National SEALIFE Centre Birmingham – Review

It’s been well over 10 years since I had last been here, and with it being a sunny day, a day off, what better thing to do than head into the city centre and do some touristy type stuff, especially as the kids are back at school! 😉

Upon entry the first major attraction is the penguins. I love penguins. Who doesn’t love penguins? Even better. We arrived at feeding time. I was surprised at how well behaved these guys and gals were. They sprint waddled over to the ladies feeding them and they queued patiently. Each one got about two fish each before the feeders would move onto the next penguin. Clearly they are used to this system, as after they have had their share they would generally get back in the water and swim around and show off, feeling quite proud of themselves. No idea if some of the more cheeky ones would attempt to join the back of the queue again, but each one did seem to have a different coloured bracelet on it’s wing, so maybe the feeders were aware somehow of who had been fed, and know who the cheeky ones are.

Next up was the Reef Edge, where there was interesting fish that reminded me of my favourite film franchise Alien.

Next up was a rather large tank with some colourful sharks and stingrays, amongst other things. Clearly I wasn’t good at capturing these guys as they just whizzed around way too quickly.

Next up is Clownfish Kingdom, and this is the area kids are going to love, as it’s full of all the little fishes from the Finding Nemo series of feature films.

The Bay of Rays follows, again luckily enough to arrive in time for a feeding session and lesson about the rays. Also in the bay were some sharks and plenty of fishes that you’d be more familiar with seeing on your dinner plate!

Kingdom of the seahorse contains none other than seahorses and their friends. These small mythical creatures are an intriguing sight.

Next up was the Octopus hideout, and true to it’s word, we couldn’t find them anywhere, so they must have been hiding pretty well. So we moved onto the Jelly invaders which housed some amazingly colourful jellyfish and there was also a piranha tunnel.

The final zone, before getting to see the penguins again at the bottom of their container was the Ocean tunnel. Here you’ll find the star of the show, a huge Green Turtle. Now I’m sure there used to be two turtles here, but now there only appears to be one. It could be that the last time I came many years ago, the other one was on loan from another Sea Life centre which was under going a refit. As well as plenty of fish, there’s more sharks and rays in here as well as you go through the 360 tunnel. As you can see, the turtle is that big, it’s difficult to get him in a picture unless he’s a bit further away.

All in all the Sea Life Centre is a great place to visit, it will take you about an hour, maybe longer to get round depending on what’s going on when you visit. There are various talks, feeds and other educational apsects to take part in that are included in the price of admission. It’s probably worth going during the week when the Schools are open in order to avoid a constant wave of small children, although it’s likely during the week there will be school trips in attendance. As with all Merlin owned attractions you’ll be also be expected to have your photo taken at various places as you go round, so they can sell these to you at the end as a souvenir of your visit.

On the door it’s £20 to get in, it can work out a lot cheaper if you book online.

For full disclosure, I did not pay to enter the sea life centre on this visit as was kindly given a Magic Pass from a Merlin employee.

For more information, click here to visit the Sea Life Centre Birmingham Website.

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