Scarborough Sea Life Centre Review

We were invited to visit the Scarborough Sea Life Centre in Scarborough, North Yorkshire. They have recently added a new Coral Cove area, a revamp/addition to part of their outdoor area as well as a revamped seal hospital and the installation of some very cool leafcutter ants.

Disclaimer: We were gifted tickets for our visit and given complimentary photos.

Scarborough Sea Life Centre Things To Do Review

It has been a good couple of years since we last visited Scarborough Sea Life and our son was really excited to be visiting again. I can’t remember the last time we were inside an actual aquarium. You can reserve a time slot online so prebooking is essential to guarantee your visit.

You start your visit by striking a few poses while having your photos taken with a green screen behind you. We weren’t going to purchase any photos but when we got to the end of our visit we were really surprised to see what good value they were.

Currently, 3 photo books are just £15 (this gives you a large photo in each). We queued to purchase them but they’d kindly gifted us them anyway. I can highly recommend them for £15 (see the end of this post for a photo of one of them).

Scarborough Sea Life Centre Review

The journey around the Sea Life Centre is a one-way system. We started in a Viking themed room with a tank full of fish and rays. One of the rays was very friendly and seemed to pop up out of the water to say hello to us.

Scarborough Sea Life Centre Review

Our son was given a small magnifying glass, a scratch card quiz that if they get all the answers correct they get a prize at the end (a lovely wooden necklace) and an Octonauts quiz sheet to take around.

Next came the new coral reef tanks. The fish and the coral in these tanks was really beautiful. My mother-in-law said she’d never seen such pretty fish in real life before. What we really liked were the big magnifying glasses that they have set up on some of the tanks. They provide a really interesting closer look at life in their tanks.

Scarborough Sea Life Centre Review
Scarborough Sea Life Centre Review

They also have a really cool fibre optic octopus hanging from the ceiling and there’s music playing in all the indoor rooms which add to the atmosphere of the place.

Scarborough Sea Life Centre Review

A few more tanks later we came to the Turtle Hospital. This is a fun interactive exhibit for kids. They each collect a turtle that they have to nurse back to health to then set free into the ocean. They get to name their octopus, weigh it, Xray it, treat it, feed it and give it water. Sadly we couldn’t get it to ‘feed’ ours but our son still loved it and it’s great for teaching kids how to look after animals.

Scarborough Sea Life Centre Things To Do

Next on the one-way system was the outdoor areas and the Humboldt Penguins plus the Pirate crazy golf (additional cost). The penguins were lovely. We couldn’t walk through their enclosure during our visit but they have a few areas where you can see the penguins.

The highlight for us was having them walking in front of us, at eye level, on the other side of the glass. We spent a long time here watching and talking to them. Our son was in his element, he adores penguins and it was great for him to spend time so close to them.

Scarborough Sea Life Centre Things To Do
Scarborough Sea Life Centre Things To Do

The outdoor play area is still there. There is a kiosk out here that they open on busier days.

Scarborough Sea Life Centre Things To Do

We then came to the Seal Hospital. This has been revamped and looks all new with lots of interesting information boards. As it’s not the right time of year, there were no seals to see here. There were four ‘grown up’ seals to be seen further along in their bigger tank. This is where they hold daily talks and feed the seals (this may be suspended right now due to covid – please enquire).

Scarborough Sea Life Centre Things To Do

We carried on along the one-way system and then came across their otters. They were gorgeous and both fast asleep. The visit now returned indoors. You now start to get views of their tank that has a tunnel running under it.

Before the tunnel, there are the rock pools where you can stroke starfish and sea anemones. We were instructed on how to safely stroke them by one of the members of staff and they were really informative explaining more about what we were touching.

Scarborough Sea Life Centre Review

We then headed for the tunnel. There were lots of fish swimming about including some small sharks. The huge Loggerhead turtle was fast asleep though.

Scarborough Sea Life Centre
Scarborough Sea Life Centre

We finished our visit in the Rainforest. We sadly hurried through this section as there was a family constantly wanting to stand right next to us. I think this might be where we managed to miss seeing the leaf cutter ants and a tank you can pop your head up inside.

We really enjoyed our visit and we spent around 1hr15 there. As we didn’t have to wait for anyone and we had to rush the last section I feel that you could easily spend around 1hr30 there on a normal visit.

Scarborough Sea Life Centre

The Scarborough Sea Life centre is located by the sea at the northern end of Scarborough (just up past the Alpamare waterpark). When you are outside at the centre make sure you have a look at the view over the wall. They’ve also installed a new viewing gallery with binoculars and large boards with bird pictures that you may be able to spot.

Located near Scalby Mills there is some access to the rocks and rock pools at low tide. Just behind the aquarium, there is the North Bay Railway that takes you from the Sea Life Centre up to the North Bay and Peasholm Park. The Sea Life Centre also has a pirate-themed crazy golf course. You can add a round of golf to your booking.

Scarborough Sea Life Centre Things To Do
Scarborough Sea Life Centre Things To Do
Scarborough Sea Life Centre

Scarborough Sea Life Centre FAQ & Further Information

Address: Scalby Mills Rd, Scarborough YO12 6RP, North Yorkshire

Category – Aquarium – Indoors and Outdoors – Suitable for all ages.

What are the ticket prices?

A standard ticket costs from £15.60 per adult. You can purchase a Sea Life and Golf ticket from £20.10 per adult. They also offer a seal experience where you can feed the seals and then eat breakfast.

What are the main facilities and things to do?

Aquarium with coral reef tanks, interactive ‘turtle hopsital’, penguins, seals, otters, rock pool, tunnel, small play area and pirate golf. There are toilets and a cafe.

When are they open?

They are open for most of the year. For up-to-date information please visit their website.

Is there food available?

There is a cafe serving hot and cold food and drink (hot dogs, nachos, snacks).

Is there parking?

There is parking, charges apply for the spring and summer.

Are they dog friendly?

Only assistance dogs are permitted.

Are they accessible?


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