Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Days Out: Sea Life London Aquarium

Last week we were lucky enough to visit Sea Life London Aquarium courtesy of Merlin Entertainments. So, in today's post, I thought we'd share our day with you.

For those of you who don't know London particularly well and are nervous of heading into town with toddlers or buggies, SLLA is on South Bank just a few minute's walk from Waterloo and Westminster Stations, making it a perfect spot to get around easily, see some of the city's iconic landmarks and visit a few more attractions. You can purchase your tickets for SLLA online (saving time and money), plus you can add other attractions like the London Eye, Shrek's Adventure, River Cruise, Madame Tussauds and London Dungeon.
As we knew it was going to be a really hot day in town (we were due a heat wave and we got it!), we decided that SLLA would be the perfect choice and we were right. Down in the depths among the sealife and their huge aquarium, we were more than happy. It turned out to be the perfect choice for a hot day in town!
We had a two hour time-slot with priority entry which meant we got to avoid any long queues and were in within a matter of minutes.
I know some parents are reluctant to visit attractions when their children are young; our two are under two but I really don't think that mattered as there is something at SLLA for everyone. Us adults got to read all the interesting stats and facts, while I saw lots of children completing the activities and our littlies were awestruck. The colours and sounds are a sensory delight and that's before you've even got to the sealife itself!
You have to remind yourself that you're in County Hall (a stunning building that is over a century old) as you meander through the cleverly designed zones of the aquarium, particularly the central tank which is absolutely vast!
I couldn't pick my favourite zone as they're all amazing, but my particular highlights were the shark walk, the Pacific wreck and the ocean tunnel with the vast array of sealife swimming through the blue depths.

I'm a bit wary of attractions where wildlife of any sort is on show, I'm probably more likely to avoid them, but SLLA works closely with conservation projects worldwide that are vital as well as their own monthly conservation schedule (August is shark month). Their message is breed, rescue, protect. In fact, as you're walking round each zone, you'll discover countless facts to ensure you remember that every creature in the tanks is living and that you care about their wellbeing. Our two are too young to understand a lot of this, but SLLA has various activities on offer, such as feed times, that encouraged our toddler to respect the sealife.

If you need any more encouragement to visit, when we went to leave, our toddler raced back through the aquarium to some of his favourite spots! He was open-mouthed at pretty much everything he saw, plus he instinctively uttered the word 'wow' for the very first time when he we walked through the ocean tunnel!

Reluctant for our day out to end, and after picking up some fun fish bath toys on our way out, we popped into one of the restaurants on South Bank for lunch before spending some time on the temporary beach that's outside Southbank Centre each summer (this year it's CopaCABANA Beach in celebration of the Rio Olympics).

I hope you've enjoyed our summer holiday days out series as much as I have! Although schools start back next week, I know lots of you are still looking for places to visit with toddlers so I'll be posting more soon.

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