It's been a few years since we have ventured down to Brighton, we love Brighton and quite frankly it is our closest beach. The weather had taken a turn and we were hit with torrential rain and strong winds - it didn't matter as we were headed for Sea Life Brighton.
Brighton aquarium is the world's oldest operating aquarium, built in 1872, it still boasts most of its Victorian architecture inside. It was built by Eugenius Birch, the same man who built Brighton's West Pier. I remember getting a coach there on a primary school trip back in the late 80s, I was possibly around 8 or 9 years old but what I remember the most is the fact that they used to have dolphins! The Dolphinarium closed in 1990 and the two remaining dolphins were released back into the wild back in 1991.
Currently there is a LEGO Ocean Explorers event which runs until September, 2, 2018. When you arrive the kids can pick up a sheet and a pencil and look closely in the tanks, where they'll find different objects dotted around, write them all down and exchange it in the gift shop for a little Lego figure. There are also Lego building areas for the kids too.
Once you have had your hand stamped you can go in and out of the aquarium all day as you please. There are optional extras like a behind the scenes tour and the glass bottom boat, or feeding experiences which can be pre-booked.
The Victorian Arcade area is visually stunning. The colours will wow you as you walk through. Here you will find tanks, rock pools, jelly fish, an octopus, cuttlefish, the ray pool an interactive conservation area and the cafe.
In the Rainforest Adventure zone you'll be greeted by a huge anaconda under the water! There are tree frogs, lizards, glass cat fish, terrapins and piranhas.
Under the ocean tunnel you'll see some sharks and a huge ray swimming overhead.
We saw seahorses, sea dragons and reed fish. Amazing colours on the beautiful Secrets of the Reef zone. The Sea Stars area is new, with wonderful star fish - all different shapes and sizes.
Being a popular spot it can get quite busy at times plus it is quite warm in the aquarium so think about what clothing to wear. If you have a pushchair you can leave it near the toilets. There are ramps so you can get around in a wheelchair easily. Food and drinks are available to buy and there are places to sit and eat. You exit via the gift shop where there are a good mix of souvenirs to buy.
We really enjoyed our visit we had parked down by the Marina - the walk back along the sea front was lovely even in the brisk wind. It is a lovely place to go if you are down in Brighton for the day we would totally recommend it.
*We were given free entry in exchange for an honest review*