Eden Project, Cornwall
In 1995 this working china clay pit was nearing the end of it’s economic life so it was transformed into botannical gardens that bring together important world environments in a dazzling, awe inspiring display of enormous biomes, colourful gardens bursting with a myriad of plants, play areas, eateries, the longest, fastest zip wire in England, and from Oct-Feb each year, a glittering indoor ice rink.
Marvel at the giant bee sculpture amidst the flowers at the entrance to the biomes; a reminder of how the ecology and the very life of our planet is so dependent on insect pollination.
The gargantuan Rainforest Biome houses the biggest indoor rain forest in the world with over 1,000 varieties of plants; feel the sultry tropical air, walk among the treetops on the canopy walkway, lookout for bananas growing, cacao, coffee, nuts and spices. See the Malaysian Hut with its vegetable plot and paddy field, the gushing waterfall in the South American rainforest; wonder at the carved African totems and the Shamanic wall paintings, spot the exotic birdlife, take in the huge rubber trees and gigantic Titan arum, stop at the Baobab Bar for a delicious smoothie or rum cocktail.
In the Mediterranean Biome you can experience the warm temperate regions of the world; amble along the mosaic path and see the knarly old cork and olive trees, vines, and fresh citrons; your senses will be arrested by the sweet smelling herbs. Sit amongst the flowers and enjoy pizzas, pasta and paella, pan roasted sea bass, lamb tagine, or Tuscan bean salad at the Mid Terrace Restaurant.
Stroll around the outdoor gardens where you’ll be flabbergasted at the masses of red hot pokers, lavender, hops, barley and hemp. Explore the tucked away parts of the Wild Cornwall area, take in the delights of the Sensory Gardens. Let the little ones loose on the The Nest climbing frame, or The Tea Ship; there’s a rustic log for them to crawl through, and a mine with a tunnel. Get a birds eye view of the whole site from the Viewing Platform.
As if that’s not enough, there’s also an ethical gift shop, an indoor soft play area, and fantastic events throughout the year, so it’s always worth checking what’s on before you plan your visit.
The Eden Project has heaps of parking, and you can take buses to the visitor centre and land trains to the biomes. Dogs are allowed, and they do discounts for groups of 15 or more people. Booking is advisable for the Sky Wire and ice skating.
Open every day from 9.00am, except Christmas Day and a few maintenance days in January
T: 01726 811911
All information correct at the time of writing