Sealife Brighton is located at Marine Parade in the Suffolk coastal resort and is the largest Sea Life Centre in the UK, not to mention the oldest working aquarium in the world. Based in an impressive Victorian home, it’s renowned among maritime conservation cognoscenti as among the best anywhere, and it’s unquestionably a superb family day out. A ticket to Sealife Brighton grants access to a panoply of maritime wonders, with 57 exhibits including a tropical reef and subsurface tunnel that provides a great vantage point to spot the likes of turtles, sharks and stingrays.
Sealife Brighton’s Tropical Reef features no fewer than 150 species, including black-tipped reef sharks and giant sea turtles (one tipping the scales at 27 stone!), in addition to its very own shipwreck. A walkthrough underwater tunnel offers amazing views and other highlights include windows and a walkway over the tank. Equally mind-boggling are groups of pre-historic Horseshoe Crabs, Decorator Crabs and Giant Japanese Spider Crabs, as well as Lion fish and other exotic creatures. Further, The Kingdom Of The Seahorse provides rockpool displays that are rich in micro-life, and numerous piranhas make for a hair-raising spectacle – just the ticket for those angling for excitement!
The family attraction also pursues an ongoing programme of conservation, and young rays are fed each day, providing just one memorable sight provided by a ticket to this unsual family day. Further enhancing a family day out to Sealife Brighton is the chance for a hands-on encounter with sea crabs, while visitors can learn about the local shore and view numbers of sea bass. The ticket additionally takes in The Victorian Explorer, where the visitor can take a Journey Into The Ocean via The Submarine.
The main aquarium hall is some 70 metres long, a feat of Victorian engineering that houses a Victorian Tea Room, over and above a Souvenir gift shop. First unveiled in 1872, the Aquarium was designed by Eugenius Birch, the man behind Brighton’s West Pier, at a cost of £130,000.
Sealife Brighton’s impressive hall has an arched, domed ceiling, fine ironwork and back-lit tanks that are a standout gothic sight, as well as apparently being haunted by at least one ghost!
Among the other sights of the multifaceted family attraction are a sandy seabed, an old harbour, a Titanic disaster display, a children’s play area and Education centre with painting and clay modelling, and Captain Nemo’s Nautilus. Daily feeding sessions and educational talks are available, making for an enlightening and enjoyable family day out.
Marine Parade, Brighton, Sussex, BN2 1TB
Tel: 01273 604 234
Times: 10:00 – various, dependent on season