24 April 2015

Sea Life Scarborough

I know it's not been that long since I visited the Seaquarium in Rhyl on my holiday, but as much as I like the place, it doesn't have penguins - so when I heard the cute little critters had taken us residence at the Sea Life Sanctuary in Scarborough it didn't take much convincing to get me to agree to another fishy visit!

family activities yorkshire

We didn't pick the best day to visit the coast weather-wise (I think I'm cursed!) but since most of the attractions are indoors it didn't affect our trip too much - and certainly didn't stop us getting ice cream by the sea afterwards!

The last time I visited this particular sea life centre was so many years ago, when I was a nipper on holiday with my folks. My memories of that trip are a bit grey and fuzzy to say the least - I distinctly remember finding a jellyfish on the beach with my brother afterwards and that can't be true? Can it?

(Just a small diversion here but does anyone else clearly remember things that definitely didn't happen? I can see in my memories, clear as day, the killer whale that used to live at Flamingo Land when I was a kid - except according to ... well, facts.. there was no such thing! I can't be the only one whose mind plays tricks on them?)

sealife scarborough

Anyway, it was nice to be back at Sea Life with an adult appreciation for all the weird and wonderful things that live in the ocean!

fish with weird face

My favourites were the Jellyfish. I think they are some awesomely odd beings anyway, but the Scarborough centre had by far the best collection of jellies I've ever seen! So many different kinds, from short and fat ones to long and stringy ones with plenty on 'what on earth is that?' ones! They were all brilliantly displayed in tanks illuminated by colour-shifting lights so you could see them all lit up pink one minute, blue the next, then green.... They were completely magical and I could have watched them for hours!

sealife centre scarborough jellyfish

One creature that completely took my breath away though was the Octopus. We were all sort of peering into the tank going 'I wonder what lives in there' when he unfurled himself majestically from just out of view in the corner. Truly stunning (though a nightmare to photograph - remember to turn your flash OFF if you visit! - so apologise for this grainy shot but I had to include this beautiful thing!) and worth waiting a while for him to emerge if he's hiding at first!

 weird creatures sealife ctr

sealife ctr

As well as all the cool fishies to see you can check the feeding times for various species so you can see them eat, as well as the occasional talk. There's a touch pool too which is really fun and sorta gross - I stroked a starfish which does NOT feel like I'd imagined it would!

I know a favourite part of this type of attraction for many people is the underwater tunnel. It's such a surreal experience, walking round surrounded by water (and its inhabitants), no less so when one of these bad boys swims right overhead - eeeeek!

sealife scarborough sharks

The turtles went down a storm with the kids (and adults too!) - they had their own section again with plenty of different breeds of turtle. My favourite of them was this huge fella... (sorry terrible picture again, he just did not want to swim where I wanted him to!)...

...while the younger of us were very keen on these playful little guys!

The real reason we were really there though was to see the penguins! Their new enclosure - Penguin Island - only opened last month and has been expertly designed to keep the penguins happy (plenty of room for swimming, climbing and waddling about!) and you can walk right though it, getting almost close enough to steal one of the little guys and take him home!

 sealife penguins
The penguins  - there are 20 of them currently living in Scaborough - are brilliant, they're so cute and funny and we could have hung out with them all day. Its probably a good job the rain stopped us doing so (you can see the rain drop ripples on the penguin pool!) or we wouldn't have seen anything else!)

days out yorkshire

We had the same issue with the seals, just around the corner. Most of them were hiding under water, having a good old swim and avoiding the direct sting of rain - except for this one! He (I don't know why I think all the things we say were 'he') kept looking like he wanted to try to move, half turning round, and then giving up. Lazy cutie, my kinda seal!

They have otters at the Sea Life Sanctuary too that I would have loved to have seen, but unfortunately they were hiding from the rain - I just got a tiny peek of one inside a toasty looking box - which is the only regret of the day but really couldn't have been helped!

(The only regret apart from nearly being eaten by piranhas that is!)

There was an on-site restaurant and play area inside the centre too (which we didn't make us of this time round as we were off to meet Daniella for ice cream and arcade games across town), as well as a crazy golf course next door (which we didn't make use of because, well, it was throwing it down) but all together these would add up nicely to making this a really full day out - especially as it's right on the sea front too! We had a great time at the Scarborough Sea Life Sanctuary and definitely recommend a trip! You can save money on entrance by booking tickets online before you go too!

Do you have a favourite sea creature? Or do fish make you freak out? Sharks make you shiver? Turtles make you.... you know where I'm going with this...?!

* Tickets were provided free of charge so I spent all my money on cuddly penguins and turtle-shaped mugs in the gift shop instead!

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