On Tuesday, day four of our holiday in Dorset, it was expected to be miserable so we thought we’d visit somewhere that was both an indoor and outdoor attraction – so not the beach – whilst also offering a lot of entertainment, so we thought we’d take T to the Sea Life Adventure Park in Weymouth, just down the right from our holiday park.
The last time we went it was just me and Sharon but we had travelled from Poole on that occasion as we’d heard so many nice things about it, so of course we wanted to take T this time. What’s also great about the location of the Adventure Park is that it’s sat on the edge of Lodmoor Country Park. If the weather was better, and we had some more time, we probably would have liked to explore this a lot more – especially with our scooters!
Sea Life, Weymouth
Unlike other Sea Life Centres, the Weymouth Adventure Park is just that. It’s a large Sea Life park with lots of large buildings dotted around in ‘zones’ that house the various aquariums, enclosures, and displays. These range from turtle enclosures as part of the Turtle Sanctuary to a reptile house within the Rainforest area. There’s also your usual aquariums that store a stunning collection of tropical and saltwater fish.
There is a lovely variety of places to explore no matter the weather and whilst there is a route to follow on your map – you’re welcome to go back and forth throughout the park. We were actually pretty lucky with the weather throughout our visit so didn’t feel like we were forced inside. We really took our time with our visit.
When you’re not inside, there is also plenty to do outside! As well as a hands-on rock pool that invites you to feel star fish, with a built in tide machine at the back to get your shoes soaking wet, there are also Penguins to watch, Seals to play hide and seek with, and Otters that will just melt your heart (until feeding time, that is!). I completely forgot about these enclosures so they were a pleasant surprise when we came to them.
The Sea Life Park is perfectly spaced out and is bigger than you initially think. When you arrive you assume what you see in front of you is the whole park, but as you travel round via the various buildings, the park just opens out and you’re presented with even more places to visit – which is how we then remembered about the Penguins! This means you could easily spend all day here – especially in the hotter weather.
Not just an Aquarium
As well as the main enclosures and aquariums, there is also a brand new play park as part of their Caribbean Cove. This was a massive surprise and due to it’s location (right in the middle, but not acting as a distraction) it broke our day up nicely so that it didn’t feel like we were going from tank to tank. What’s more, is that there’s a small arcade here and a nice cafe serving Costa coffee. We were going to tuck into an ice cream, but the weather started to change so it was hot chocolates all round!
On the other side of the park near the entrance is also a water park with interactive fountains and jets. It was empty on the day we visited as it was rather chilly, but I imagine it’s bursting at the seams on a sunny day. At both play areas there are plenty of benches and room to sit down and have some lunch or a rest. What I liked about the new play park is that the children had room to run and climb without the risk of collision. T found some other holiday makers to play with, so Sharon and I enjoyed some time to ourselves!
No Aquarium is complete without an undersea ocean tunnel, and Weymouth has just that, but with rare beauties in comparison to other tunnels I’ve visited. At Weymouth, they have a variety of Sharks to see as well as a number of stunning sea turtles who all have their own story to tell. There are also rays and several rare fish to spot. The majority of the turtles are injured in the sense that they will never be released, but they have adapted to what’s happened and enjoy themselves at the park.
We were lucky enough to walk in just as a talk was happening so we stayed and listened to that whilst T searched for Rays and Sharks. This talk really focused on conservation and making sure we look after our seas! It was really interesting and interactive.
After spending a good few hours here and squeezing in a few more talks at Penguin Beach and the Otter enclosure we left an hour or so before closing and took a quick scoot into Weymouth town.
The park really is in a fab location. You can leave your car in the car park (which is Pay and Display – and a reasonably priced one) and either walk into Weymouth or grab the land train. What’s more is that if you take a ride on the land train from the adventure park to its end destination you’ll actually be at the Jurassic Skyline tower. We didn’t get a chance to take a ride on this, but will probably go when the weather is a lot brighter – it was really miserable by this point (not that you’d notice).
Even if you’re staying in Poole, I’d definitely recommend giving the adventure park a visit. You could easily spend all day here in the right weather – especially with the country park surrounding the Sea Life Park and the activity booklets they have on offer for your child to complete during their visit.
We found a decent discount when booking online, meaning plenty of change for a coffee at the cafe and value for money all round. We will definitely return when we go back to Dorset.