Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary Family Day Out
Get up close and personal with some amazing sea creatures and learn about a real working rescue centre.
What is it?
The term ’aquariums’ doesn’t really seem a fitting description given what they are. In my mind that word conjures up an image of a more traditional, Victorian style attraction, with a sterile, clinical feel. This is far from that and I would suggest that a ‘themed discovery centre’ seems more appropriate.
Bay of Rays
This Penguin Beach was a relatively new addition and had a pool, themed rockwork and glass viewing panels to look underwater. However, after having one quick peek through the fence, Harry pulled a face and announced that they were “a bit too smelly” and wondered off! He did eventually warm to them, especially after watching one waddle and fall unceremoniously into the water which he thought was brilliant!
Seal Rescue Centre & Otter River
Outdoor Play Area
We then proceeded to the outdoor play area. This was largely a fun pirate ship surround buy a giant sand pit. The ship had tunnels, slides, rope bridges and various levels to climb on and hide in. It was great for older children but many elements were unsuitable for small toddlers, and adults were not supposed to go on the slide which was a bit too steep and fast for younger children. At the side of the play area was situated a flood and drink kiosk but this was closed on our visit as we were just outside of the main tourist season.
The Mighty Amazon
After finally getting Harry to leave the pirate ship we made our way into the second section of the attraction where The Mighty Amazon zone had a number of warm tropical pools and displays – Harry particularly loved the tank full of Clown Fish (Nemo), the crocodiles and also the “silly hair fish” (see picture below!) but he thought that the piranhas looked “a bit too grumpy”!
Rainforest Ranger Experience
Something that was new to me at these centres was the Rainforest Ranger section. This featured a very warm and humid room that contained various snakes, lizards, ants and other “creepy crawls” as Harry likes to call them. The Leaf-cutter ants were in an open display which meant that they could wander off and walk on the floor and up your leg if they so desired! There were warnings that these ants could bite which put a few people off entering. It was fascinating seeing the various displays but it was so warm and humid, is was on the verge of being uncomfortable (i think made particularly worse by the multiple layers of clothing that everyone was wearing due to the easterly wind outside).
How Much Is It?
We used one of the two-for-one Merlin vouchers that you see on many household products – I’d definitely recommend trying to find these ahead of your visit. If your forget your vouchers then there is a local Tesco in the town that will probably have some during March to September.
4. Many 2 for 1 vouchers on products in supermarkets