Scarborough Sea Life Sanctuary

When we went away a few weeks back, it was a great time to explore all the things that there was to offer over at the east coast of Yorkshire. One place we have always talked of visiting, but never had a chance before now, was the Scarborough Sea Life Sanctuary, and so this time round we received a family pass so that we could do just that.

Located on the North Bay of the main headland, within 3 iconic triangular buildings, Sea Life Scarborough offers a unique mix of indoor and outdoor exhibits and over 50 displays of marine life including seals, otters and penguins. You can enjoy Sea Life Europe's only penguin walkthrough feature, the hands-on rockpool experience and learn some amazing facts about the underwater world.

We decided to go on a rainy day as I thought it would keep us out of the rain, forgetting the fact that part of the walkthrough is outdoors which didn't really affect us too much as it was still very warm and it was a great adventure to see the animals.

We did end up going around twice as well, as not only was it very busy the first time round and quieter the second, but you can have a photo taken right at the start, to be developed and purchased at the end. Unfortunately, Joseph was asleep when we first arrived, hence the second trip around.

So, to start the walk around, you get to a huge tank of rays with a pirate ships that you can stand on to look over the tank. Some of the rays were huge, bigger than I'd expected and the boys loved that they could get so close to them. Some coming to the top of the tank, popping out of the water slightly to give off a little splash.

The jellyfish and the Great Barrier Reef are in the next area, with tropical fishes galore and the jellyfish discovery is an amazing experience indeed. The light displays behind the tanks means that you get to see the jellyfish in bright surroundings and they just look so beautiful. They are truly magnificent creatures and it was great to photograph them in this way.

Heading outdoors, you can stop off for a round of mini golf or continue through the walkthrough to penguin island. Waddle side by side with the colony of Humboldt penguins in their walkthrough home - Penguin Island whilst enjoying a talk about them and their lifestyle at the sanctuary. We even saw them being fed before they hopped into the water for a splash.

The boys enjoyed the part where you can go alongside the water and look in to see what they are doing. One cheeky penguin gave us our very own show as he peeked through the glass at us which the boys absolutely loved, especially Charlie who adores penguins.

Staying outdoors, we went past the Beach Bits cafe and adventures playground but unfortunately this was closed due to the weather and the playground was too wet but it did look fab, especially if it had been nice weather.

You can then have a wonder around the seal hospital to see all the great work  that the Sea Life Sanctuary are doing to help bring seals back to full health. And there is also seals just after this, swimming around their tank. On to the otters, they didn't want to come out to say hello when we visited though so we went on to our next destination.

We then arrived at the interactive rockpool. In this area, there was little starfish to look at and even one that you could gently stroke if you wanted to. This was also where they were holding a Mister Maker workshop and children could make their very own sea creature. It was a little too busy though and so we decided not to wait as the kids were getting restless, and we ventured on to the next area.

The Shark Encounter. This huge glass tunnel is amazing, if not a little daunting to see all those creatures swimming above your head. Sharks and fish swam quickly by whilst the huge turtle moved slowly in the water giving a full on floor show as he went by.

We then got to see some sea dragons to end our journey through the deep. Some of these merged very well into their surrounds due to their colour and so it took us a while to actually notice that they were there. They are such a wonder to look at though.

Through the cafe, which was too busy for us, and into the area where you can purchase the photographs taken at the beginning and then the gift shop, the boys all picked out their own souvenir from the day. Thomas chose a plush seal and Charlie a penguin. Joseph loved the look of some clown fish bath toys and then they all got a little medal for completing their journey.

I am so glad that we got to visit Scarborough Sea Life Sanctuary, it was an amazing experience where the boys, and us adults, got to learn loads about the animals they had their whilst also seeing all the work they put in to helping them. Just next time, we'll go on a nicer day so we can enjoy the outside parts a bit more.


  1. Fantastic photos - particularly that one of the penguin!

  2. oh it looks like a fun day out and the photos are great.

  3. Oh what a fantastic day out, ive been to Scarborough loads as a kid but not for years now x

  4. What a nice place to visit for aday out,it looks great.

  5. This place looks amazing
    Didn't know it existed thankyou for the great review

  6. This looks like a great day out - might have to visit in the summer holidays x

  7. Love the sea life centre's. Blackpool is my favourite

  8. We have been to Scarborough so many time and love it, yet we have never visited here. We have been to our local saline centre and my eldest just 5 is scared to walk through the water tunnel thing where the fish all swim over the top of you.

  9. This sounds like a brilliant place to visit. I love the stingrays! They are so graceful in the water. I love penguins too.

  10. We love places like this. If we are ever in the are we will have to go. I had a penguin experience as a sea life place in Australia. Love them. Such funny animals x

  11. I love sea life centres, so much to see and do - looks like a fab day out

  12. We're off here next weekend - thanks for the introduction

  13. just looked at their website the seem to do breeding programmes for animals at risk as well rescue -so it looks a worthwhile place to visit and support