howw much is it ? for 2 people
National SEA LIFE centre
The Waters Edge, Brindleyplace, Birmingham, West Midlands B1 2HL
- Contact us:
- Opening hours:
Mon - Fri: 10:00 - 17:00
Sat - Sun: 10:00 - 18:00
Last entry is one hour before we close.
57 reviews of National SEA LIFE centre in English
I thought the Sea Life Centre was looking pretty run down compared to my last visit 4 years ago. I took 2 seven year olds, who got bored after an hour. It is very expensive to get in, signage is poor, a number of displays were closed (including the one where you can touch the big fish), the picnic area is very poor, completely overrun by small children leaving no room for anyone else and no food available, even from vending machines, and the quiz for kids was rubbish. The girls kept thinking that the information displays were going to be interactive, but none were. On the other hand, the staff were all nice and the girls got to hold a crab and stroke a starfish, and there are lots of amazing fish to see. Overall, I wouldn't go again and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
Comment 2 comments on this review
AmbiiaBaybiie, 7 May 2012:
mrbh, 14 June 2012:
Depends what time you go. If you go before 11am its about £12.50 a ticket if you book online/print your ticket.
if you go between 11am-3pm its about £13.30, if booked online in advance.
after 3pm its a tenner per ticket.
You only need about 1-2 hours max to go round, at snails pace and if buying from the shop/eating in the cafe etc, so Id go for the ten pound ticket myself at 3pm onward.
Theres a few decent new attractions now — gigantic crabs, and other stuff, its a bit better than it was back last year too.
Quite impressed that Birmingham has a large aquatic centre like this (very pricey though) hidden within the recently much developed canal area near Broad Street. It seems very well run with talks and even a 4D cinema show.
Probably wrong to say this but I wish there were times or days when aquariums were kid free. Watching lots of fish is relaxing...hey they tend to play music in these places that suggests this is exactly the mood that they are aiming for, but large groups of screaming kids (and they ARE always screaming) spoil what should be a chilled setting (you can't even hang back or forge forth to avoid them, there is always another group around the next corner!).
Too many cool fish to name, but Firefish, Flamefish and Chalk Bass were among my favourites.
WOW two adults two kids ,so expensive ,don't go on school holidays,but if you can get in the without the the crowds a cool place ,the interactive 4D cinema is cool ,and seeing the otters fed was great
This is a great place to take the kids,of all ages,esp if interested in sealife! It is quite pricey to get into,but if you do your homework well enough for all these type places,you will be able to save money! Their website/booking online saves money as well as reducing your queuing time,and if you travel and are interested in aquatic creatures,why not think about buying an annual pass!? I know I live near to Birmingham centre,but my bf and I and my eldest son,all have passes,which we have used enough to make up on the cost of entry many times over!
If you dont want to go during really busy times and dont have kids,go during the week,in termtime and just after lunch. People are tending to start making their way home or to town by then!
If you have pushchairs with children that are capable of walking round easily,then ask if you can leave the pushchairs in a 'buggy park' type area! Due to the passages becoming difficult to pass if jammed with too many.
Also,after long conversations with members of staff,it is requested that you dont take FLASH photography,due to the damage it can cause to the creatures health,and in some cases,prolonged periods of flashes going off,can cause the loss of poss rare creatures! If you are told not to use a flash,then please,for the sake of the magnificent sea creatures,DONT use them!
With sharks,rays,seahorses,jellyfish,otters,turtles etc,this is a very pleasent and informative place to take the kids aged from 0 - 70yrs +!
I have now taken the fifth star off my rating following a more recent visit,finding there is now no cafe/food area that is open,and not even a hot drinks machine! This I find very poor,esp for visitors that have travelled more than a half hr drive away minimum,especially to visit the centre,only to find they cant even buy a cup of tea/coffee,and will have to exit the centre if they want to sit down with a hot drink! Older generations esp,dont tend to drink too much of the fizzy drinks or bottled water!
We went to Birmingham Sea Life Centre several years ago and it was a good experience. However, our recent return visit (Feb 2011) was a whole different one.
Firstly, the price! Over £17 a head to get in is blisteringly expensive, especially as the quality of exhibits is poor. When we last went there were a lot of UK coastal fish which was really interesting. Now the fish are from all over the world, and there is no real theme. Fish from different regions share tanks, and there seems to be an awful lot of turtles. As many are "Pond Turtles" it is difficult to see any link to the Sea.
