One of the top attractions in Cornwall. Families, couples, school groups and everyone else in between can all enjoy what the Eden Project has to offer.
During my 6 days in Cornwall this September I decided that one of the places I really wanted to go was the Eden Project. It was a rainy week so not only did it provide some shelter from the never-ending rain but I also got to learn more about the planet we live in and earth conservation. Both of which are topics I am really starting to enjoy.
Key Visiting Information
Understandably this attraction is busy all year round. My advice is to get there fairly early as it will take time for you to get around and see everything. I spent roughly 4 and a half hours exploring everything that Eden had to offer. The opening times vary throughout the year and sometimes the biomes will close earlier than the rest of the grounds. This is to help keep the plants in the biomes at their healthiest. I would recommend checking the opening times on the Eden Project website. Like most attractions, term-time days are quieter than the school holidays, but you will come across many groups of school children on trips during the school term.
Also, I had to accept that this was definitely a more expensive day trip. Tickets cost £27.50 for an adult. However, you can save up to 10% by booking online in advance. If you travel via public transport it is good to know that you get discounted entry if you have a valid bus/train ticket. An extra bonus for not using the car! As we had been to the Lost Gardens of Heligan the day before we had received a 10% discount code to use at Eden. So that helped to bring the cost down. Also, a portion of the ticket fees does go on the conservation efforts at the Eden Project along with other projects they are involved in.
Now I am going to split this post into 2 sections: The Outdoor Gardens and the Biomes. This was not the order that we visited each area, it was a typical British rainy day so we dived into the biomes, out to the outdoor gardens and back to the biomes a few times throughout the day. Mostly to dodge the water falling from the sky. Grouping my day like this allows me to share what we saw in a way that makes more sense (well to me anyway!)
The Outdoor Gardens
Once you get through the ticket area, the first thing you notice is the huge biomes in front of you. Standing proudly in the middle of the Cornish countryside are two microclimates that show us a whole different world. The Eden Project itself is built in an old china clay pit that stopped functioning in 1995. Heres a fun fact for you too, under the grounds of Eden is a drainage system that is 15 meters under the ground in the lowest parts of the pit. This system was devised to stop the whole place from flooding, as in the start of the Eden Project build the rain caused 43 million litres of water to drain into the pit.
Anyway, I started by wandering through some of the outdoor gardens while it was dry(ish). Starting with the long sloping walk down from the viewing platform to the biomes. It’s a path sharing facts about the Eden Project, the conservation involved and plants that you were looking at. This path then wondered into the Gardens of senses. Each little section dedicated to each one of the senses. One of the gardens in that area that really stood out for me was the Sense of Memory Garden. Full of Cornwall’s popular plants and it has water pools made with granite from Bodmin Moor. It is a little slice of tranquillity.
Our next stop was to look at the Giant Bee. This sculpture was placed in the Eden Projects gardens as a reminder to us all about the importance of bees and pollination. The pollinating insects are key to keeping our plant cycles going. The plants use their colours, shapes and scents to attract the bees to visit the plant. The attract insect will then take the nectar from the plant before moving onto the next attractive plant. This huge bee is hard to miss and everyone was taking the time to look at this work of art.
Later on in the day we headed up and look at the Wild Cornwall gardens. These were by far my favourite gardens. It really showed off the diverse range of landscapes from all over Cornwall. Just the feeling of wilderness and all the different habitats that were right on our doorstep was wonderful to learn about. There is just something I love about wild plants and their sense of freedom to grow where they please.
The main reason most people go to the Eden Project is to look in the biomes. These biomes create 2 completely different climates that wouldn’t be possible to create otherwise in the UK. The first biome I went into was the Mediterranean Biome.
The atmosphere within the biome was certainly warmer than the Cornish weather outside. It was like walking into a garden in Spain, full of colour and with a huge variety of plants. The biome is split into various sections to show a variety of different plants from around the world. I wandered through the Mediterranean, South Africa, California and Western Australia learning about the landscapes of each area. I am a huge lover of cacti and succulents, so became very excited to see some large Cacti and Aloe plants.
The latest addition to this biome is the Western Australia section. What I liked about this section was the colours, various shades of red, pink and yellow just made the whole section so cheerful. Also, the Grass trees were pretty cool, apparently the trunks can survive fires and then regrow all its leaves after. Within the Mediterranean Biome, there is the Med Terrace Resturant where you can dine on all types of Mediterranean style foods.
The other biome is the Rainforest Biome. It is the worlds largest indoor rainforest and contains over 1000 varieties of plants. There is so much to learn and explore within this biome. But the first thing you notice is the hot, stuffy atmosphere that hits you the second you walk in. The longer you are in the biome and the higher you get within the biome the hotter it gets. It really adds to the experience of the rainforest. It takes around 1.5 hours to fully explore the rainforest biome where you will walk through 4 different rainforest environments.
My favourite part of this biome was the rainforest canopy walkway. It’s a treetop walk where you get to look across the rainforest from the tops of the trees, that includes a 50m rope bridge between 2 of the tallest trees in the biome. What makes this experience even better is that you are learning about the weather and climate in the rainforests at the same time. As you continue around the biome you can learn about Cacao, Rubber, Palm Oil and Coffee industries, their place in the rainforest and the impact they have on the world. Oh and look out for the waterfalls too! The only downside to my trip to the Eden Project was that the Rainforest Lookout (a viewing platform at the very top of the biome) was not open due to the biome being too hot. However, that’s an excuse to go back to the Eden Project again one day.
Even though this post is not a review of the Eden Project but a post on my personal experience of the Eden Project. I am still going, to sum up, the day. The work that goes into the Eden Project and the conservation work that’s done is great. There is so much you can learn in just one visit to the attraction. I’ve only mentioned a handful of the things that you can look at in this blog post. There is so much more for you to discover on your visit!
Have you been to the Eden Project? If so share with me your favourite part of your visit!
Othe blog posts about our 2017 trip to Cornwall:
See you next time and happy adventuring!
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