We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“I definitely will visit again”

National Sea Life Centre
Ranked #24 of 284 things to do in Birmingham
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Dive and be wowed by the many strange, beautiful and fascinating creatures of the deep as you journey through the amazing underwater world of The National SEA LIFE Centre Brimingham. Prepare for astonishing close views of everything from humble starfish to tropical sharks. To get any closer you'll have to get wet!
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Leicester, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
77 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“I definitely will visit again”
Reviewed 20 April 2014

It was a great fun with my family and also is expensive but considering the beautiful of the amazing creatures there it worth it.
The 4D cinema is amazing for the kids and my daughter got a little scared :)
Was our first time to see a penguin and was superb and fascinating. They are amazing.
The ocean tunnel is fantastic and with a lot of species living peacefully. When they look at you looks like they are smiling at you.
Is a lot of beautiful creatures and worth a beautiful word each.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank seifnn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SLC_Birmingham, Public Relations Manager at National Sea Life Centre, responded to this review, 28 April 2014
Hello, and thanks for taking the time to review us.
It is always lovely to get a 5 star review and I am so pleased that you had a wonderful day with us, found us excellent value for money and have shared some of your lovely pictures with us. We hope to welcome you again soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

2,887 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    927
    986
    630
    223
    121
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hungarian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Oxford
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Very expensive, a bit plastic. But LOVED the penguins.”
Reviewed 19 April 2014

A real rip-off (in my opinion) unless you seek out one of the special offers or book in advance. The penguins (relatively new I think), are ace. I liked the jellyfish - fully illuminated. Cute turtles. Not bad all in all, but I was annoyed by the expense, and the extortionate prices at the shop - not unusual these days I guess, but still left a bit of a bad taste.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank N H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SLC_Birmingham, Public Relations Manager at National Sea Life Centre, responded to this review, 28 April 2014
Hello and thanks for taking the time to review us.

We appreciate and take on board all feedback and are always striving to improve our experience for guests.

I am thrilled that you enjoyed the penguin exhibition, you are right they are very new, in fact they only opened this April. The jellyfish have also proved to be a very popular attraction for us, and are loved by guests of all ages.

I am sorry you found us expensive, I wonder whether you took advantage of some of our online discounts; we have tickets available online from just £12.50pp. We also have lots of offers and deals out there which encourage guests to visit us. I am sorry you thought our shop prices were too expensive, we monitor guest perception on this closely and strive to have an offering which fits every pocket. I have passed these comments over to the commercial team to investigate this further.

We hope to welcome you to the centre again soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Great fun and educational”
Reviewed 19 April 2014 via mobile

I have two girls ages 7 and 8 and when we went we thoroughly enjoyed our visit and learnt a lot. We were all in amazement at the wonderful creatures there with very helpful staff. At no point did we feel crowded as we went first thing but there were queues later on. You can easily plan your day around the talks and the children enjoyed doing the treasure hunt. The only downside is the overpriced gift shop.

Helpful?
1 Thank Louhill85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SLC_Birmingham, Public Relations Manager at National Sea Life Centre, responded to this review, 28 April 2014
HI Louhill85

Thanks so much for taking the time to review us.

I am so pleased that you and your family enjoyed your visit to us. One of our principle aims at the centre is to inspire and educate young people to help us protect the world’s oceans for future generations and it sounds like we did just that! So thanks so much for sharing with us!

I am sorry you thought our gift shop was overpriced, we feel that given the quality of our offering, we have a wide range of gifts to suit all price points. I have passed on your comment to the commercial team who will do some further investigation into this.
We hope to welcome you to the centre again soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Grasmere, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Penguins are a great addition”
Reviewed 18 April 2014

We visited the sealift centre today. We were lucky to have eaten a lot of cereal recently so had some of the bogof entry vouchers, making our entry £42 for 2 adults & 2 children. I might have found it a bit steep at full price however.

Anyway, value aside, this is by far the best sealife centre I've been to in the uk. Highlights are definitely the penguins who were racing around obligingly, jumping in and out of the water and getting fed while we were there. I also still love the tunnel with the turtles and sharks swimming above you and the large shark and ray tank.

We visited on Good Friday and were there early doors at 10am to beat the queues. But actually it was a sunny day so massive wait times never appeared. The attraction was relatively busy but not uncomfortably so.

The addition of the penguin tank has taken up much of what was the dingy downstairs of the sealife building and so in itself is an improvement. Gone is the grubby seating area but the soft play section remains at the end of your visit, albeit as a bit of an annoying afterthought just when you think you're about to see daylight. All this does mean that the only place to get a drink once inside the centre is now vending machines about half way round but in my view this is ok as you will only ever be in there for 2 hours max and Brindleyplace is packed with good places to get coffee etc once you emerge.

