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“Small but packed with facinating things”
Review of South West Sea Life Centre - CLOSED

South West Sea Life Centre
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Attraction details
Owner description: Come to South West Sea Life Centre (formerly Porlock Weir Marine Aquarium)and wonder at the variety of marine life to be found in and along the shores of the Bristol Channel.Most of the exhibits in the tanks are native to the Bristol Channel, although there are some unusual visitors to the Channel waters which we hope to have on display.You can watch flounder, bass, blennies and various kinds of wrasse in the numerous tanks and spot turbot and rays and many other species in the large open pool.There is a comprehensive display of handmade painted models of species from the Bristol Channel and also a selection of marine fossils to see.
Reviewed 1 July 2011

This aquarium was facinating, from the lobby where superb models of fish seen in the local water, photographs and posters to the spotlessly clean tanks inside. It was possible to view the fish and sea creatures of local waters so closely, watch their behaviour and study so many different ways of moving, their colours and interesting shapes. Beautiful markings and I never knew they had differently patterened eyes, some with gold round. From the huge royal blue lobster to the tiny, pretty red & white squat lobster.
The large tank has many larger fish and it is possible to stroke a shark but ask first, you don't want to stroke the wrong one! There were some children who didn't want to leave, they were facinated by what they saw.
The owners show infinite patience, seemingly can answer every question and have really interesting tales to tell. This personal touch makes it special. A wonderful way to see what is in our waters. A real little gem.

1  Thank Toopaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (8)
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6 - 8 of 8 reviews

Reviewed 21 August 2010

This is a wonderfully well run place, reflecting a warm enthusiasm which is rare, yet not in your face. What these people do not know about local fish aint worth knowing... and get this - We saw fish get called over, up they swim, turn onto their side and let their keeper tickle them. The place is quality, and quite eye opening as to the rich diversity of life out there in the channel. Can do it in about half an hour, but there is so much to do locally that it could be done in conjunction with something else. Go

2  Thank boogaloodoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 July 2010

A visit to this aquarium is strongly recommended.

The aquarium itself is small - everything would fit in the entrance lobby of many of the major establishments around the world. For your three pounds adult entrance fee, you will find about 15 small tanks, and one larger one. The focus is on sea life found in the local area, apparently covering species not well represented elsewhere.

The aquarium has been established by a retired fisherman. The door money helps towards the costs, but he has to contribute personally to keep it going. If you can get him to give you the tour for, I would suggest, and additional voluntary donation, then you will have an extraordinary experience.

The owner talks of the fish and other creatures in the way that others talk about people they know. He described personalities, who was likely to eat who, and how the mud skippers liked to take a mouth full of water and climb out of the tanks for a few hours. He described one fish he had that liked having its head scratched, after which it would turn away, look back, and surf the surface of the water.

Unlike large impersonal institutions, what makes the difference here is the personal touch. If you are lucky enough to benefit from the owner's insights, you'll leave feeling that these few fish and other marine organisms are far more interesting than you'd ever thought, and the next time you visit one of those big showcases, you'll look at their exhibits in quite a different light.

5  Thank Netwiz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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