I guess you could save the entrance fee by going to a good aquarium shop and see 50 to 60% of the exhibits for free.
We came away with the impression that the whole thing had dumbed down. Shame as we were always impressed with the concept of Sea Life Centres, but in this day and age it seems that money rules. They wont get any more of mine.
I found that it was not for the older children they found it boring after a while, but I have twin girls and I found it very difficult to get around with the buggy. I thought it was quite expensive, when you have five children to cater for. It is a shame that they don't put on some sort of discount for larger families like myself. They do family tickets but they are still pricey and that doesn't include any discount on the food. I feel that they need to rethink their layoutand their prices.
jakade, 29 March 2011:
After a visit last week,certain area's of the centre are being re-done,mainly the shop area at the end! I agree with you about prices and the fact that older children may get bored after a short while! Personally,I think they need a 'work sheet' type thing for the older children to look at while going round, that may keep more of their interest in the creatures!?
Debra Smith, 1 April 2011:
I agree with you about giving the older children a 'work sheet' or something to keep them interested. I am pleased to hear that they are re doing parts of the National Sea Life Centre. I cannot wait to go back.
flossybunny, 18 April 2011:
do you know when these works are due to be finished? going on 29th April with kids- will be taking a packed lunch tho I think!!
The cinema was good but a couple of small children were a little scared. The tunnel is the most exciting bit but the sharks are not as big as we were hoping for. We had finished in just over an hour so very expensive for what you actually get to see.
Others have noted the high prices at this Sea Life Centre. I was fortunate to be able to use Nectar points to get a voucher online, making it a very reasonable afternoon out!
I really enjoyed my visit - there is a great deal to see and the layout itself is interesting, with the path winding round various tanks and pools on the way up to the top. The main problem with the layout is that if you are wishing to see some of the talks / feeding displays, you have to go through the entire path - there is no way of nipping through to the relevant part, plus you then have to come back against the flow of people to see all the things you missed while rushing!
HIghlights for me included the seahorses - the best collection I've ever seen, amazing! - the otters - very cute - and the sea turtles swimming overhead.
I was disappointed by the 4D cinema experience, although the video was good and the 3D helped, I felt the 4D part was slightly superfluous, although it would be good for children. Personally I was poked in the back right on the shoulder blade which was very painful!! So be warned and sit straight in the seat... Overall, well worth a visit, especially if you can get an offer and not have to pay full price.
Sorry this place lacks luster, too many students getting in at discount rates and costing is way too much. Given by the amount of people who came in I felt I was being coralled and forced through not much time to look at anything.
Sorry but I would not go back and would not recommend
Went to the centre the other day in the morning. Nearly fell through the floor when the entry fee for two was £35. Best to wait till later on in the day for cheaper deal.
The best part of the centre was the 4D Cinema, the maze of mirrors and the Turtles that swam above you.
Beware, as the day goes on (we went round twice in case we missed something), the place fills with students with sketch pads, who sit on the floor sketching which means you are stepping over peoples legs and bags. There are loads of them.
Won't go back. Good for kids and students though...
Prices are not bad if you are able to get special offer deals when you purchase train tickets. Our family of three travelled there by train and got in for under £30. It is a great fun aquarium but we found this one much smaller than the others we have visited. Other Sealife Centres have different themes and animals but Birmingham’s is still a great one to visit. The Blackpool SeaLife Centre is better and less rowdy, I think.
Its been a while since I went here, as I don’t live as near it anymore, but its a great day out. I’m not sure on the price anymore but when I last went it was quite reasonable and its very easy to get to being in the middle of birmingham. The shows they put on are very entertaining and informative. I would recommend this one but onyl really if you’re interested in fish and sealife in general. If you’re not then you probably won’t find this that interesting.
This is the first sea life centre I visited being from Birmingham its wonderful to see all this marine life! as you don’t get much chance to otherwise.
Even after visiting other sea life centres in Bournemouth, Brighton, and Newquay this is still my favourite.
Expensive to get in (There are 2for1 vouchers) and not very cheap in the cafe but well worth the money!
Fantastic, we queued for nearly an hour today in the rain, but that didn’t dampen our anticipation. Yes, it is a bit pricey but there are offers/vouchers about.
The walk around was interesting as always and there are people giving informative talks about various creatures as well as feeding sessions. One thing not to be missed is the new 4D Cinema - what an amazing show - I don’t want to spoil it for anyone by saying anything about it. Our kids had a really great day out
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