Note: This is the fifth part in an on-going series chronicling my study abroad trip in Brighton, England. I am joined on this trip by my classmates and friends Cassie Jenkins, Claire Robertson, Vy Nguyen, Jhocelyn Alvarado, Morgan Collier, Abigail Pennington and Susan Salvo, led by director of student publications, Andy Coughlan.
Day 4 — June 15
I haven’t been to an aquarium in at least a decade. For no particular reason than the fact that I never think of them. Something about aquariums, though, reminds me of my childhood. The amazement and never-ending curiosity is a mindset I wish I could visit more often.
If I had to rate every aquarium I’ve ever visited, I know which one would take the top slot.
Sea Life Brighton is the world’s oldest working aquarium, having opened in 1872. It is now a part of Sea Life Centres, a chain company, and while it has the brand all over it, this aquarium stands out.
Its Victorian architecture is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in an aquarium. There’s a rich history there, and you notice it as soon as you walk into the main entryway.
The aquarium — like a lot of Brighton and Hove — is big on environmental conservation education.
Sections of the aquarium are dedicated to the dangers of plastic on our beaches and in our oceans, and their overall impact on sea life.
I will say, one odd thing about this aquarium is that there aren’t informational plaques next to the tanks. It’s kind of difficult to find out what you’re looking at. Luckily for me, I just wanted to look at interesting sea creatures, I didn’t really care what I was looking at.
The aquarium offers a standard array of fish, starfish, jellyfish, turtles, sharks, etc. The coolest feature is definitely its “hallway under the ocean.” I don’t know if that’s what it’s really called, but that’s the best way for me to describe it.
There’s a lot of things to look. Half the fun was watching all of the kids with their parents experiencing sea life, maybe for the first time.
The aquarium is not only aquatic, there’s also a rainforest exhibit which features an anaconda, lizards and multi-colored frogs.
Know before you go: When you first walk into the aquarium after purchasing tickets, a picture is taken of you (or your group) in front of a green screen which you can purchase later. It might be a money-grab, but I don’t regret buying a keepsake that I’ll cherish forever.
If you ever find yourself in Brighton, consider checking out Sea Life Brighton, especially if you have children. The aquarium may be geared towards a younger generation, but you can enjoy the ocean and its beautiful creatures at any age.
Additional photos by Olivia Malick
Admission information can be found here.