AD Dive Into SEA LIFE Blackpool

We all like to be beside the seaside, and SEA LIFE Blackpool takes you on a trip from the town's sandy beach down to the ocean floor in a matter of minutes. Situated on the promenade just down from the famous Coral Island arcade, and with plenty of parking right behind it, it's easy to find and access.

a dogfish lies on the bottom of a tank, while a small spotted ray swims over a pile of rocks

In the line outside there were big 2m markers, hand sanitiser available in every doorway for easy access, and reminders in the gift shop to only touch items you were likely to buy, but inside it was super difficult to social distance because the tanks just aren't laid out that way, and understandably children get excited to rush from room to room, so parents follow them.

It would definitely be helpful to have some reminders on the floor, and if you are particularly wary I'd recommend heading there on a weekday when it's likely to be quieter. 

Gif showing the same jellyfish swimming in different lights and changing colour from pink to yellow to blue
a dimly lit wooden footbridge with a rustic sign reading 'DANGER: PIRANHA cross bridge at own risk'

SEA LIFE Blackpool is home to a huge array of animals, from lobsters, to rays, and even a very bizarre guitar shark. The exhibits are built so you can get as close as possible to really appreciate the beauty of each animal, with an underwater tunnel, lighting to enhance the colours and shimmer of the scales, and an immersive rainforest experience.

Something I really enjoyed about this visit was the information dotted around about SEA LIFE's conservation efforts, such as their coral breeding programme, and their amazing sanctuary for Little Grey and Little White, the beluga whales that hit the news earlier this year after they were released from an entertainment park in Shanghai. With donations from Merlin Entertainment, who own SEA LIFE and other attractions, the whales now have a perfect home in Klettsvik Bay, Iceland.

close up picture of a blue lobster in a tank
Picture taken from above of a green crab nestling between rocks

Obviously I'm no expert but I didn't feel that that care and attention translated to some of the animals within the attraction. My friends summed it up when she said 'there is education about not putting plastic in the sea, but there is plastic in all the tanks' about the numerous fake plants. She also pointed out that some tanks didn't have details about the fish inside, so it felt like they were more for decoration and didn't matter as much as the bigger animals. A lot of the tanks also seemed very small or overcrowded.

For that reason I wouldn't visit SEA LIFE myself again while it is run like this. It's a nice rainy day activity in Blackpool for children, to get them interested in the oceans and the animals within, but personally I would choose another of Blackpool's Merlin entertainments like Madame Tussaud's or The Blackpool Tower Dungeon.

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