Last week we headed out as a family to London to visit Sealife London. I last went there when I was a student in London in the late 90’s, so I was thrilled to be able to take my children there. It’s located right next to the houses of parliament on the south bank. I think I was more excited to see Big Ben than my children!
The Sea Life centre is in a complex right next to the London Eye and also has the London Dungeon, Shrek’s adventure and Madame Tussaud’s, so if you’re heading that way, it makes sense to combine one or more attractions, so look out for special offers. There are also river cruises you can do. It was a hot sunny day in the summer holidays, so there were plenty of people around! Pre book your tickets in advance to reduce waiting time. There are steps to get into the aquarium, but after that it’s all one level, which I was pleased about as I had the buggy. If you have non school age children, avoid school holidays if you can.
Our thoughts on Sea Life London
There’s plenty to see, with lots of information, and of course with Finding Dory coming out this year, there’s plenty of themed activities to see and do. There was a sheet where you had to tick off letters you find in certain tanks and then unscramble to make a word at the end, plus cardboard ‘goggles’ which Phoebe loved.
It was amazing to see sharks and sea turtles up close from all sorts of angles, plus huge rays you could almost touch. There are different themed areas to showcase the different animals, starting with the deep ocean – there’s also beach shack, freshwater and frozen planet, plus conservation information to inspire and educate the new generation. Here are some of my favourite photos from the day.
We got a bit hungry and I think they could do with having a cafe at some point, they did have a little snack stop towards the end, which we were grateful for (unprepared mother here), where they sold drinks and pringles but nowhere to sit down properly which may have been good. We found a fake rock though, so all good.
The penguins were very popular, and they had limited viewing space, so we had to wait for our glimpse of them – they’re so funny and they were doing diving displays which prompted cheers from the crowd. There was lots of information for those that wanted it, from being able to pet a starfish (I did feel a little sorry for the poor starfish) and an exhibit of the Frozen Planet, a series I much enjoyed from the BBC.
The most popular bit for my lot was something that didn’t even involve animals! There was a virtual reality display where you can see yourselves and then a family of polar bears walk past and dive in the pool and you get splashed by a killer whale – the small film plays over and over and they just adored pretending to swim with the whales and polar bears, pet them and let their imagination run wild. I let Daniel run around too, as he was fed up being in the pushchair.
Of course at the end there was the gift shop, I let them choose a little something, they chose a little cuddly shark and starfish. All in all, a great day out, combine it with other attractions, bring food and drink, go early or after lunch and allow approximately 2 hours for your visit.