Living The Sea Life

I never thought I'd be trekking through a dark, leafy rainforest on a drizzly Thursday morning, until the gang at Sea Life Blackpool invited me down to see their Rainforest Ranger Table!* As a huge animal lover, I leapt at the chance to see the sea and learn more about the aquatic animals that call Sea Life their home. 

small green crab in rockpoolclose up of shrimp in rockpool

The first step on the tour was the refurbished hands on rockpool experience, which was laid out really well and clearly showed loads of critters- prawns, crabs, and anemones were all easy to spot, much to the delight of the children on the tour. I always loved rockpooling as a child, but being able to see creatures up close in this controlled environment is much safer for the animals and the little ones. The rockpools would have been elbow deep on me, so the hands on experience came from a lone starfish in a small tub. Clearly I'm no expert and the keepers know best, but I did feel sorry for it after the large school groups had all groped it.

lyd looking into a yellow magnifying device that looks into a fish tank

If stroking starfish isn't your thing, there are other ways that Sea Life have cleverly made the exhibits more interactive. A bubble allows you to put your head in the ray tank for a closer look, and talks and feeds from the friendly staff proved very engaging with the children. For an extra cost you can even get in the tank and meet some of Sea Life's biggest residents in the flesh!

wooden bridge with 'danger, piranha!' sign
rays and dogfish in a tank at sea life

I really appreciated the steps they had taken to weave in sensory elements, too. A number of guests had disabilities and it was nice to see that simple changes, such as a soft floor for the rainforest, red lights on the piranha, and orchestral music by the rays, had all been added in to enhance the experience for every visitor. The whole building was fully wheelchair accessible, too.

underwater tunnel walkway
gif of jellyfish glowing blue, pink, and yellow
blue lobster in tank at sea life aquarium

There were 2 occasions on our visit when I thought the tour had ended and was pleasantly surprised to find that there was more. The tour covered so many different animals and habitats, with my favourites being the huge blue lobster, the jellyfish, and the large ray tank. The largest tank had a tunnel leading through for an underwater experience and an amazing view of the bigger fish and sharks.

red circular sign reading 'older than dinos! sharks have been in our oceans for 400 million years'

 Around each tank there were colourful characters and information boards to read, including valuable advice on how visitors can lead more sustainable, eco friendly lifestyles, and stats about Sea Life's conservation efforts. Visitors are encouraged to help these efforts with donation points dotted around, which I did think was a little cheeky on top of the £17.50 standard adult price. My advice would be to book online to save 20%, then take some loose change for the kids to deposit into the boxes. Every little helps!

Sea Life isn't the cheapest day out, but you can find deals by booking ahead or as part of a combined pass with the other attractions. For a rainy day I do think it is worth it for an interesting indoor activity. On my visit, as half of a young couple, I saw school groups, families, and an elderly couple all equally enjoying the experience and learning something new. We spent just over 2 hours there, and for those wishing to extend their visit, there is a cafe, mini gold, and soft play area. A nice idea for those with children might be to watch Finding Nemo the night before their visit, then see how many characters they can spot on the visit, and older children could draw their favourite animals as they go around.

What's your favourite sea creature?

*I was invited with a plus one free of charge in exchange for a review. This will never affect the honesty or transparency of my reviews.



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