National Sea Life Centre, Birmingham

Rightly named as the Sea Life Centre, this place of wonderment right alongside the BCN Main Lines is more than just an aquarium. A hugely popular destination for locals and tourists alike, the National Sea Life Centre was opened in 1996 with both marine animals and fish in mind. Today, the one-of-a-kind sea life centre holds over sixty different displays of marine lifeforms and habitats. From giant turtles and reef sharks, to tiny dart frogs, the National Sea Life Centre is a place that will amaze adults and children alike.

Photo by Lee Haywood

2,000+ Specimens of Unique Variety from Across the World

It should be noted that the National Sea Life Centre is not just a tourist Attraction, but also part of the British Breed, Rescue and Protect program. The endangered seahorses are bred here, so you will get to see variants of the species that may very well be unique to the centre. A few other rare animals that deserve to be mentioned here:

  • Beverley, the Giant Octopus is highly intelligent and a master of camouflage
  • Horseshoe crabs, which are not really crabs, nor do they look like it!
  • Giant green sea turtles which do not look like any other turtle species (outside the Cheloniidae family)
  • Deep sea lobsters, stingrays and black reef sharks
  • Endangered Alaskan sea otters, which are remarkably adorable

The Sensorama 4-D Cinema Hall

After you are done with seeing the animals, head over for a unique 4-D experience while watching one of the 3-D marine life documentaries. Gusts of wind, 3-D surround sound and occasional sprays of water add to the immersion factor at a level to which many of us are not used to. Children in particular, are fond of the 4-D effects.

The Penguin Ice Adventure

In the year 2014, the National Sea Life Centre had spent well over £2,000,000 to build their Penguin Ice Adventure. In addition to being a major attraction of the sea life centre, the penguin habitat is now an actual preservation colony of gentoo penguins in captivity.

The 360-Degree Ocean Tunnel

If you time it right, it is possible to see the bioluminescent jellyfishes glowing and floating all around you as you traverse the 360-degree glass tunnel. Other than that, the reef sharks, sting rays and giant turtles, along with schools of colourful fish from every part of the world will always be a part of the journey through this one of a kind and only 360-degree tunnel in the UK.

Considering how much more the place has to offer to its visitors, the National Sea Life Centre in Birmingham is one of the mist-visit places in all of UK. The centre was voted as the Aquarium of the Year in 2004, although it is much more than an aquarium. Whether you like penguins, otters or just want to see how brilliant and diverse marine life can be, the National Sea Life Centre is one of the best places in the whole country to observe it all. More than one visit might be necessary to cover everything though.

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