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SEA LIFE Brighton
The world’s oldest operating aquarium, SEA LIFE Brighton is home to more than 5,500 creatures including sharks, turtles and an octopus. In 2019 the centre opened ‘Day & Night’, a UK first experience where guests can enjoy a 24 hour transition of our oceans. Highlights include an underwater tunnel, a bio-luminescence beach and an interactive trail.
All of this is in addition to the Victorian arcade, rainforest adventure and secrets of the reef and sea stars exhibits as well as the ever popular interactive rock pool where guest can touch a star fish!
SEA LIFE Brighton is the world’s oldest operating aquarium in the world, still featuring much of its original stunning Victorian architecture, conceived and designed by Eugenius Birch, the architect responsible for Brighton’s West Pier. Work on the building began 150 years ago and the aquarium first opened in 1872, costing £133,000 (equivalent to around £5.5 million today). In its long history, the aquarium has been through many reincarnations. Improvements to the original aquarium included a roller-skating rink and music conservatory.
During the war the RAF requisitioned the building while in the 50s and 60s it hosted a music venue called The Florida Rooms where The Who played every Wednesday.
In the 60s the aquarium was home to the Montague Motor Museum, which held the largest collection of vintage cars in the country. From 1970 – 1991 it became a dolphinarium and hosted regular dolphin and seal shows. Whilst initially popular, changing public opinions on dolphins in captivity changed and their cramped conditions increasingly came under fire in the 80s.
In 1991, SEA LIFE bought the aquarium and rehabilitated and released the dolphins back to the wild. It then set about on a £1.5 million restoration. Over the course of the years SEA LIFE has made other alterations including restoring the Victorian Arcade back to its original glory.
Disabled Access, Disabled Toilets, Facilities for Hearing Impaired, Facilities for Visually Impaired, Guide Dogs Welcome,
Pre visit Available, Risk Assessment Available,
Cafe, Shop, Toilets,
Picinic site set up in 250 seater auditorium or our Education Room which seats approx. 40 – Education Room can be set–up theatre style with seating and a projector screen upon prior request.
Open from 10am every day expect Christmas day, closing times vary please check our official website for full details.
Starting from £5pp for domestic schools for a self-guided tour, please contact our contact centre to make a booking 0371 22 6934
Marine Parade Brighton East Sussex, BN2 1TB
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