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“Expensive and shambolic”

Scarborough SEA LIFE Sanctuary
Ranked #14 of 85 things to do in Scarborough
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Attraction details
Owner description: New 2017: Octopus Hideout! Meet Babs, our Giant Pacific Octopus and her 8 armed friends in our incredible new feature opening this February Half Term. Now Open: Penguin Island Get closer than ever before to our colony of Humboldt Penguins in their brand new walkthrough home. Waddle side by side with our adorable penguins and watch them make a splash as they play in their babbling waterfall! 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 Scarborough Now 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
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3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Expensive and shambolic”
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.

8 Thank SKIsofleeds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scarborough S, Manager at Scarborough SEA LIFE Sanctuary, responded to this review, November 8, 2016
Dear guest
We appreciate you taking the time to provide feedback surrounding Scarborough SEA LIFE Sanctuary.
Scarborough SEA LIFE Sanctuary
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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