Seaton Jurassic is a community led centre that teaches individuals about the history of the Jurassic Coast; a World Heritage Site stretching along the southern coastline of Lyme Regis, Seaton and beyond. Run by the Devon Wildlife Trust, Seaton Jurassic aims to inform, teach and change mindsets about the natural world by allowing you to travel 200 million years back in time. If you’re visiting Seaton, you’ll find Seaton Jurassic a perfect day out, complimenting Seaton Tramway and the Wetland Centre – and it’s got a great cafe to boot!
WHAT IS SEATON JURASSIC?
Seaton Jurassic is an immersive visitor centre that takes you back in time, nearly 200 million years. Start your journey in the study of a great explorer trying to fix her time travel machine, visit an underwater world and end up in the present day as you move through the centre. Aimed at primary school children, Seaton Jurassic isn’t the dinosaur experience you might expect but is packed full of games and things to explore, guaranteeing to capture the imagination and interest of even the biggest of kids.
Seaton Jurassic Centre as a whole comprises of a small gift shop, a large cafe, toilets and the exploration side which includes multiple rooms, inside and outside areas and even a small beach!
WHAT IS THERE TO DO THERE?
Upon entering the Jurassic Centre, you’ll be given an explorer passport for your little ones to fill in. This booklet is filled with questions and spaces for you to collect the stamps, and if shown at the end will get you a small prize from the Centre. Every room has a stamp to search for along with interactive displays and games to get you involved. The spaces are set up to allow you to open every drawer, read books and generally make yourself at home – if it opens or moves, it’s something you can learn from or play with.
Starting with an introductory video in the first room, you’ll understand how we’ve ended up here and what we need to do in order to keep going. You’ll journey through the workshop to see the time travel machine and explore the seas of the Jurassic Coast before passing through the sea break (complete with a slide for the kids to do) and making it into the coastline section of the centre. Here there are more games, fancy dress opportunities and spaces to explore; test your strength against a starfish, learn where all the different creatures come from or play board games.
Once you’ve finished inside, you’ll move to the outdoor area which is a mix of being under cover and being exposed to the elements. Here, there’s a small beach area for little explorers to find the fossils, an explanation of fishing and a chance to make your own waves in the pool area. Finally travel along the edge of the site through the wildlife garden before returning to the Seaton Jurassic Centre main desk to collect your prize.
HOW MUCH ARE TICKETS?
Tickets are available online in advance and are valid for up to six months from date of purchase. Adult tickets are £10.50, child tickets are £6.25 and under three’s are free. There are family tickets available as well as concessions for over 60’s.
IS THE SITE WHEELCHAIR AND PUSHCHAIR FRIENDLY?
The whole site is wheelchair and pushchair friendly and very accessible although there is dimmed lighting throughout certain areas.
WHAT ELSE IS AT THE SITE?
There isn’t parking directly at the site but there’s a large council run car park directly behind it with a path into the Jurassic Centre. On the other side of this is a large park with plenty of space for picnics and burning off any extra energy. There is space to eat inside with a large onsite cafe offering a small play area, drinks, cakes and a limited range of hot food. There’s stepped seating outside that you could eat your own food on but this isn’t hugely promoted – you’re better going to the park or the seafront.
We enjoyed our trip to Seaton Jurassic despite the children being a little young to get too much out of it. Once they’d discovered that the rooms could, quite literally, be pulled apart and explored, there was no stopping them. Both children enjoyed hunting out the stamps to fill in their passports and there were plenty to find, meaning it kept their interest. As adults there was a huge wealth of information and I’d love to go back just to take it all in! We found that the workshop area and the coastline bit were out favourites thanks to the types of activities within them… which child doesn’t like dressing up as a shark or even Nemo!
In total we spent about 2.5hours at Seaton Jurassic and that didn’t even include a trip to the cafe! This time was mostly inside but we had a good dig about in the beach and the children enjoyed creating the pictures from the huge foam blocks in the outdoor area. We also spent a lot of time picking our prize stones at the end… I would be cautious in hyping up the prize too much as we nearly had to walk away with items from the gift shop as well. That said, everything there was well priced and the same can be said of the cafe from previous trips. You don’t have to do the full experience to use the cafe on site so it’s worth checking it out if you’re in the area as it’s spacious and often quite quiet (plus it has nice toilets – spoken like a true mum!)
WOULD WE GO BACK?
Yes! We bought season tickets due to an offer at the time but I can honestly say we enjoyed it enough to go back again regardless. We were fortunate that it was quite quiet when we visited thanks to the time of day and year, particularly as the Jurassic Centre also do school trips during the week so it could be very different. That said, I’d happily go back… I want to learn more about it. Just be warned, there are no dinosaurs there!
Where next? For more information on things to do in Seaton, you can find our helpful guide here.
Want to get outdoors? Why not head to Seaton Wetlands, a perfect space for walking, scooting and nature spotting.