Review: Sea Life Brighton

The main corridor of Sea Life Brighton

Now that both Dylan and Xander can both be relied upon to mostly walk in the direction we want them to while we’re out and about, we’ve resolved to take them on more day trips. So when Superbreak got in touch to ask if we’d be interested in reviewing one of its attractions, I jumped at the chance.

We chose Sea Life Brighton. Mainly because it’s only half an hour away, but also because Dylan is obsessed with sea turtles at the moment.

The centre is home to over 150 species

Despite it being so near, I had never been there before. Either in its current guise or one of its previous ones – I remember it being a Dolphinarium in the 1980s. It goes way further back than that though. Oh yes.

Built in 1872, it’s the world’s oldest operating aquarium. I love the Victorian architecture. The vaulted area visitors walk through first with its pillars, arches and large, backlit tanks really added to the surreal and eerie experience of coming face to face with a wide variety of creatures from the deep.

You can also expect to find seahorses…

Speaking of the main attractions, there are around 150 species on show, from small fish to sharks, sea turtles and a massive moray eel. Dylan’s favourites were obviously the sea turtles. They can be seen up close from a tunnel that passes through the main aquarium.

There’s also a glass-bottomed boat in the auditorium that overlooks it – the UK’s first, I understand – so there are plenty of opportunities to get a great view. Not that you can tell from my pictures, but I suppose that would be spoiling it for you!

… and catfish

Other residents include seahorses, octopuses, catfish, rays and jellyfish. A few weeks later, Dylan is still enthusing about all of the weird and wonderful sea creatures he saw. He’s also inseparable from the cuddly sea turtle he managed to convince us to buy in the gift shop.

He definitely benefited from the day out and I’m pretty sure that Xander did too. The word ‘no’, so often his go-to phrase for all manner of situations, didn’t get much of an airing at all. We’ll definitely be going back there!

If Brighton’s a bit of a long journey for you, you may want to check out a couple of reviews that friends of mine have done; Sarah visited Sea Life Manchester while Ben went to the one in Birmingham. Both have much better pictures than mine. Enjoy!


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  1. Helen

    Wow! I love the Victorian vaulted ceilings as well – very impressive. I think aquariums are always pretty magical and you never grow out of visiting. Lots of opportunities for ‘ooohhs’ and ‘aaarrhhs’ with the odd ‘Yikes’ !! Helen

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  2. Pingback: Review: Rainforest Adventure, Sea Life Brighton - Diary of the Dad

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