We visited the Sea Life aquarium in London and absolutely loved it. It operates on a one way system, so it is pretty easy to navigate, though more crowded than my liking but then that is London life for you! We have also visited the Birmingham sea life centre. You can read our review about it HERE
The Aquarium is set over 3 floors, with different themed zones. One of the first things you come across is a glass walkway where you can see sharks swimming under your feet, which is amazing. I so wished I had not rushed it due to people following me, but there are other opportunities to see the sharks at different levels, so all was not lost.
The Ray lagoon is amazing. I can never get over the fact that the underside of the sting rays is a smiley face. You then take a stroll under the sea as you pass through our amazing glass tunnel again with shoals of glittering fish flutter alongside enormous Green Sea turtles. After that you go to the pacific shipwreck with a huge skeleton to see more sharks, some of whom look really dangerous with open teeth.
The coral reef area is spectacle of colour. Here you can spot Nemo and learn all about coral reefs. We also saw sea horses, including the the big bellied one for the first time, which look pregnant but that’s just the way they are!
The rainforest area is pretty incredible. There is a giant green python (don’t like them!!), tarantula, poison dart frogs and other insects. I liked how you can put your head up into the pop up displays andonly centimetres of glass separate you from some of these creatures. There is also optional photo opportunity here, which you can purchase at the end of your visit (15£ for one and 20£ for 3) but we did not do it. We touched a star fish in the rock pool explorer. Ay also got a badge here, which made him even happier.
Then we moved on to the polar adventure. It was a bit cold here to make the temperature ideal for the Gentoo penguins. They are behind glass and you can see them swimming. When they are out of water, they come almost at eye level. There is also a little dome here where you can pop your head inside and see them up closer. Ay tried kissing them as they got closer. The next area is even more fun with images of polar bear (and its cub), dolphins, whales projected onto the wall in almost 3D.
Ocean Invaders, the world of Jellyfish at SEA LIFE London, was one of the highlights for myself. It is the UK’s largest jellyfish experience with so many different varieties set in three unique interactive zones. I can dedicate an entire video to just this section (but I won’t) but by God, they are amazing and so so pretty!
The tickets are pricey but worth the money in my opinion. General entry ticket starts from £29 on weekdays or 32£ on weekends (if you book ahead online). Unfortunately, they don’t offer adult and preschooler tickets as in other Merlin attractions which is. great value for money if you are parent to young children. You can upgrade to include visit to the nearby nearby attractions and make a good day out it. We coupled this with London Eye and made a day out of it (Read our review HERE)
How to make your visit cheaper:
–Keep an eye out for tourist brochures, train tickets, cereal packs etc, as they often contain 2-1 vouchers for Merlin attractions.
– Redeem your Tesco vouchers
– Pre-booking/ booking online will get you cheaper tickets than buying at the venue on the day of your visit
They have roughly the same things but London Sea Life aquarium is on a much grander scale, is more interactive, with bigger tanks , larger sharks and more variety (e.g. there are more species of jelly fish in London). The rainforest experience of London is also so much better.
Birmingham one was less crowded and has the advantage of the 360 tunnel but in London, you get to go through the tunnel a few times, sometimes with sharks under you or the fish above you, so I preferred London overall. However, this has to be weighed against the logistics of getting into London etc.
Read our review of Birmingham Sea life centre HERE
Great day out. Best for toddlers/preschooler into 7-8 years age. You will easily spend 1.2-2 hours here
Watch our video HERE
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🗺 The Sea Life London Aquarium is located on the south bank of the River Thames, very close to other Merlin Entertainment attractions (London Eye, Shrek’s Adventure and London Dungeon)
🎟 Entry fee applies. Please see updated prices HERE
🚘 No dedicated parking available and drive into central London only if you dare! The nearest tube station is Waterloo (Jubilee Line, Bakerloo Line and the Northern Line). Westminster is a short walk away (Circle, District and Jubilee lines)
🚻 Toilets and baby facilities on site
🍕 Refreshments not available on site, apart from some ice creams, but there are lots of restaurants/ cafes to choose from outside
🧺 Picnics not possible within the aquarium
🦽Buggy accessible. Read all details HERE
🐕 Dogs not allowed