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“Interesting morning”

National Sea Life Centre
Ranked #25 of 278 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
Derby
Level Contributor
207 reviews
94 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Interesting morning”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 July 2014

Nice and quiet when we got there although a number of school groups. Lots to see and as always with Merlin attractions, they build in 'photo ops'. Loved the otters, happy feet movie and sea turtle!!

Worth a visit but won't take all day.Oh and the reception team give you a lot of bumf and silly hats...we just gave ours back rather than throwing them away...

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank Roxanne C
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, 29 September 2014
Hi there and thank you for taking the time to review your visit.

We're glad you enjoyed your visit and we look forward to welcoming you again soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Level Contributor
62 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Great attraction ”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 July 2014 via mobile

Sea life is ran by merlin entertainment the company behind alton towers thorpe park and Legoland, so you wouldn't expect anything less, considering the size of the venue due to being right in the center of Birmingham City center they put the size of the venue to good use. So many things to see and do with the family. Price is ok very clean venue staff very happy and willing to assist. No lengthy queues or waiting for long. You only really need 2 -3 hrs to get around unless you love fish.

Tip: get there really early aim to be out by mid day then hop on bus or drive half hour to visit Warwick Castle, different price still affordable but this is what a merlin pass is there for. Family attraction good day out if your in Birmingham looking to kill time good place to go.

Helpful?
Thank Dazz T
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, 26 September 2014
Hi there and thank you for taking the time to review your visit!

We're really happy you had a great time with us and have taken advantage of the Merlin Annual Pass. We look forward to welcoming you again soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
61 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Superb Sea Life Centre - fabulous penguins”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 July 2014 via mobile

We bought an annual pass last year to get 2 free tickets to Alton Towers but have had a money's worth as have visited at least 6 times probably more since last August.

There is always someting new to see and the arrival of the penguins has been a fabulous addition.

The penguin area is well designed, very clean and kept at the optimum temperature for the penguins who have been bred by the Sea Life Group. The penguins look extremely healthy and happy. It is fabulous to see them being "sucked" out of the water.

Staff are very friendly and helpful - had a lengthy and interesting conversation with gentleman feeding otters and came awy imbibed with knowledge.

Will definitely be renewing our annual passes.

The penguins are worth a visit on their own.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank Ruftytuftyrider1966
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 September 2014
Hello there and thank you for your fantastic review!

We're thrilled to hear you had a great time with us each time you visited, and that you have become annual pass holders. Our penguins have proved very popular and are indeed doing very well in their new home. It sounds like you spoke with out Otter Keeper, Rob! We're glad you managed to catch him during a feed and find out some new otter facts!

Thank you so much for visiting and we look forward to seeing you again soon!
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Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Over Priced, Over crowded, Over heated”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 July 2014

Save your money go somewhere else.
if I could have marked this as 0 I would have done.
The price is ridiculous for what turned out to be a very unpleasant visit. If you book online you are charged different prices depending on the time of day you want to go - so beware. We had a voucher for buy 1 get 1 free but it still makes it very expensive for an hour an a half visit. The talks that have been mentioned in a reply to a previous review are not really what young children want to listen to and why you would want to make multiple visits in one day as suggested is beyond me and my boys. The person doing the talk in the tunnel seemed to be try out out his comedy routine and failing miserably so much so people were walking past him and not stopping to listen.
We did visit on one of the hottest days of the year but even the heat and humidity in this badly laid out building was quite unbearable. There were so many people in the building I felt that if there had been a fire it would have been very difficult to get everyone out safely.
The queues as mentioned previously in a review were not helped today by the installation of a new computer system yesterday! Why fit a new computer system at the start of the school summer holidays probably the busiest time of their year? Do this type of installation during your quiet periods and get ALL staff properly trained before they are allowed anywhere near the live system.
So if you are thinking of going STOP and think again.
But if you do decide to go take your own food and plenty of drinks as those on sale are via a vending machine and again are over priced - someone somewhere is having a huge laugh at our expense, so why add to their profits.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank 258Lesley
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 September 2014
Hi there and thank you reviewing your visit.

I am sorry you felt disappointed by your experience. We are a popular attraction and at peak times we do get high visitor numbers. The temperature in the building is closely monitored and we do all we can to ensure that it is comfortable for visitors.

I'm sorry that you felt that our talks were not interesting for younger children, we try to ensure that the information we provide is educational for all age groups as well as being entertaining. We appreciate your feedback on this.

Thank you for your visit and we will take your comments on board for the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
62 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“what a disappointment”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 July 2014 via mobile

Oh dear, what a disappointment. We had a choice between the sea life centre or the severn valley railway. Because it was raining we chose the sea life centre. First mistake. Tge signage from Birmingham New Street station is poor and we walked for about 30mins before we found it. On arrival the queue went out the door and round the building. We were told it would be about 30min wait. It was a little less than that, but when we got insude we realised why... 2 tills to take all the people. There was another till which was for pre booked tickets. As they weren't queuing round the block, it would have been better if he had helped out with the queue in between.
It was a very hot, humid day and the heat and humidity inside the building was almost unbearable. Obviously it was very crowded and it was quite difficult to see many of the exhibits. You felt like you had to keep moving all the time.
Nowhere to have a proper drink or rest is a big problem, only vending machines, half way through.
Finally the gift shop. 2 tills again..there used to be a third, but apparently it broke and won't be replaced. It was unlucky that an entire cub troop were in the queue which didn't help.
Conclusions.. too small a footprint for the building, no cafe, not enough tills. Would I go again...NO.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank clemi48
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 September 2014
Hi there and thank you for reviewing your visit.

I am sorry you felt disappointed by your experience with us, we do all we can to keep queues moving as quickly as possible and we do recommend that everyone book online as this helps to manage the amount of people entering and ensure that the wait time is kept to a minimum. We are a popular attraction and Summer is a busy time for us, we monitor capacity at all times and pay close attention to all guest feedback on this issue.

Thank you for your visit and we appreciate your feedback.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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