North Bay Railway & Sea Life Centre
We enjoyed a trip to the Sea Life Centre in Scarborough on a busy bank holiday Monday. To get there we first went on the North Bay Railway which is located at Scarborough’s Open Air Theatre.
An adult return is £3.30, a child return is £2.70 with under 3s free of charge. It is wheelchair and pushchair friendly (you don’t even have to collapse the pushchair) and you take a seat in your own little carriage. As it was a bank holiday we were greeted by Norbert the Bear which our toddlers loved.
As we chugged along Scarborough’s North Bay we took in the sights and waved at all the people that we passed. It was approximately 10 minutes ride to Scalby Mills Station which is at the end of the North Bay. It was interesting to see the train turn around on a special turn table.
It was a quick walk down to the Sea Life Centre where we queued for about 10 minutes for admittance. As it was a sunny bank holiday it was busy and there was also a special event as you could meet the characters from the popular CBeebies show, Octonauts. Ticket prices are £16.25 or if you were to buy a family ticket then it would be £13.25 per person. In my opinion this is very expensive but there are usually discount tickets available from various places. For example we had a 50% voucher which was valid for up to 5 people which we got from a parking ticket in the town. We also have 40% and 50% off vouchers in the Crows Nest Reception, you just have to find the best offer you can, there really is no need to pay the full admittance price.
Once we were admitted we were able to leave our pushchair in the ‘Buggy Park’ and walk through the entrance. We saw the jelly fish that were under UV light which made them really clear. We then came to the stingrays and the sharks which my little boy loved, although I did have to drag him away when he tried to pat the sharks. This year the Sea Life Centre has a new ‘Claws’ exhibition which is all about crabs, with various different species. To be honest we didn’t find it very interesting but I am sure there are many crab enthusiasts out there who would enjoy this exhibition.
We then visited the penguins, otters and seals that are outside. The seals are lovely to watch, unfortunately we had just missed the seal feeding but it was nice to watch them swim about in their pool and sunbathe in the Scarborough sunshine.
As it was time to meet the Peso character from the Octonauts, we went up to the turtle area and joined the rather large queue of eagerly waiting children. We queued for about 15 minutes and was slightly annoyed to hear that Peso required to have a fishy snack, he waddled off and we were left waiting 10 minutes whilst Peso had his ‘snack’ before returning. Surely even penguins can work longer than 15 minutes before a break. Eventually when we met Peso our little boy was completely in awe and we were able to take photos without anybody trying to sell you professional ones and he was delighted with his ‘I met Peso’ sticker.
We then had to walk through the café to go back downstairs, there is a small soft play area which our little boy headed for immediately. After 10 minutes of playtime it was time to head back for some lunch. Overall we spent about 1 hour in the Sea Life Centre, but 25 of those minutes were spent waiting to meet the Octonauts character. Although we enjoyed the Sea Life Centre, it is very small and way over priced for what it is. I think anybody would struggle to spend even half a day there, and I would not recommend anyone to visit without a discount voucher.
Our trip ended with a return trip on the miniature railway. Our little boy really enjoyed the train and we got a lot of pleasure out of his enjoyment.
North Bay Railway
Burniston Road Scarborough YO12 6PF | 01723 368791 | www.nbr.org.uk
Scarborough Sea Life Centre
Scalby Mills Scarborough YO12 6RP | 01723 373414 | www.visitsealife.com/scarborough