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“Absolutely fantastic” 5 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
Manchester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Absolutely fantastic”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2010

I can't quite understand the bad reviews about Scarborough Sea Life Centre.

We went on a holiday to Bridlington, and got the train to Scarborough to visit the Sea Life Centre. There were 3 of us, and so we used a Tesco 2 for 1 voucher and bought one full price ticket, totalling about £28 for the 3 of us.

We only waited for about five minutes in the queue to get in, and that was with a group of schoolchildren in front of us. The till staff were brilliant and explained various leaflets to us before we entered.

When we went in, there was a bit of trouble getting around, especially with a large group of school children in front, but we hung back and enjoyed the jellyfish until they had cleared out. There is also a Barrier Reef section, that hosted the characters from Finding Nemo - brilliant for me so I imagine that real children would find this incredible! As we got to the "Invasion of the Vikings" tank, my camera ran out of batteries, and so I took a quick dash to the shop and bought some batteries that were actually cheaper than in the local supermarket - again, brilliant staff too!

Around the vikings area, there is the main tank that hosts a variety of fish and rays, but also smaller tanks that contain mermaid's purses (unhatched fish). There is also a section where you can pick up and touch some of the creatures in one of the tanks with supervision.

Next, there is the seal rescue centre. There are plenty of leaflets about the work being carried out here, but also a few games and activities for children - the few that were there at the same time as us seemed to be enjoying them!

Next, the otters. At first, they were nowhere to be seen, and then their feeder appeared and summoned them - Eric and Cherry for their lunch! Another fantastic staff member, he told us lots of information about otters, about Eric and Cherry, and even had a good sense of humour. After the crowds begun to disperse, we even stayed and had a chat with him!

We then continued to the penguins, who must as been molting as they were too busy biting to bother with anything else! There was also a "hide out" feature here, and us "big kids" went into it to see the penguins as if we were in the enclosure with them - fab!

Then, the seals. There were no seals in the rescue centre, and to me this itself shows the good work that Sea Life are doing. This section was very crowded, as a large youth group were sat in the seats, and so we couldn't really hear what the team member was saying. However, the seals seemed more than happy, and responded well to their feeder, and even showed off to their audience a little!

We then moved onto the ocean tunnel, where some of the sharks were. Granted, they were not massive, but they were big enough for me to not want to be on the other side of the glass! We also caught sight of the giant turtle here, hovering around one particular space, which concerned us - we later discovered why.

Next - the sea horses, and the new attraction - sea dragons. Only a few tanks, but the creatures were beautiful, and again, more than happy to be in front of the camera! We then moved onto the turtle sanctuary, and were told of the recent release of "Murtle the Turtle", and the tale of the turtle that currently resides in the Sea Life Centre - who was hovering around the same place because she was brain damaged after being hit by a boat in the wild. Again, the staff conducting the talk were brilliant, and, again, more than happy to answer any questions. And there was obviously some kind of bond between the turtle and her feeder, as the turtle happily had her shell scratched and thoroughly appreciated it!

We then went through to the cafe, but didn't eat there, and so I can't comment on the prices here. However, it was very clean. There are then some steps to head back down to the gift shop, with a stairlift attached. A member of staff was controlling this for a disabled visitor, and again, incredibly friendly and patient.

I found the whole place to be clean and presentable. , Outside of the tanks and in them. I don't think ticket prices are overpriced at all, even without discounts, considering the vast amout of attention and care that the creatures, and the running of the venue requires. Especially considering that to visit a theme park such as Alton Towers you pay £20 plus to queue up for most of the day.

The three of us had an absolutely brilliant day, and were in there for about 5 hours in total. If we didn't have to catch a train we would happily have gone around again!

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794 reviews from our community

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English first
Shipley, UK
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Brilliant, not a bad word to say about it.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2010

I have just come back from my second visit to the Scarbrough Sea Life centre, the first been around 4 years ago. Loved it both times, and I just don't understand the bad reviews here.

As well as the tropical aquariums, which are stuffed with fish of all kinds, there is the excellent Ray and Shark pool, the Seal sanctuary, the penguins, huge spider crabs, eerie jellyfish, and my personal favourite, the turtles. The staff are super friendly and extremely knowledgable, (they are clearly enthusiasts, not just employees.) and if you follow the scheduled talks and feedings around the centre (there is one every half hour in different areas) you will get much more out of your visit.

Some people here seem to be complaining about value for money. Well at £14 per adult, (as of June 2010) I guess it could seem expensive to some. But there are discounts available online, and 2 for 1 vouchers seem to crop up all over the place. You can also combine it with passes to alton towers, and all sorts of other stuff. I personally think the price is fine.

I suppose if you were rushing through will small or easily bored children, you might feel it was a little short, but if you want to take your time and relax you can easily spend a whole afternoon here.

I also don't understand the comments about the upkeep - this is a working animal sanctuary, as well as a resort, I would never expect it to be absolutely pristine. That said, it never seemed scruffy or under-staffed.

I am not sure what the disapointed reviewers expected, but this an excellent sea life centre and I have no hesitation giving it 5 stars.

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East Yorkshire
Top Contributor
309 reviews 309 reviews
223 attraction reviews
Reviews in 123 cities Reviews in 123 cities
238 helpful votes 238 helpful votes
“Good for a couple of hours”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2010

Fine for a couple of hours but think you could struggle to fill any longer. Dropped in as we had a Merlin pass. Gate price looked expensive but whilst we were in the Area there seemed to be plenty of discounts available, we saw one for £4 off a person. Displays were nothing startling and run of the mill. Some places looked bit shabby (Jellyfish) whilst others were good (Vikings & Rays). Otters and seals entertaining and car park ticket was transferable(bonus if you move on) but check that offer is still available.

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2 reviews
“Avoid. Petty, disorganized, aggressive...”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2010 via mobile

Avoid. Petty, disorganized, aggressive, dishonest, bureaucratic, dirty, expensive, unprofessional - just for starters.

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5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Some interesting things but VERY overpriced”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2010

There was a lot of variety and some interesting exhibits. There were clearly a lot of kids there who were fascinated so it was educational but fun. Some of the tanks etc. I thought were a bit small, especially the seals. We got round it in less than an hour but it cost £14.30 per person to get in. Definitely not worth the price. I know they must have huge overheads but hardly value for money or a cheap day out for a family.

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