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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