On every holiday since our young girls were born we’ve made a beeline for the local aquarium in the city or town we are visiting.
As babies they would stare mesmerised from their pushchairs at the colourful tropical fish and coral. Now aged 5 and 3 our daughters are just as captivated but also inquisitive and full of questions.
Last week I took our eldest to SEA LIFE London. For those who have never been (and this was my second ever trip) it’s literally in the heart of London - tucked next to the London Eye and across the bridge from the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.
We spent just under 2 hours following the path, exploring the different zones and getting up close to the captivating underwater life. It was fascinating to watch my daughter interacting with an inquisitive stingray who stayed watching her for some time.
In Coral Kingdom we took the opportunity to take a closer look at colourful fish, incredible coral and dainty seahorses accompanied by relaxing background music and warm, inviting lighting. It’s the kind of place you could spend hours just watching and taking in these beautiful sea creatures.
We instantly could feel the humidity as we headed into the Rainforest Adventure zone serenaded by the sound of noisy crickets. Here we were invited to bravely inspect the spiders and tropical bugs. As you reach the Polar Adventure the temperature drops down to a climate suitable for the penguins. We were there in time for feeding time so watched the penguins eagerly queuing for their fish snacks. SEA LIFE London also houses sea turtles, stingrays, jellyfish and of course sharks with razor sharp teeth!
As I expected it was busy when we were there at 2pm but at no point were we queuing for longer than 10 minutes. The busiest section was the tunnel which you walk through surrounded by marine life.
SEA LIFE London may not be the most spacious aquarium we have visited but it’s well designed with lighting and details to suit the mood of the various different zones. The largest tank housing bigger fish and sharks has several viewing areas on lower and upper levels, so there’s plenty of opportunity to catch the action.
After several hours together exploring, my five year old daughter was full of stories to tell her sister and schoolfriends and of course ready to hit the gift shop at the end to check out the toys!
If you’re visiting the capital or if you live in London, this should definitely be on your list to visit. It ticks the boxes for children of all ages and will give them a day out to remember.
Thinking of heading to SEA LIFE London? Here are some things you may want to know:
It’s worth looking out for 2 for 1 offers, often on the back of cereal boxes. Under 3s go free to this attraction
There is no cafe inside but it’s possible to buy treats at Polar Point Refreshments and from vending machines
There are lifts making it easy to accommodate buggies and wheelchairs between the floors
There are toilets dotted around the venue and very easy to find
We visited for just under 2 hours which gave us plenty of time to take in the attraction at the leisurely pace
Photography without flash is allowed. Photographs are also taken at several points along the way and you’ll be given the opportunity to buy these at the end
Westminster and Waterloo are the closest stations
Be sure not to miss the selfie wall (below) - take a photo beside your favourite Sea Life London bestie, post to Instagram tagging @Sea_Life_London and #SeaLifeLondonBestie and you’ll be in with a chance of winning a VIP experience
We were invited to SEA LIFE London in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and views are my own personal opinion.