If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know this year has been completely swept up with work. Added to which Mr J has returned to employment after life as a SAHD. It’s been turbulent. As a result, my annual summer trip to London with my children was much-needed. Especially as this year was to be the year all three wanted to visit together. Oh my. Fortunately, SEA LIFE London stepped in with a way to keep all three, and me, enthralled for a few of the hours we spent in such a fantastic city.
SEA LIFE London is part of the City’s South Bank. I don’t need to tell you how much I love the South Bank. Whilst I usually focus on the Southbank Centre and the National Theatre, a trip with three children needed to stretch a little further. SEA LIFE London is nearer the Westminster side of South Bank, which was fantastic to show off the best of London’s landmarks.
Whilst they’ve all seen my favourite London landmarks before, this is the year the boys’ have become obsessed with ‘what is a landmark?’. I think I did London’s County Hall a disservice by saying it wasn’t.
SEA LIFE London is a part of the hustling, bustling tourist destinations of the South Bank. You get to choose between Shrek, the London Dungeons and the London Eye. With 7yo twins and a 9yo, SEA LIFE London seemed the perfect choice- especially because the boys’ final term of KS1 was learning everything about the beach. As we reached the place in SEA LIFE London where you are invited to touch a starfish, the boys proudly informed the team member supervising the activity that they had touched an octopus. The team member seemed in awe, until E responded “it was dead”. It seemed more acceptable and yet not.SEA LIFE London had my children hooked from the off. Whilst you and I might not hesitate to walk across a transparent platform, my children did. It tickled me, for all their bravado and strength, this would be the part which would challenge them.
Once over the platform and into the ‘tour’ of the SEA LIFE Centre, everything is an adventure. My best advice at this time is to not fall into the English obsession with queues. There is absolutely no rush to your time. Some people will be more eager to get through the ‘tour’, others will be ‘hook, line and sinker’ for each part of the attraction. It was apparent that some became upset with ‘people pushing in’, but it’s very apparent that we all get to the end in our time.
If you want to see everything SEA LIFE Centre has to offer, it doesn’t matter who gets in front of you, as long as you’re enjoying each moment.
SEA LIFE London is a much larger attraction than I gave it credit for. We’ve recently enjoyed the Bristol Aquarium, with two loops in quick succession. I would confidently say, to absorb SEA LIFE London (at an enjoyable pace), give yourself at least two hours. With hindsight, whilst we enjoyed the moment, some were sped up (trying to find a toilet). Encourage your children to appreciate the toilets each time you pass them. Especially when also encouraging your children to drink lots of water due to the UK’s random heatwave.
SEA LIFE London successfully appeals to the traditional and the thrill-seekers.
Celebrating family time:And family movies:As you move around the centre, the SEA LIFE Aquarium transforms from the fish and sea creatures which you love, but of those you fear:The tour guides you in to the creatures within your grasp, to those you’d always hope to beyond it.
The great thing about the SEA LIFE centre is that on most occasions you get to see things in multiple. And for those you don’t, there’s definitely nothing to stop you backtracking it you have a change of heart.The different zones within the centre keep the children absorbed. Just as you think they might be getting to the end of their tender, fortunately there was more. The Rainforest Zone was completely appreciated by my fear-free adventurers: And you can see how much SEA LIFE London are adding to the attraction as new sections have opened. All three children, and me, absolutely loved the jellyfish section.
But. If you were to ask me. Of my favourite part of SEA LIFE London.
Well, I’m probably a stereotype.
Take my word, you can’t help but fall a little in love.
Disclosure: We were invited to SEA LIFE London for the purpose of this review. All words and opinions contained are my own.