Octopus Hideout at National Sea Life Centre, Birmingham

by Laura Hands twitter.com/handsondaysout

Under the sea this Easter!

Did you know that an octopus has three hearts? Or that it has blue blood? Or … and here’s my favourite … that it has a beak made of Keratin? Well these are all the facts that my five year old is now sharing with anyone who will listen.

The reason behind her newfound knowledge? An evening with Beverley. Beverley the Octopus.

Octopus Hideout 1

Named after local singing sensation Beverley Knight, Beverley is a Giant Pacific Octopus and the latest addition to the Sea life Centre in Birmingham. Alongside Lenny the Lesser Octopus and a colourful collection of cuttlefish, Beverley is encouraging young and old alike to develop their understanding of marine habitats, from her new home – Octopus Hideout.

We have been lucky enough to visit the National Sea Life Centre in Birmingham before, and have always been mesmerised by the incredible creatures and the immersive experience that it offers. The playful Gentoo Penguins never fail to entertain as they dive and glide, the starfish and crabs that are available to handle and explore in the rock pools are always a favourite and the ocean tunnel gives a 360 degree experience of being underwater that never ceases to amaze.

Octopus Hideout 2

Octopus hideout is a fantastic addition to all that the Sea Life offers, providing an equally enthralling and informative experience. Open from the 5th April Octopus hideout allows you the chance to get closer than ever to the world’s most intelligent sea creatures. Though don’t believe all you read on Twitter – Beverley can’t (yet) complete a rubix cube!

Although she didn’t want to play when we visited: you may get the chance to see Beverley exploring her favourite Lego Duplo bricks or even twisting open a lid to find her food in the jar. We just enjoyed admiring how small she managed to make herself and were amazed to learn that she would have been the size of a grain of rice when she was born.

My inquisitive 5 year old particularly enjoyed the Octopus trail, which is in place from now until the 23rd April (perfect for the Easter holidays) and provides the opportunity of winning an annual pass for the Sea life Centre. The trail really encouraged my daughter to interact with, and learn from, the resources whilst her younger brother simply enjoyed the sensory experience. If ever we were stuck, there were plenty of knowledgeable staff on hand who were extremely passionate and keen to share their love of marine life.


It is that passion for marine life and its conservation that makes the Sea life centre stand out above any other family day out to a zoo or farm and it’s that passion that makes me want to return again with my family. Every time we go, we see something new, learn something new and are inspired all over again.

Find out more at visitsealife.com/birmingham/

Laura and her family plus Dave from BrumHour were invited by National Sea Life Centre to visit their venue in Brindleyplace, Birmingham. This is Laura’s honestly held view.