Brighton Sealife Centre ~ The Snail & the Whale Trail

February 12, 2017

The start of half term has been particularly cold. As a family of 6 with a wide range of interests we find it hard to please everyone on days out. However, the Sealife Centre is not only warm…but offers something to interest absolutely everyone, from toddlers to parents. This was our first visit to the Sealife Centre as a family (the children have been on school trips) and we were not disappointed. In addition to the usual exhibitions, especially for half term there is the Snail and the Whale Trail where children can listen to the story whilst following clues. The Snail and the Whale Trail runs for the whole of half term with special parent and toddler rates for children up to 6 years old….and a big heads up..there are savings of up to 40% if you book online in advance! 

The Snail and the Whale Trail is on until March 5th
Ready to explore (and get warm!)

As soon as we enter the main entrance of the Sealife Centre we are greeted with not only vast arrays of impressive aquariums..but also the stunning architecture of the centre’s Victorian home. As we explore the Victorian Arcade the children are able to explore a range of aquatic life not only close up, but at their own pace. There is a large ledge for toddlers to walk along under close supervision. Best of all..even on a half term Saturday it was quiet enough to enjoy the experience without the pushing and shoving that we have experienced in similar attractions. Our children loved the Lion Fish, the lobsters and the stingrays, all of which they were able to watch at lesiure and in detail. 
Up close with a variety of Marine Life
Victorian Architecture

Further along the main exhibition is a hands on rock pool area where adults and children are able to enjoy first hand encounter experiences with starfish, anemones and crabs. Even the younger visitors are considered with realistic toys being placed in the rock pool to explore (and keep the real ones safe from getting squished!) 

Hands on Rock Pool

Throughout the experience we are reminded about the fragile state of marine life. There is the fantastic Conservation Cove where visitors can make a personal pledge of a single small change they will make to help conserve ocean life. Our children also loved filling out their Dive Log Book which encourages them to learn about key marine life and the risks they face due to pollution whilst collecting stamps throughout their visit. 

Filling out the Dive Log Book

We move on to encounter the Rainforest Adventure. The children are invited into a realistic rainforest area through a maze of tree roots where they come across waterfalls, piranhas and a huge Anaconda! 

Meeting the Anaconda!

I think the highlight for all of us were the Ocean Display tunnels where you can experience the sensation of being surrounded by marine life, all be it through glass! Daisy and Logan loved the smaller tunnel where they watched Clown Fish and Blue Tangs just like Nemo and Dory. The larger tunnels were impressive for us all with beautiful turtles, rays and sharks swimming over head. 

Brighton, Sealife centre, family, days out, Sussex, children, kids, fish, things to do
Sealife Tunnels

We finish our visit in the Jurassic Seas encountering living prehistoric marine life, real life dinosaurs! We giggle at the Mudskippers and fascinate at Horseshoe Crabs and get a bit freaked out by Charlie the Snakeneck Turtle! 

The Snail and the Whale Trail is on until March 5th, covering half terms for both East and West Sussex. Go online to buy your parent and toddler ticket for the fantastic price of just £13.50 for and adult AND child up to 6 years old. 


  • Nell (Pigeon Pair and Me)

    March 3, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    Gosh, that really is good value! I’ve been meaning to go to Brighton’s Sealife Centre for ages. The tunnels look incredible – and it’s probably a bit less intimidating to be surrounded by Dorys rather than that fearsome-looking anaconda! Thanks for linking up with #CulturedKids.

  • Welsh Cakes and Wellies

    March 3, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    I love taking our little ones to Aquariums, like you say they tend to appeal to all ages which is really handy when your little ones are different ages and generally into different things. This one looks great, lots to see and lots of opportunity to learn and interact too!

  • Siobhan

    March 3, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    Looks like you had lots of fun. I love the colourful lighting. I will put it on my to do list for me and Kitty. We can get a direct from Luton to Brighton, so it is great for a day out for us.

  • Cindy

    March 6, 2017 at 11:07 am

    Looks like a fun day out and what a great value with the tickets! That’s a good idea having the realistic toys in the touch pool for younger kids to interact without squishing creatures. I’m hoping to visit Brighton soon and would love to visit the aquarium. #CultureKids

    1. admin

      March 10, 2017 at 2:14 pm

      Thanks Cindy!! There’s so much to do in Brighton but the aquarium is a definite winner on a rainy day!

  • Daisy – DaisLikeThese

    March 6, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    We must have walked past the aquarium hundreds of times on our various visits to Brighton and have never been in – we’re totally missing out! I love the Victorian arcade arches, they’re super impressive. Great that you have managed to find somewhere to cater for all ages too.

    1. admin

      March 10, 2017 at 2:13 pm

      They’ve really created a wonderful feel with the decor! It was actually one of my favourite aspects of the trip! Let me know if you ever visit, would love to know what you think!

  • Katy Clarke

    March 9, 2017 at 9:06 am

    I love Brighton! I had not heard about the aquarium – what a fantastic activity to do a cold and rainy day. The Snail and the Whale is one of our favourite books too! #CulturedKids

    1. admin

      March 10, 2017 at 2:08 pm

      We love it too! Great book!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.