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Scarborough Sea Life Centre // Yorkshire days out

Earlier this week, we visited Scarborough Sea Life centre for a family day out. I have been to the Sea Life centre when I was…


Earlier this week, we visited Scarborough Sea Life centre for a family day out. I have been to the Sea Life centre when I was younger, but not for a long time. I could barely remember anything about it. We were excited to take Leo to discover the underwater world!

Parking at Scarborough Sea Life Centre

Firstly, parking at Scarborough Sealife Centre is a nightmare! It’s clear that it’s used by people other than Sea Life guests. You have to pay to park, we decided to pay £7 for 6 hours.

The parking bays were very small and there’s no parent and child parking, so I had to get out with Leo first, or we would have struggled to get out of the car. The pay machine was very temperamental and we had to queue at it for our ticket. There wasn’t any option to use a parking app like Ringo, which would have made it much easier.

This made us late for our 10-minute slot. Luckily, this wasn’t a problem and we were able to go in without the time even being mentioned.

Covid19 at Sea Life Centre

It was very busy and as the coronavirus laws around masks and restrictions have ended, it felt like covid didn’t even exist. 90% of people (adults) did not wear masks and it was so busy. So if you are conscious of contracting covid-19, I wouldn’t advise visiting the Sea Life Centre at the moment as it is difficult to stay away from others when everyone is so excited to get up close to see the animals.

Bay of Rays

Your start your Sea Life tour by having some photos taken by a green screen. Then off you go to roam the free. You start at the Bay of Rays where you can meet lots of the stingrays. I love stingrays! They’re such lovely creatures! You can spot the beautiful blue-spotted stingray here.

Great Barrier Reef

Next, you will encounter the great barrier reef which has lots of beautiful and bright fish. The Clownfish is often a favourite thanks to Finding Nemo!

Did you know that all Clownfish are born boys? Then some will eventually turn into females when they are older!

I loved the jellyfish in this section. Especially the upside-down jellyfish!

Penguin Island

We saw the penguins at feeding times and the keeper was telling us all about them and about their different personalities. The penguin closest to the camera in the photo below is called Custard. The keeper said that he is the sweetest penguin unless his missus is around!

penguins at Scarborough Sea Life Centre

Otter River

Sadly we didn’t get to see the otters as they were hiding!

Beach Bites Adventure Playground

We stopped for some food here. We bought our own lunch as there were picnic tables dotted about.

There was also some climbing frames and slides for children. There was no food being served at the huts, they were all closed. It would have been nice to have grabbed a coffee or something!

Seal Hospital

We walked straight through this part as it was for children and Leo was too small. But in here your child can follow the journey of an injured seal being rescued, rehabilitated and then realised back into the world.

Seal Pool

This is the home to the four seals Mando, Pendle, Boo and Ed. Three of them were sunbathing and one was swimming around. I was surprised at how close you could get to them. You would have been able to reach in and touch them if you wanted to!

Did you know that Seals can hold their breath underwater for up to 30 minutes?

Shark Encounter

There are many sharks in the shark encounter, but the most impressive has to be the Zebra Horn shark that has the most amazing stripes!

Ocean Tunnel

The Ocean Tunnel holds 156,000 litres of natural seawater and is home to lots of colourful species of fish as well as our Black-tip sharks.

ocean tunnel at Scarborough Sea Life Centre

Kingdom of Seahorses

Seahorses are amazing creatures. Did you know their eyes move independently to help them spot food? They can also use their tails to grab things.


There was also a rockpool with Starfish and other creatures such, as crabs in. One of the Sea Life keepers were there teaching children all about them and letting them touch the Starfish.

Leo was a little small for that but it would be fun for older children!

Rainforest Adventure

Check out the Green Tree Pythons and the Poison Arrow Dart Frogs! There was also some amazing bug structures where you could see ants carrying food from one section to the next!

Breed, Rescue, Protect.

In this section, you can learn all about what SEA LIFE and the SEA LIFE Trust are doing to help threatened marine life. You can help by signing petitions or picking up the free sustainable seafood guide.


The Sea Life Centre is an old building and although they do cater for wheelchair access, it is not a completely seamless journey for those in a wheelchair.

The indoor sections are quite small and it would be difficult to get around in a chair when busy. There are some sections with steps, but there’s alternative access for wheelchairs. You would not be able to go through the Ocean Tunnel in a chair as it requires going down some steps, then back up them.

There is a lift in the gift shop which goes to the upstairs cafe and restaurant. This is how you access Rainforest Adventure and Rescue section. Space is very tight getting in and out of the lift due to the small gift shop and the tables opposite the life door.

They offer each person who requires support for their visit a free ticket for their career and are working with AccessAble to help make the journey easy for all customers. There is also a disabled toilet.

We spent about two hours at Scarborough Sea Life centre, including having lunch. We then went for a walk along the beach to get fish and chips before heading home to York.


  1. Hi Corinne,

    Fantastic write-up and beautiful photos. The colours in the photos are just stunning – and I bet it looked even better in real life!

    And finsishing the day with Fish and Chips sounds delicious but also a little odd – “I’ve really enjoyed my time looking at all of the fish, I think I’ll go and eat some!” 🙂

  2. The sea life center looks amazing! I love living in a small town, but it means I have to drive quite a ways to bigger areas to see things like museums and experience events. Thank you for sharing some an awesome plethora of pictures; the tree phython, penguins, and sea horses are all so sweet and eye-catching. I feel like I am there in the cool, dim light, or out in the sun.
    Thanks for sharing your adventure!

  3. It looks like such a fun place to visit! it’s a shame that not everyone wore masks but good you still had a nice time. Here we haven’t had any covid cases outside of quarantine but we still have to wear masks indoors.

    Hope you have a good weekend ahead of you! Fun one here, a birthday party to go to each day!

  4. I can’t wait to visit now. I went ages ago, but it would be nice to take my little one. She loves our fish tank at home and would be amazed. Thank you for the practical advice, you need this with a toddler!

    This post is going in my days out folder, and it makes me excited to get back to normality.


  5. This sounds like good fun! It’s a shame people weren’t more mindful of COVID though, that would dock my enjoyment quite a lot 🙁 x

    mia //

  6. The lack of mask wearing is annoying. Why don’t companies enforce the rule on mask wearing. At library, for example, nobody can get in without one so 90% still wear it even if the security guy is not around. In other shops though almost nobody is wearing one. I still do and continue to do so, covid is not the only airborne disease, as even flu is pretty annoying to have and wearing a mask is not a big deal at all.
    I’m surprised by the issues with parking, as this is the kind of place that attracts lots of parents. I’d love to visit it, but it’s too far from us anyway.

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