The Sea Life Centre in Loch Lomond is a striking building in the Loch Lomond Shore complex in Balloch.
We were lucky enough to go along for a family day out to see the centre and it’s beautiful surroundings. Here’s a photo journal of our trip.
The centre staff gave us a lovely welcome on arrival. The kids were given quiz cards to complete as they went around with the promise of a prize at the end.
There is a route around the centre that’s quite low lit. A combination of the atmospheric lighting and the no-flash rule for cameras (scares the fish) means that it’s quite difficult to get good pictures of the fish. That’s fine. Sometimes it’s more fun just to put the camera down and watch it with your own eyes!
It’s wonderfully atmospheric. Matching the lights is beautifully toned music which makes for a magical feel.
Dotted around are staff members with hands-on exhibits. Jenny stroked a rough feeling starfish while Eve was a little apprehensive. There are feeding times throughout the day when staff will talk to you about the animals. We saw the otters being fed which led to a bit of a frenzy. They also looked like they were being fed chicks, so it was a bit gruesome. Every feature has plenty of info on boards and tv screens next to the exhibits.
The seahorses are beautiful and very popular. The star of the show, however, must be the walk-through tunnel under a massive tank. It contains a large collection of sharks, a giant green sea turtle and some huge (and sometimes ugly) fish. It’s surreal to stand underneath the tank with large Rays swimming over your heads but atmospheric and beautiful too!
I was a little disappointed by the cinema area. It’s a huge screen with hundreds of seats but it doesn’t seem to be reaching it’s potential. The film being shown was very dark – nowhere near bright enough to see what was going on.
At the end of the visit, kids who have completed their quiz card successfully get a medal and a choice of stickers, which put a big grin on Jenny and Eve’s face.
The prices aren’t cheap but some good deals are available on the website if you can plan in advance. It’s also worthwhile when you consider that the work done by Sea Life Centres is helping to preserve some endangered species and to educate people in the dangers of sea pollution.