PR – Press Event
This week we were one of the first visitors to be welcomed back into the SEA LIFE Centre Brighton after their grand re-opening on 17th May 2021. The SEA LIFE Centre has been closed during lockdown for months, so this was our first visit in over a year and you can tell by the girls faces they were so delighted to be back!
The SEA LIFE Centre Brighton is the worlds oldest aquarium. Inside the building is absolutely beautiful – still with many of the original features with added rainbow lights that give it that extra magical touch. Brighton Aquarium designed by Eugenius Birch, the architect responsible for the West Pier. The aquarium opened in 1872 and is still one of Brighton’s favourite family attractions to this day.
Before lockdown, we were regular visitors with annual passes so we couldn’t wait for our first visit back, although I wondered how it would be with social distancing in place as it always used to be quite busy and at peak times crowded inside. However, I needn’t have worried as everything was so well organised and we felt very safe during our visit.
You now have to pre-book your tickets in advance, so entry is staggered throughout the day and limited in places so the aquarium never gets too busy or crowded. Inside, there is a one-way system to keep the flow of people going and I saw lots of hand sanitising points dotted around too. I thought being the opening week it would feel busy, but it really didn’t we were on our own at the displays most of the time with just a scattering of families passing us. We could easily keep our distance and our own space at all times.
There were a few new displays to see and explore, the girls especially loved the new clownfish tank by the entrance which doubles as a little tunnel for them to run through, we also spotted a few new additions on the way around.
One of the favourites was the hands-on rockpool experience where they were able to stroke different sea creatures and get their hands in the water. There were also lots of old favourites like the octopus, jellyfish, terrapins and tropical area too.
Of course, the star of the show was the Day & Night area which was renovated before lockdown, with the ‘dark area’ with neon colours and a night time vibe and the brighter ‘day’ area. This has a huge central main tank that holds the larger creatures like the sharks and two HUGE turtles. With a huge viewing window we sat and watched the marine life swimming by for nearly 30 minutes, there was so much to see! The girls were just fascinated! You can then walk through the tunnel for the underwater experience too.
We really enjoyed our trip to the SEA LIFE Centre Brighton. We’d missed it so much – I felt emotional watching the pure joy on the girls’ faces, thinking of how much they’ve missed during lockdown. It feels even more poignant now Violet is only months away from school too. We even decided to buy the photograph to remember our day, which makes me laugh so much as Pearl’s jacket was green so it’s gone see-through and she’s wearing the background!
If you’d like to visit the SEA LIFE Centre Brighton – make sure you pre-book your tickets now!
You can also read about our previous trips here – Violet’s Third Birthday, The Sea Life Centre at Halloween! (Look how small Violet was here!) and our tourist day out in Brighton back in 2015 before kids!