We visited Sea Life Brighton for a review last year and really enjoyed ourselves so, when they got in touch to ask if we’d like to go back for a preview of their new Rainforest Adventure exhibit, we jumped at the chance – fortuitously, this took place on Xander’s birthday, so that was the family day out we’d been hoping for sorted out too. Nice one!
The main attraction in the new section is a seven-foot anaconda which, when we visited, seemed quite happy to blend in with the other residents of the centre by slithering around underwater. If you’re not a fan of snakes, you may want to quickly skip the photo immediately below this paragraph! I’m not particularly afraid of them, but it was quite an arresting sight to see a predator of this size lurking in the depths waiting for her prey!
Younger visitors can make their entrance to the new section by clambering through mangrove roots and there are also small tunnels with domed viewing windows for them to get as close as they dare to the deadly snake as well as to the altogether-more-approachable terrapins. The ground beneath our feet had been transformed into a forest floor and, of course, it was rather humid too. This all contributed to make it an immersive experience from the off and I also liked the way that the Victorian architecture of the centre – which, by the way, is the world’s oldest aquarium – had been made to look like Aztec temples. Very cleverly done!
Other Amazonian creatures on display include terrapins, turtles and piranhas – which, apparently aren’t as fierce as certain 3D films would have us believe; I decided to take their word for that rather than put it to the test though – with poison dart frogs set to take up residence soon too.
We all enjoyed the day out and would recommend a visit if you’re on the lookout for somewhere to take the kids during the Easter holidays. Bear in mind that there’s a plethora of other underwater creatures to meet while you’re there too, including sharks, sea turtles, octopuses and rays.
Tickets start at £9.95 per person if you go in a group and £11.95 if you’re going on your own with savings of up to 30% available if you book online.