining sea creatures, prepare for astonishingly close views of everything from delicate starfish and seahorses to graceful rays and powerful sharks, colourful clownfish and friendly turtles.

All under one roof, with plenty of amenities, and next door to a myriad of fellow attractions and shopping, the aquarium is the perfect stop for family fun. Wander through themed zones including Ocean Tunnel, Rocky Hideout, Shark Shipwreck, Sea Ranger and Lair of the Giant Crab. Then head for the ultimate selfie experience in the amazing walkthrough Ocean Tunnel as sharks and rays swim around and over you. How about booking a VIP turtle feeding or snorkel with sharks experience, the birthday gift of a lifetime for budding Jacques Cousteaus!

Sea Life Blackpool

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Showcasing more than 50 dazzling displays and over 2,000 spectacular aquatic creatures including tropical sharks, colourful reef fish, octopus, rays and sea horses, Sea Life Blackpool is the perfect way to experience the wonders of underwater life without getting in too deep! Set on the promenade of the famous party seaside resort, forget the rollercoasters and dive into its many fascinating interactive themed zones for real adventure. Explore the magic of the world's oceans and journey from the coast and sandy shallows of the great British shoreline to the equatorial rainforest of the Amazon and into the tropical depths of the ocean.

Along the way, you'll encounter some of the world's most incredible animals. Meet mysterious stingrays and scary sharks face to face as you explore the tropical reef through underwater tunnels, in a memorable close-up experience you will not want to miss. Be careful not to become a shark’s breakfast as you venture right into their world! Marvel at the delicate details of the endangered seahorses in Blackpool’s successful breeding programme, or take a submarine ride to the depths of the ocean and discover UFO-like jellyfish, puffa fish, eels and tangs.

Sea Life Centre Loch Lomond

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Just 30 minutes from Glasgow, situated on the stunning loch shore, at Sea Life Loch Lomond you can step off dry land and explore an amazing underwater world. Take a fascinating journey from the shores of Loch Lomond to the ocean depths through 7 themed zones, including the Tropical Ocean Tunnel. Get up close to over 1,500 inhabitants, including the largest collection of sharks in Scotland, super-friendly cow nose rays, and ‘please do touch’ starfish, crabs and other creatures living in the interactive rockpool. Don't forget to visit the centre’s famously playful family of otters: Lily, Pickle and Cub.

With fun talks, animal feeds, and quiz trail, there’s always something going on at Sea Life Loch Lomond. Or when one day simply isn’t enough, how about entertaining events year round like special Sleepover evenings, seeing a whole different side to the ocean experience, and making birthdays and parties simply magical. The feather in the centre’s cup is undoubtedly its stunning lochside location, so make sure you head to the Lookout for unrivalled views of Loch Lomond, then relax in the welcoming coffee shop.

Sea Life Birmingham

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Bringing the seaside to the most landlocked parts of Britain, Birmingham’s National Sea Life Centre is one of Britain’s best aquariums, enabling you to feel like you’re part of the shoal! Immersive and interactive zones include Reef Edge, Tropical Ocean, Bay of Rays and Octopus Hideout, plus a state of the art multi-million-pound Rescue Facility carefully designed to emulate a natural habitat for rescued marine mammals. It’s also home to the UK's only 360° Ocean Tunnel where you can marvel at sharks, a giant turtle, rays and hundreds of tropical fish swimming overhead and underneath as you walk through the sea in this truly unique experience.

See feathered funsters, the Gentoo penguins, as they dive beneath the freezing waters and play in their icy home. Everyone wants to meet favourites Bev the octopus, Mo the giant sea turtle, and the UK's first sea otters, Ozzy and Ola. Under expert guidance, plunge your hands into the Rockpool and get a real feel for sea urchins, starfish, crabs and anemones. All this, and no danger of getting swamped by the tide!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We have also put together a list of frequently asked questions at the link below, which include some Top Tips and Did you know information, which you can use to show off with your friends and family

  • Read our frequently asked questions (FAQs) - Click Here

We hope that you have enjoyed reading our article called National Sea Life Centre (Part 2 of 2) and that you have found the information above include our FAQ page helpful in deciding on which venue you to choose for your Activities and Days Out.

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