All in, a great attraction, well located and with great surroundings.....but eat your cereal before you go (or save up).

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank Nicola R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SLC_Birmingham, Public Relations Manager at National Sea Life Centre, responded to this review, 28 April 2014
HI Nicola

Thanks so much for taking the time to review us.
I am so glad that you had a great visit to us and were able to avoid the queues by taking advantage of coming earlier in the day. I am also pleased you were able to take advantage of the great offers we have out there at the moment offering discounted entry on our tickets.

It sounds like you had a wonderful visit, and you liked the new Penguin area, this has proved a great addition to the centre and is loved by guests of all ages.

I am sorry you think that our soft play area was an afterthought; I can assure you it wasn’t. It is themed to be an ice submarine, and therefore fits perfectly into the new environment of the penguin Ice Adventure.

We hope to welcome you to the centre again soon!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nuneaton, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“1-2 hour trip ok but expensive”
Reviewed 18 April 2014

We visited on the 11th April three adults & two children. We used the kellogs 2 for 1 vouchers so worked out at about £10 each - which I think that this attraction is worth, I would not pay full price. I also don't think that the sea life centre is that well sign posted from New Street Station. May be worth investing in some signage especially for sea life not just to follow signs for the NIA.

We arrived around 10.30 and I have never seen so many school children on trips to a single place before. Whilst I appreciate that this is not the sea life centre's fault as you can imagine the centre was very busy and the school children did not care about pushing & getting in front of my two children to look in the tanks. The centre was not easy to get around whilst busy with a small stroller. I would have really struggled with an average sized pushchair or even a wheelchair.

The centre was clean and tidy & although no cafe lots of spots on the way round to use a vending machine. My eldest daughter enjoyed going around getting stamps to earn a prize (a medal) at the shop.

We did enjoy what we got to see of the fish especially the penguins & the jellyfish though we felt that our experience at Great Yarmouth was more child friendly with friendlier staff.

The 4d cinema was broken (which we were told when we were inside, seated) but we still wanted to watch any way & my 1 year old daughter especially enjoyed it & found the vibrating seats very funny. Getting sprayed with water was a surprise. When we made our way round to the lifts we found that they were very slow & we were waiting for a long time (they just seemed to take a long time to go up & down rather than users). The ocean tunnel was nice, saw the hammerhead shark but no turtles. My 7 year old went into the play area for 5 minutes but came out bored & was ready to go, there was bench seating but no where were you could actually see your child playing.

The gift shop was heaving with school children & we could barely look round but noted that there were a range of priced merchandise so little ones can spend their pocket money. It would have been nice to have walked round again but after feeling like I had fought my way round through the school children we decided to leave & look round the city centre. Cant see us going to this centre again & feel the ones on the coast are better.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank Leanne J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SLC_Birmingham, Public Relations Manager at National Sea Life Centre, responded to this review, 23 April 2014
Hello, and thanks for taking the time to review us.
I am sorry that you felt your visit did not exceed expectations and that you found us difficult to find.
Thank you for the feedback on the signage, we are currently working with the council to increase signage to us, and have invested in some signage in new street station to help in the interim.

I am sorry that you felt that the schools were an issue in your visit, we are an educational attraction and we offer this to both schools and families alike. We manage the capacity of all guests in the centre, and have not exceeded capacity on any day since we opened. If guests do wish to avoid the school visits, the best time to come is in the afternoon. I am sorry that you felt it was difficult to get around with a stroller, I have passed this on to the operations team, however, please let me assure you we are entirely wheel chair and pushchair accessible.

I am so pleased you have enjoyed the penguins! They are a wonderful new addition to our attraction!

I am glad you enjoyed the cinema, sorry it wasn’t 4D we have now fixed the projector and it is back up and running! Hopefully you will be able to enjoy it should you visit again. Its great that you enjoyed the ocean tunnel, and the Hammerheads! Sorry you didn’t see any turtles, we have a large turtle sanctuary as you exit the cinema which continues downstairs, by the ocean tunnel. We also have Molokai our Giant Green Sea Turtle, who lives in the ocean tunnel. He likes to sleep on the rocks, maybe you will see him better when you next visit.

Thanks for the comments on seating in the play area, we will investigate this further and see if we can get some.

It’s a shame you don’t feel you will visit us again, I would urge you to reconsider, and come and take advantage of the wonderful things we have on offer, from the 4D cinema, the 360 ocean tunnel, our Penguins, Otters, and of course our sharks. We also have talks and feeds throughout the day which offer both an educational and fun way to learn more about the underwater world!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed National Sea Life Centre also viewed

 
Birmingham, West Midlands
 

Been to National Sea Life Centre? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing