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“Rip off” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Scarborough SEA LIFE Sanctuary

Scarborough SEA LIFE Sanctuary
Scalby Mills, Scarborough, England
01723 373414
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Ranked #15 of 18 Attractions in Scarborough
Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas, Zoos & Aquariums
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Attraction details
Owner description: Let us take you on a fascinating journey from the coastline to the depths of the ocean. Discover a magical underwater world filled with a dazzling array of amazing creatures. Every step will reveal something new, from a face to face encounter with sharks to a hands-on rockpool experience. Discover the truth about the much-misunderstood shark, the plight on the endangered sea turtle, the remarkable life of the seahorse plus countless surprising facts about these and hundreds of other incredible creatures. Meet Ed our playful seal and watch out for him splashing around. Watch our otters Eric and Pumpkin as they learn new skills through a special training programme. Visit our Turtle Sanctuary and help feed our native sharks and rays!Pirate Adventure Mini Golf at SEA LIFE ScarboroughNow you can combine your SEA LIFE voyage with a round of Pirate Adventure Mini Golf*! It’s a swashbuckling game for the whole family offering a new challenge at every hole.In true pirate style, your navigation skills will be tested as you make your way around cannons, treasure chests and gunpowder barrels.Will you hold your nerve as you jump aboard a pirate raft and make your way over water to the half way point? Can you conquer all 12 holes? Do you have enough skill to beat your friends and family? There’s only one way to find out!*Separate charge applies
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Rip off”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2009

We visited the Sealife Centre on bank holiday Monday.It was a wet day and thought we would take shelter and keep the kids occupied indoors.It was a real let down, we paid £36 for 3 of us.Not only was it expensive but there was nothing there that we hadn't seen before and at that price you would expect to have seen something amazing. I would not visit the centre again.

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793 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
York, England
20 reviews 20 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Improved attraction”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2009

We last visited Sealife at Scarborough in 2001 and decided to go again to see if it had improved. We had a very pleasant afternoon there - arrived at 12:00 and didn't leave until after 16:00. They had obviously redecorated the place (presumably for the new season) and generally smartened the place up since our last visit. The glass and water in most of the tanks had been cleaned and made viewing pleasurable.
It isn't a very big place but if you are interested in wildlife I think it's quite good. The keepers were very friendly and willing to talk to you.
It is expensive and you are best getting tickets in advance on the web (we paid £9.95 each for two, although there are occasionally cheaper deals). The food and drink is expensive but you have to expect any animal attraction to be expensive. Sealife is a sanctuary and they do not have performing animals but is probably nearly equal to the London Aquarium as a visitor experience.
We will probably go back again in a few years time.

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North Lincs
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2008

Luckily for our family of five, we had got half-price tickets via Walkers Brit-Trips and the Sealife's own internet promotion, although we still paid just under £20.

Yes, it was a squash and slow-moving but the fish were fascinating.

What really let it down was the impression that we were going to be watching feeding time with performing mammals etc. Not at all. Just talks and talks. BE WARNED - when you are listening to the seal talk and the man from Donna Nook comes on,GO GO GO!!!! My God, what a boring,monotonous man! Everyone cleared off faster than if the fire alarm had gone off.

Needs an updating in nearly every area. I shouldn't think it has many returning visitors as the price does not reflect the entertainment.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Expensive and shambolic”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2008

We were on holiday in Scarborough and as Sunday 1st June was an extremely wet day, we decided to visit the Sea-life centre, just after 10.15a.m.
First of all, I think that it is unacceptable to be charged an additional £2.00 to park to enter what must be one of the highest priced and worse value venue in Yorkshire. No waiver for disabled people either, and who do not have the luxury of choice about how to get anywhere, The centre is not easy to access other than by private vehicle.

Then there was the entrance fee, carefully not listed on their publicity leaflets, and which, for what was available, was outrageous at £12.95 per adult. This venue does not remotely compare with the content and facility at, for example, The Deep, in Hull, costing £8.75. Or, Roundhay Park’s Tropical World in Leeds, £3.00 for adults, which offers so much more, including animals and reptiles, plus much cleaner tanks and easier viewed fish varieties.

Quarter of an hour after opening, the Scarborough Sea-life centre was already jam-packed with people and pushchairs, making any progress almost impossible. Displays were inaccessible. To complete the route round, we all had to wade through torrential rain water outdoors and negotiate (noted no disabled access) steps that resembled waterfalls outdoors, plus water soaked floors and steps indoors. It would seem reasonable for them to have know that it rains on the East coast. Even the sparse and piece-meal bits of canvas outdoor ‘shelter’ leaked, and causes water spouts. Even their own staff were complaining about having to go outside in the foul weather to do their ‘talks’, and they were being paid to be there, not being charged a total of £27.90 for two.

It gets worse. The steps (no disabled access seen) to get back indoors were in total darkness. Light bulb failure? Or lack of though and/or maintenance? It certainly did not meet basic Health and Safety regulations. Someone must be responsible, and staff must have known. We saw several people trip up the steps, and onto the puddle filthy floor. ...But at least they were inside.

Now to the café, in vain the hopes of getting drier and a warm drink. Access was by steps, again. No staff to help with what appeared to be a strange open lift.
No respite here. The seating was packed solid, and people were queuing across the room. By 11.00a.m. the tables were filthy and overflowing, and the staff were completely unable to cope with the numbers of people trying to get in, and thus out of the pouring rain. Was there any alternate seating? Of course not. No idea what the charges were in here because like many, we gave up, but we might make a good guess.

As we left, having spent a most uncomfortable and miserable time trying to get out, people were still queuing to pay and being crammed in.
Would we recommend this expensive, poorly managed and maintained venue? No, not ever, in any weather.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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