The Eden Project is one of the most popular attractions in the English county of Cornwall. The complex is dominated by two huge enclosures consisting of adjoining domes that house thousands of plant species and each enclosure emulates a natural biome.
“More than just a huge, tropical garden, Eden is a gateway into the relationships between plants and people, and a fascinating insight into the story of mankind’s dependence on plant life. Not only a mind-blowing visitor attraction, Eden is also fast-becoming a unique resource for education and knowledge towards a sustainable future.” [visitcornwall.com]
It was recognised by the British Travel Awards as the Best UK Leisure Attraction 5 years running (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015). Even people that go more than once per year think it worth the visit, as it keeps growing and adding new activities and attractions.
The biomes consist of hundreds of hexagonal and pentagonal, inflated, plastic cells supported by steel frames. The largest of the two biomes simulates a rainforest environment and it is simply impressive.
It is the largest indoor rainforest in the world. It covers 1.56 ha (3.9 acres) and measures 55 m (180 ft) high, 100 m (328 ft) wide, and 200 m (656 ft) long. It is used for tropical plants (over 1,000 varieties), such as fruiting banana plants, coffee, rubber and giant bamboo, and is kept at a tropical temperature and moisture level.
You should wear clothing suitable for hot weather and expect to spend up to 1.5-2 hours inside. Some of the key things to see are the Canopy Walkway, the Malaysian House, the Waterfall, an Oil Palm exhibit and the Baobab Bar. The latter offers smoothies that combine coconut milk, banana and nutritious baobab powder from Africa’s iconic trees. The Bar also serves baobab rum cocktails.
The Mediterranean Biome is not as large nor as impressive as the Rainforest one, but it also comprises more than 1,000 varieties of plant and lot of things to see. It is a Mediterranean climate so you can expect lower temperatures, between 9 and 25°C.
Some of the key things to see are Western Australia Garden, the Bacchanalian sculptures, an array of South African proteas, the Liquid Gold (mosaic path) and some gnarled old cork trees ( even some cork sculptures).
There are also educational acts for children and the Med terrace, where you can enjoy sensational food inspired by the flavours of the Mediterranean. Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free options are available.
The Core is the latest addition to the site and opened in September 2005. It provides the Eden Project with an education facility, incorporating classrooms and exhibition spaces designed to help communicate Eden’s central message about the relationship between people and plants. Accordingly, the building has taken its inspiration from plants, most noticeable in the form of the soaring timber roof, which gives the building its distinctive shape.
One key thing to see is the Invisible Worlds, which is a major new permanent exhibition that reveals the world beyond our senses: too big, too small, too fast, too slow, too far away in space and time. Another highlight is a huge seed-shaped sculpture by artist Peter Randall-Page.
What was a china clay pit is now a vibrant and stunning garden with over 3,000 varieties of plant. You’ll get breathtaking views of the Biomes and discover gardens and landscapes featuring everything from beautiful ornamental flowers to crops used for medicine, fuels, materials and food.
Some of the key things to see are the Spiral Garden, a giant steel man, The Nest, the Global allotments, the Lavender field and the giant bee.
Zip wire and Adventurous Activities
Skywire is England’s longest and fastest zip-wire experience. You would cruise 660 meters at a cool 60 mph (96.5 kmh), in approximately 45 seconds. It is suitable for anyone over 8 years of age, who also weighs between 40 kg and 120 kg.
It is a very popular attraction so you should allow 40 minutes to 1 hour to complete the experience. The only downside is the high price: £30. You can book online here. It is separated from Eden complex, so no admission is needed. The same company, Hangloose Adventure, offers other activities:
- SkyTrek: aerial trekking course
- Vertigo: 360 swing
- Gravity: giant swing
- The Drop: leap of faith
- Big Air: base jump
There is also brilliant local, fairly-traded food in the restaurants and cafes. Gifts and souvenirs are also available in the shop. Evening gigs, concerts and an ice rink in the winter are also part of the complex varied events.
Other things to see and visit are:
- Minibeast mansion play tower
- The nest climbing frame
- Eve sculpture
There is on-site accommodation available: YHA Eden Project. It comprises modern bedrooms made from shipping containers, so keeping their sustainability philosophy. There are 58 en-suite bedrooms with TVs and full air conditioning. Prices start at £39 per room.
Other recommended options are:
We stayed at Tredethy House, a elegant English built in the Tudor period. The experience was all right overall, even that some rooms are old. And it is only 30 minutes away from Eden.
Tickets can be purchased online and with a 10% off in if you do it in advance (at least 1 day). An Advance Pass is also available, which gives you unlimited entry for a whole year and also allows them to treat your admission fee as a donation to their charity. And it costs the same as a Single Entry Advance Ticket.
|Senior (aged 60+)||£24||£26|
(2 adults, 2 children)
|Child (aged 5–16)||£13.50||£15|
|Child (aged 0–4)||Free||Free|
There are no maps available onsite on paper (for free), so you can print one in advance or just take a picture to the one at the entrance.