Birmingham Sea Life Centre – mini review

Is the sea life centre really a whole day out? According to many TripAdvisor reviews it is not! We put it to the test.

We arrived later knowing it wouldn’t likely be a full day out and I tacked on a behind the scenes tour, which was fine but a bit short. My son seemed to enjoy it. He did get to hold a shark egg, see a giant shark tooth and name a baby sea creature.

We then started our tour around the centre. We played the stamping game on the way round (which gained him a medal at the end).

Our highlights of the centre were the guitar fish, no they don’t actually play guitar (anymore, they are retired)! Touching a star fish and an anemone. I was surprised by how brave Nate was. We found Dory (and Nemo), sharks, stingray, jelly fish, octopus and a large array of aquatic life.

The Octonauts 4D show was definitely a highlight. It was lovely to rest my weary feet for 12 minutes and it was a lot of fun. There were bubbles, movement and we got wet!

My favourite part was watching the giant sea turtle in the tunnel. The sea creatures swim below, above and around, it is so awe-inspiring. We found out in the behind the scenes tour that they rescued the turtle from a woman’s handbag! It was smuggled into the country in a handbag! Nate loved that story and told it to everyone.

After we completed an entire circuit of the centre we left for a late lunch at Eds Diner opposite (yum). Then came back for another go round, we saw things we didn’t see last time, the octopus wasn’t hiding second time around. We saw penguins under the water and Nate stared out a shark!

So we arrived at 11:45 and left at 4pm with a long lunch break in the middle. So technically it is not a day out but it is a wonderful way to spend a few hours and you can leave and return later to extend it further. It is not as good as the Weymouth Sea Life centre. But we did have a fabulous time.



My Weymouth Week at a Glance

lulworth cove abbotsbury swannery collage

Last week was our family holiday in Weymouth, Dorset. I will be doing my in-depth posts about some of my favourite places that we visited, but I thought I would first give a little overview.

We stayed at Chesil Vista Holiday Park in a caravan on the edge of Chesil Beach and overlooking Portland Island, it was a beautiful view, though shame we didn’t have the view from a caravan, due to your location. But, we were using the camp-site as a base, as opposed to wanting to use all their facilities.

On day one we settled in, unpacked and then wandered over to the little beach opposite the holiday camp, where we saw our first of the giant jelly-fish we were to see on this trip.

On day two we headed over to the much anticipated Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door. It was so beautiful that it cannot possible be conveyed in the tiny little pic above, so I will be writing a dedicated post on that soon, so please check back later. It was like being in another world, or at least another country.

Day three we headed over to Weymouth Beach, this was the first of two visits, and I will definitely be posting in detail because Weymouth Beach was one of the best (family-friendly) beaches I have ever frequented. We only spent a few hours on this day, had chips by the sea and the headed into the Sea-Life Centre which was 5 minutes from the beach. The sea-life park was fantastic, and felt like more of a mini-theme park than just an aquarium, there was loads to see and do, and again more jelly-fish!

Day four we eventually found our way to Abbotsbury Swannery, this was my husband’s favourite place on our holiday and very much enjoyed by us all. It was a peaceful sanctuary and a slower paced day much needed after the busy beach and sea-world from the day before.

Later that day, since we were nearby, we parked and walked up to a section of Chesil Beach. It was extremely painful, as we were all in sandals – piece of advice – wear proper shoes. It was beautiful but it is not so much a beach as a stone museum. Did you ever wonder where all the stones go to that you throw into the sea, well Chesil Beach is where they all end up!

Day five, it was a beautiful sunny day so we chose to spend the whole day on Weymouth Beach again as well as heading up to the Sea-Life Tower. I believe this was the day that most of the country were baking in near 40-degree heat. I am so glad we were by the sea, I think it was only about 28-30 for us and with a lovely sea-breeze it was was pleasant, and quite cool by late evening. I am so glad I wasn’t in the office that day.

Day six – our penance for the beautiful day previous was a morning of rain. So we swiftly changed our plans and decided to have a cooked breakfast and watch a movie, and with the new Minion movie out, we were all excited to have an excuse to have to stay indoors for a short while. If you haven’t seen the Minion movie yet, do it, it is quite possibly the funniest movie I have seen in years, and if possible, even funnier than Despicable Me 2 and with a pretty decent storyline and a good conclusion. We had breakfast in a recently opened establishment that was innovatively named “Cafe Weymouth”, check out my review on Tripadvisor. The two lovely men who ran the place were so charming and warm and we had such a lovely breakfast, not to mention the best tea I have ever had, made by a company called Novus, with an interesting egg-timer system.

Our final day we spent at Monkey World, a sanctuary for abused and un-cared for monkeys and apes of all sorts who have been rescued and are being taken care of in a very natural environment, as far as enclosures go. It was fascinating seeing all the different species and watching their fun antics.

weymouth review family friendly