I had the good fortune of meeting the lovely Lucy from Weymouth SeaLife at a recent blogging event and when I mentioned that we were thinking of taking Huxley there for his first birthday she kindly offered us some complimentary tickets.
We were a little bit worried the day before as Huxley’s birthday fell on the day when we were going to be hit with the tail-end of Hurricane Gonzalo so we had no idea what the weather was going to be like. Unfortunately it was so windy that the rides were closed and we weren’t able to go on the SeaLife Tower but there was plenty of other things to keep us entertained. It actually turned out to be beautiful and sunny but if you’re thinking of visiting in the winter, don’t worry too much as the SeaLife Centre have an excellent ‘Rainy Day Guarantee‘ where you can visit again for free another day if it rains continuously for an hour during your visit (but it’s only applicable to tickets purchased in advance online or on the phone).
We pulled into the car park (which you have to pay for as it’s a public car park), unpacked all our kit and headed for the park, greeted by the familiar musical backdrop of all the Merlin parks. After getting our tickets we checked the feeding timetable and headed straight for the shark tank.
We walked past the amazing looking Splash Park on the walk there and declared that we’d have to come back during the summer to have a run around in it!
It was quite difficult to get pictures in the shark tank because it was pretty dark but I think we benefitted from going ‘off-season’ as it was pretty busy in there as it was and I can imagine that it gets rather full inside in the summer!
After that we headed to the penguins which Huxley really loved. He particularly enjoyed it when they started jumping into the pool and he kept pointing and squealing with the biggest smile on his little face.
After stopping for a spot of lunch (a bag of crisps from the cafe for us as they don’t sell a portion of chips on their own – my only complaint about the place) we headed over to the Rockpool Adventure so Nick could touch a starfish.
From there we went to the Turtle Sanctuary where we found an actual teenage mutant ninja turtle and then into the Ocean Tunnel which was incredible. We saw enormous giant sea turtles, huge rays and sharks all gliding overhead.
From there we went to the ‘Shipwreck’ building (we really snaked around the park and didn’t take a very structured route!) which was full of jellyfish and clown fish and some nautilus (which were a bit creepy).
Then we made our way over to the ‘Bay of Rays’ which features a waist-height pool full of rays and other types of fish. I loved this bit because you felt so close to all of the fish.
Once we’d finished looking round we went back to the car park and got Huxley’s new scooter out. It’s a 3in1 mini micro scooter and comes with a detachable seat so he can use it now, then when he gets older you can remove the seat so he can use it as a normal scooter and then when he gets even older (age 3-5) you remove the black handle and put the normal t-bar scooter handle on. We thought this was amazing value for money. It was £80 and will (hopefully) last him for 5 years! We also got him a helmet but it hadn’t arrived in time for his birthday.
Then we drove back to Bournemouth and had some dinner at the Harvester on the beach at Durley Chine and let Huxley do some more scooting along the prom.