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“Staff made the visit memorable”

Scottish Seabird Centre
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Enjoy great days out at the seaside with the five star Scottish Seabird Centre, North Berwick. In the Discovery Centre control the interactive live cameras to zoom in on the amazing local wildlife on the Firth of Forth islands including puffins, gannets and seals. The Bass Rock is the world’s largest Northern gannet colony and BBC Countryfile Magazine’s Nature Reserve of the Year and the Isle of May is the biggest puffin colony on the east coast of Britain. There’s different wildlife to see throughout the year and at different stages of the breeding season. Visitors can enjoy expert talks, 3D TV, fish tanks, Flyway Tunnel, Wildlife Theatre, Turtle and Ray Zone and a Scope Deck. There is also a Gift Shop, the Seabird Cafe which has East Lothian’s only seaside sundeck, plus a range of seasonal boat trips. The Scottish Seabird Centre is open all year – only closed on Christmas Day.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Stairs / lift, Wheelchair access, Food available for purchase
Newcastle
Level Contributor
142 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 152 helpful votes
“Staff made the visit memorable”
Reviewed 8 March 2014

Not large but get chatting to a guide if you can. The value added this brings makes the visit worthwhile.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank Northumberlandscout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Puffin2000, Public Relations Manager at Scottish Seabird Centre, responded to this review, 28 April 2014
Hi there

Thanks for taking the time to write this review and feedback on our excellent staff. I will certainly feed this back to the team.

Kind regards
Laura
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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
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Well worth a visit!”
Reviewed 5 March 2014 via mobile

The cafe is informal with a good variety of options and has wonderful views. The outdoor part of the cafe is a great place to be (the only possible improvement would be to remove the view-blocking seabird centre sign in the corner - better on the wall behind the tables rather than in front of the view of the sea). Also, a good shop. Looking forward to a longer visit and viewing the web cams next time!

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank Katielucerne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Puffin2000, Public Relations Manager at Scottish Seabird Centre, responded to this review, 28 April 2014
Hi Katie

Thanks so much for this five star review. Great to hear that you had a lovely time in the Seabird Cafe and that you hope to come back to visit the Discovery Centre.

The sign that you mentioned has been put up to cover the dish which enables us to beam back the incredible live images of the wildlife on the islands. We have done our best to ensure minimum disruption to the stunning views.

We will look forward to seeing you at the Centre again soon.

Kind regards
Laura
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh
Level Contributor
84 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Interesting visit”
Reviewed 5 March 2014

My boyfriend and I visited whilst staying in Gullane for the evening and decided to have a trip a bit further along the coast. The Seabird Centre was an obvious destination to head to and, as we hadn't been before, we thought we'd give it a try. We visited on a clear, bright winters day which gave great visibility for viewing any birds. Unfortunately, there didn't appear to be many around during our visit. We were warned when buying our tickets that people had been on the Bass Rock cleaning it so it had frightened off the birds but they were still circling. We decided to go ahead and buy our tickets anyway. We headed downstairs and were met by a lovely lady who was clearly very enthusiastic about the birds and gave us a warm welcome. The member of staff showed us how to work the cameras to view birds live on the rock. We couldn't see many, but we were able to zoom in on some unsuspecting seagulls! There are some interesting displays around to look at, and I thought the model of the Bass Rock and the lighthouse were great. There is a small movie theatre playing short films about birds and seals which we enjoyed. Outside you can go to the viewing platform to look out through telescopes. I'm not sure if this would be an ideal venue for bringing young families; I think it takes some concentration to watch for the birds and take in the information about the displays and children may get restless quite quickly. I think it is an interesting stop off point for adults, however. We spent about an hour in total. There is also a shop selling books, stuffed toys, nice oils etc.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank V87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Puffin2000, Public Relations Manager at Scottish Seabird Centre, responded to this review, 28 April 2014
Hi there

Thanks for your four star review and great to hear you enjoyed your visit.

The time of year that you visited is very early in the season and every day you see the Bass Rock becoming whiter and whiter, and the islands becoming busier, as the seabirds and wildlife returns.

At the peak of the breeding season (from around May), there are around 150,000 gannets on the Bass Rock and the Firth of Forth will be home to around 500,000 seabirds!

We hope that you pop out to visit us again as the season continues.

Kind regards
Laura
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Very poor value for money and not suitable for family days out”
Reviewed 2 March 2014

we visited the SSC yesterday along with another family, admittance was £50 for the two families.
4 Children aged between 3- 8.
There was enough to keep the kids occupied for 5 minutes, we left after 10 minutes.
The attraction may be of interest to the serious bird watchers, but to an average member of the public and 4 children, there was very little of interest.

There was very few interactive exhibits, and most of those did not work.

The cafe was ok but certainly nothing special and the HIgh Street has some lovely cafes.
We walked along the beach for free and there was a lot more to entertain the kids.

There is no boat tours at this time of year, though as the boat tours are extra this would not have changed the value for money given.

Easily the worst attraction I have visited in the UK. All 8 members of our party felt they had been cheated.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank StevieG807
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Puffin2000, Public Relations Manager at Scottish Seabird Centre, responded to this review, 5 March 2014
Dear Steve

Thank you for visiting the Scottish Seabird Centre and apologies that you feel that you did not have the five-star experience we normally provide.

On the day that you visited we had just welcomed the return of the gannets to the world-famous Bass Rock and we have a number of interactive activities taking place. These include fish feeds, a gannet-themed trail around the Discovery Centre plus our Sea Craft which offers child-friendly arts, crafts and books. There is also the chance to zoom in on the gannet action with our live interactive cameras plus a range of nature films in the Wildlife Theatre. Our themed Kids’ Zone, including soft play, is normally very popular with children.

We have also just unveiled the winners of our acclaimed Nature Photography Awards, with a special exhibition of stunning images on display.

The Seabird Café features the best local produce and is the only café in the area to offer a seaside sun deck and unrivalled views of the Firth of Forth. Income from the café, and throughout the Centre, supports our work as a conservation and education charity.

You correctly note that boat trips are not currently available – they do not operate during winter due to sea conditions but we look forward to them starting again at Easter. An extensive range of boat trips will be available to the local wildlife rich islands including the Bass Rock and the Isle of May National Nature Reserve.

We would welcome the opportunity to discuss your feedback further, so please email info@seabird.org and we can address your issues personally.

Many thanks Laura
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scotland
Level Contributor
58 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Excellent Visit”
Reviewed 16 February 2014

We arrived just after it opened on the Sunday morning but a number of people in café already so must be popular. Excellent shop, loved the outside viewing balcony, and the live views of the rocks which were seen on camera inside the centre. Also watched three excellent 10 minute films. Children would enjoy..

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank ScotlandCaroline
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Puffin2000, Public Relations Manager at Scottish Seabird Centre, responded to this review, 28 April 2014
Hi Caroline

Thank you for the five star review! Excellent to see that you enjoyed your visit and that you made the most of your time at the Centre.

Kind regards
Laura
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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