The Sea Life Centre Manchester gets a huge thumbs up from A View From A Daddy!
We went along to the fantastic attraction, which is just over an hour away from us in Staffordshire, last weekend and we weren’t disappointed. We were greeted with a warm welcome and details about the events for the day. Most excitingly was mention of Hank the Octopus who turned out to be rather shy when we went along to visit him. Hank is the centre’s latest arrival and boy is he something special. There are a host of fab tanks where the creatures live for you to explore the wonders of the undersea world.
Our visit was full of interactive sessions from discovering the life of turtles to learning about how we can protect the seashores both locally and internationally. There were very friendly staff on hand throughout our experience to guide us and teach us about the beautiful array of creatures that live at the Sea Life Centre. From terrapins to humbug fish, there really is something to catch everyone’s interest.
We stamped our visitor’s book as we made our way around the one level centre, which has easy access for pushchairs and wheelchairs. There are amenities located centrally for ease of access and there is a large soft play area which was clean and positioned centrally too for you to stop and have break before exploring further.
The Sea Life Centre Manchester also boasts another a new attraction in addition to Hank; if you’re feeling brave, you can try out the new underwater diving experience where visitors can witness you submerged in a pool full of creatures. As I’m a little feint hearted, I didn’t try it out but maybe next time.
Perhaps my favourite feature was a huge circular tank with convex sides which allows you to feel as though you are right up close to the array of wonderful animals that swim around enjoying their territory. From elegant rays to colourful blowfish, this pitstop really does grab your attention. Just beyond this is a touching pool where little and large visitors can get up close and personal with some of our coast’s common sea life. Feeling braver than I have when rock pooling in Pembrokeshire, I got stuck in and handled a shrimp as well as a crab (brave dad moment!). The Little Lady loved being able to get close and feel them too. She got stuck in without any hesitation and was enthralled, of course there are washing facilities nearby to wash away any bugs before a spot of lunch.
If you have your Merlin passes to hand, you can collect toggles for your visitor’s lanyard to prove you’ve explored the wonders that are on offer. We collected ours from the rock pool area.
As I mentioned, Hank was a little shy during our visit, but it was early even for an octopus. Nevertheless, this beautiful creature hung elegantly at the side of his tank, tentacles aloft gracefully breathing in and out so even the untrained eye could spot and explore his amazing features. He really is a beauty and this more than made up for his introversion! An octopus has got to do what an octopus has got to do! Don’t worry Hank, we’ll be back for more.
The Sea Life Centre Manchester is brilliant. It’s welcoming, clean, easily accessible, has ample free parking and is close to other fab attractions. The interactive features make it enjoyable for young and (ahem) slightly older members of the family and for us it’s even closer to Staffordshire, than we thought.