As I mentioned in my first post about our recent Cornish holiday, visiting the Eden Project was the main purpose of our break. If I’m honest, this was on my Father’s must-do list rather than my own, but we ended up having a nice day despite my reservations about it feeling like a school trip!
Without a doubt, my favourite thing about the place was the giant domes! There’s just something I find so satisfying about a 3D geometrical pattern; so be prepared for an overload of photographs of those hexagons! I mean, the plants and flowers were beautiful too, but yay for geometrical architecture.
We spent our morning in the Mediterranean Biome, stopped for a little lunch outside before heading into the heat of the Rainforest Biome; then spent the rest of the afternoon taking in the Eden Project’s beautiful gardens. So let me take you through our day …
The Mediterranean Biome
The Mediterranean biome is the slightly cooler and less organised of the two; I’m glad we went in first because it got very crowded with everyone going in different directions later in the day!
The main thing that struck me about this biome was the scent! I can still smell the mix of spices as I type this a month later, it was very atmospheric and coupled with all the natural light coming through the domes it really does transport you to another world. There were plenty of mythological statues, vegetable plots and education points along the way; but I couldn’t stop staring at the ceiling!
The Rainforest Biome
While it was extremely humid in the Rainforest Biome I definitely preferred it to the Mediterranean. Inside you follow a spiralling one-way path upward until you’re above the canopy. Although I still couldn’t stop photographing the ceiling and was in awe of the waterfall that flows from the top; I took the time to appreciate the vibrant flowers, massive leaves and fruits of the Rainforest. Seeing pineapples and bananas grow in England is pretty cool.
Although we did head to ‘The Core’ which is pretty much a child-orientated educational centre, we spent most of the afternoon wandering around the gardens that now fill every part of the old quarry that isn’t taken up by the biomes. Sitting on a bench at the top of the quarry after we’d zig-zagged our way back to the top we watched brave people zip wire over the domes, children run around educational play points and other’s lunch in the outdoor auditorium that’s often used for summer concerts. They’ve definitely made innovative use of the limited space they’ve got.
Facilities at The Eden Project
The Eden Project makes arrival very simple. They provide free, regular shuttle buses from the car parks to the entrance and there are plenty of (super eco-friendly) toilets, a cafe and shop available to use before you’ve paid for your ticket. With a wealth of ‘check-in’ desks in use, we didn’t have to queue at all to gain access to the rest of the project … but they did have to take our photos with a webcam which we found super weird.
Food at The Eden Project
We had lunch outside the biomes which consisted of some very plain but adequate cheese sandwiches. While there was plenty of food on offer, most of it was either super fancy or super simple; we didn’t feel like a full on hot meal so went with the simple option – if we were to visit again we’d definitely take our own picnic!
After the heat of the Rainforest Biome, we treated ourselves to some Cornish ice cream from the conveniently located outlet just outside its entrance. I opted for a caramel waffle cone which was pretty dreamy indeed.
We finished off our trip with a quick cup of tea (hot chocolate in my case, because tea is gross) in the Coffee House Cafe right at the entrance of the Eden Project. By this point the whole place was very busy; the cafe was pretty messy and the service less than friendly, but it did adequately up our sugar levels before the drive back to our apartment in Looe.
Overall, the whole complex was a lot smaller than I had anticipated but the architecture of the biomes and the breathtaking plants within them make The Eden Project a must-do if you’re ever in the area, especially if conservation is high on your priority list.
If you’ve been to The Eden Project I’d love to hear about your experience!