International Travel: London SeaLife Aquarium (London)

And checked out some barnacles

We took our son to the London SEA LIFE Aquarium on his first visit to London about 8 years ago, and thought it would be fun to head back for our family day in London a couple of years ago.  The aquarium is well located at the base of the London Eye and next to the Tate Modern along the Thames.  It puts you in the center of it all, and when you are finished here, you can easily move on to something else in the area. This is a huge tourist hub and can get very crowded with the various attractions. One advantage to the area is that you can book ahead online and save a little money by booking different activities you want to do together. They offer a sort of “bulk rate”. Check the websites for more information.

We love aquariums and visit lots of them. Living in Oregon where we have some amazing wildlife viewing when it comes to sea and water life I would rank this one a 6.5/10. We are really spoiled, so that probably plays a big role in my feelings.

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One thing I love about the London Sea-Life Aquarium is the focus on saving the oceans. I am all for this. I never order shark fin soup and find the practices appalling. The lessons are great but boarders on being a little heavy handed here. On the last visit you couldn’t go anywhere without learning how everything we do is devastating the waters around us. I understand this happens, and I know I am part of the problem (as is every single person on the earth) and work hard to lessen my impact, but it almost took the fun out of learning and became a little depressing.

One highlight was the employees playing trivia games with kids. Our son answered 7 questions correctly about sharks (with a little help) and won a special medal, which he wore proudly for the rest of the trip.  That was really fun and became his favorite part of the aquarium! I also really appreciate how easy it is for even the littlest visitors to see into the tanks.

DSC_3753The environments for the animals are often impressive and some of the aquariums are several floors high, so you can see creatures from different angles. The big draw creatures include sharks, sea turtles, rays, crocodiles, and penguins.

IMG_4372There was a small tidal pool area, but only  2 animals were out, which was disappointing. Last time there were many more for us to experience.

All in all, if you want to visit an aquarium, check it out. We didn’t see anything here that was much different than what we have seen at other aquariums, meaning it didn’t really set itself apart from other aquariums we have visited. It is a great activity for the small children especially but on more recent trips back we have skipped it for other activities.

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