Disclosure– We received gifted tickets in return for a review however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Another attraction we visited whilst we were on our mini holiday at Great Yarmouth was the Sea Life centre which is also located along the sea front not far up from the Merrivale model village.
Whilst visiting Great Yarmouth with my family, my main focus was on accessibility as my son has limited mobility and is a wheelchair user. I think taking some time to properly plan your trip reduces a substantial amount of stress and worry when there is an adult or young person in your party who has mobility issues. There is nothing worse than getting to an attraction and finding out that there not accessible.
Like many attractions, Sea Life offers a free carer policy which allows admission for a carer to go free with a full paying ticket upon proof. This could be a PIP or DLA award letter, blue badge, letter from a professional body or a letter from a certified NHS professional dated within the last two years.
It has been many, many years since visiting an aquarium and the last time we came the children were all very small and even though they enjoyed seeing all the different sea life they were disinterested by the fact screens. It was really nice to go back with them being much older and now more interested in learning more about the the different sea life as well as seeing them.
Visiting a Sea Life centre as an adult with older kids too is an all round different experience as we now also had the time to read the information screens with them and learn without having to hurry off to the next tank.
I think the green screen photo is a thing now with attractions as the Sea Life had one upon entering. I wore a green dress that day so I blended in beautifully in every background. It didn’t stop us spending £10 on a fridge magnet, thanks Lyds!
At reception the kids were given little activity packs that consisted of a:
- Magnifying glass
- Creature identification guide
- Peppa Pig- Activity trail
- Fish for facts quiz
Lydia really enjoyed going through the facts quiz, especially as you can receive a prize at the end when you have handed it in at the gift shop. It really helped to keep the kids engaged by making them read the screens to get the answers and they loved going through it.
We spent around two hours taking our time looking around the different zones of the aquarium. My personal favourite would have to be the jelly fish. Emily was fascinated with the sea turtle, it was humungous despite only being a teenager, I never realised just how big they can get.
The rock pool was a big hit although Emily was a bit unsure about touching a starfish until I had touched it first. The water was freezing and it didn’t feel like I thought it would. I thought it would feel smooth and bit spongey but it was hard, bumpy and rough, I also don’t like cold water and couldn’t tolerate my hand being in there for more than a few seconds so It was a quick in/out for me. You are required to wash your hands before and after touching the starfish. I also noticed sinks in some of the areas for you to wash your hands as your going round to reduce bacteria spread.
One thing I did enjoy, was watching the children playing in the tunnels and being able to look at the fish more intimately through the ‘submarine’ windows and the big overhead fish tank that you walk through where sharks are swimming above your head and you can see everything.
The fact screens were great and going around we learned how to do sign the name of the fish using British sign language. There are interactive boards, and flip boards to play with and underwater telescopes so that the kids can look as if they are in the water at the fish.
Overall we had a lovely morning and learnt so much.
I found the attraction to be very accessible for wheelchair users with the walkways being wide, level and flat. The only part that was not accessible is the penguin platform where there is a few steps to go up and see an overview of the penguins within their enclosure. You can still see the enclosure from below but you do get an overall better view if you go up top, it also depends on what the penguins are doing at the time.
This attraction does have toilets which are located next to the café and gift shop.
Whilst we were at Great Yarmouth we parked in St Nicholas car park which is opposite the sea front attractions. It is a long stay carpark as we were visiting the sea front pretty much all day so that it why we decided to park here.
£6.00 for up to 4 hours
£9.30 for over 4 hours
Try find another working pay machine if one is not working, It will suggest you pay using there app but this adds an additional charge of 20p (It’s not much but it’s a bit cheeky if you have to do this because of there faulty machine).
We parked in the disabled bay however, we did discover on the second day that blue badge holders can park on the sea front for free for however long they needed.