Sealife Loch Lomond is based at the impressive Drumkinnon Tower on Ben Lomond Way, in Balloch, Scotland, nestling in a picture postcard countryside scene not far from Dumbarton. It is the country’s newest Sealife maritime centre – the first in some 10 years – and in spite of creating something of a hoo-ha early on, over the appropriateness of a family attraction in such a lovely region, it’s become a leading family day out and is among the best institutes of its kind in the UK.
Sealife Loch Lomond is a family attraction that houses a whole raft of mainly Scottish sea and freshwater creatures, with more than two dozen exhibits taking in residents of the Clyde Estuary and the North Sea, along with examples from overseas, notably the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Some of the unusual species to be seen by ticket holders are sharks, stingrays and seahorses, while among its conservation endeavours are a thriving Otter Sanctuary. Its Asian Short Clawed Otters are a top draw, their home boasting a tumbling waterfall and torrential stream, their activities being one of the key features of a fun family day at Sealife Loch Lomond.
Domestic species include freshwater minnows, Perch, Trout, Stickleback and Eels, not to mention sea-based examples of Cod, Bass, Skate and stingrays.
The Tropical Ocean Display features a mock up of a submerged shipwreck – the SS Sea King – which was constructed in the vicinity on the river Clyde, and its viewing tank is awash with tropical fish and basking sharks, besides the awe-inspiring wreckfish, all of which can be seen from a display tunnel as part of a ticket to the family attraction. Also a highlight of a family day out at Sealife Loch Lomond is a daily display of assorted marine creatures, with ticket holders given the chance to have a hands-on encounter with numerous types of crustacea.
The Finding Nemo tank contains Clownfish and Blue Tang, which were archetypes for Nemo and Dory in the cartoon film, and related gifts from the site shop, near the café, are available to buy.
The Sealife Loch Lomond institute additionally has more than 20 species of tropical fish, including six black tip sharks, a pair of nurse sharks and a zebra shark dubbed Sir Bobby Robson (after the ex-Newcastle and England football coach!).
In addition to information provided about freshwater animals from nearby Dumbarton and the Clyde Estuary, Sealife Loch Lomond stages regular talks about more exotic critters including Sharks, Seahorses, Otters and stingrays, as well as furnishing groups of school children with education opportunities – also extended to ticket holders a fun family day out. Just the ticket.
Furthermore, a Sealife ticket takes in audio-visual displays and a touch pool, ensuring an illuminating as well as enjoyable family day out that the weather cannot spoil, thus providing a grand family day out for everyone.
Loch Lomond Shores, Ben Lomond Way, Balloch, G83 8QL
Tel: 01389 721500
Times: Daily, 10.00 – 17.00 (last admission 16.00)