A visit to the Sealife Aquarium in London | Review

While my daughter and I were on a day trip to London a few weeks ago we made time to visit the local Sealife centre. We’re both huge wildlife fans and previously had only even been to the Sealife centre in Blackpool, Lancashire. So we were pretty excited about visiting one in Central London.

We were in Piccadilly at the time so all it took was a short tube train ride to Waterloo station. The Sealife Aquarium is based on the South Bank of the River Thames, by the London Eye. I’ve been in London quite a few times and this part of it was a first for me.

The day we spent in London was a Saturday {so it could’ve been just a weekend thing?} but there were tens of thousands of people on the South Bank that day {and I wish I was exaggerating}. Along the South Bank, you also have attractions such as the London Dungeon and Shrek’s Adventure. There were insane queues to get into everything, including the Sealife Centre.

The sheer amount of people waiting to gain entry was crazy. If I’m honest, if I was there as a paying customer I would have turned around and gone somewhere else not so busy. I thought to myself ‘if this was the number of people waiting to get in, how many people were already inside?’ My curiosity was soon answered because the place was packed.

The place being so busy aside, we were really excited about seeing some amazing wildlife. However, due to how busy the place was you couldn’t get near any of the tanks to appreciate anything. This upset my daughter because as I mentioned, she is a huge wildlife fanatic and she was so excited to get up close to some of her favourite creatures. However, it’s like we had just walked into a one-way shuffle system; having to keep moving and just looking over people’s heads and through shoulders, to hopefully catch a peek at something. 

We did get to wiggle through to see a few things; such as the seahorses, the giant green sea turtles {these things were HUGE!} and the penguins at Penguin point.



When it came to the infamous ‘underwater’ tunnel I was amused to see it split into two queues. One-half was for people to walk through, allowing them to stop and take photos while the other half was for people to just walk straight through. We chose to walk straight through because the queue for the other was far too long and it wasn’t moving steadily at all. By this point, both of us were getting a little stressed out at the inability to move and/or see anything. So, in all honesty, we just gave up and followed the stream of people until we hit the Sealife centre shop.

Sadly, for us, it was a disappointing experience and that was purely based on the sheer amount of people inside the attraction. We did go on a Saturday, around 2 pm after all! The creatures and animals the Sealife centre have are amazing, this is without question. It was very cool to catch a glimpse of some species that we had never seen at other Sealife Aquariums before, such as the giant green turtles. Visualise a small mini floating around weightless in the water. Huge and so majestic, so they were definitely the highlight for us.

If you have plans to visit, my advice would be to go first thing or maybe as close to closing time as you can to give you better odds at a less cramped experience.

Disclosure: I was provided with two tickets to the Sealife Aquarium, London in return for this review. All thoughts, photos and opinions are 100% my own. 

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9 Comments

  1. 19/04/2017 / 3:59 PM

    Cool! I have always wanted to go to london!

  2. Melissa Jellie
    19/04/2017 / 4:01 PM

    This looks fun! I love that shot of the turtles. If I ever make it to London, this will need to be a stop.

  3. 19/04/2017 / 4:11 PM

    Wonderful post! I’ve been to London so many times, but I’ve never been to the Sealife Center. Definitely need to go next time.

  4. 19/04/2017 / 6:48 PM

    Ahh it’s such a shame when things are over full! I too don’t enjoy it. You should def go back another time. And that’s new about the two lines for the tunnel!! How bizarre.. but kinda of sensible too!

    • 19/04/2017 / 8:37 PM

      I agree that it is a sensible approach but nobody fancies waiting in a non-moving queue for the better part of 30+ minutes with impatient children. That’s more the angle I would be coming from. Although maybe going back at a quieter time would be a good idea.

  5. 20/04/2017 / 1:48 PM

    London is on the top of my travel list and we would love to check out the Sealife Aquarium. My kids and I love wildlife. I’m sorry it was so busy when you went. We will take your advice and try to visit on a down time.

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