The Eden Project is one of England’s biggest visitor attraction located near St Austell in Cornwall. As well as being a tourist attraction it is also an educational charity and social enterprise! It also makes a fabulous day out for all the family!
The Eden Project is build in a valley. You park your car and can either take a free bus, or walk around 800 metres, to the entrance. Once there you pay the admission and go through the entrance to the top of the valley where you can see the Eden Project below. We took the land train from the entrance to the “Stage” area at the bottom. It was actually a tractor pulling train carriages. It wasn’t very clear when the next train would be and there was no timetable. So it was just a case of waiting. Luckily we didn’t need to wait too long and the boys loved being pulled by a tractor.
Eden Project is made up of two biomes – Rainforest and Mediterranean. These look like space age golf balls! There are also the “Core” and “Stage” areas.
In the Rainforest area you follow a guided walk way through vegetation native to the Rainforest. You can wind your way through the rainforest to the top and then further up to a canopy that looks over the whole of the rainforest. There was a bit of a queue up to the stairway that takes you there but we decided to wait it out. The staircase was wobbly but the boys were very brave and enjoyed being at the top looking out over the rainforest for the types (made from the rubber trees) and the hot air balloon that is used to prune the taller trees. There is also an impressive waterfall in the Rainforest biome.
It can be very hot in the Rainforest biome. The day we went it was around 7 degrees outside and it was around 25 degrees in the biome. I can imagine on a hot summer’s day it could get pretty humid and unbearable, especially when busy, the higher up you walk. There is a cloakroom to leave coats luckily!
Along our way through the Rainforest biome we watched a lovely shadow puppet show which was in a typical Malaysian house. Outside the house was a Malaysian garden filled with fruit, vegetables and herbs. The show told the story of the rice goddess. It was interesting and the boys enjoyed it.
The Mediterranean biome is cooler than the Rainforest, as this part of the world is! It felt fragrant and fresh compared to the humid, heavy feeling in the Rainforest. There are citrus trees, grape vines and olive groves.
We watched a “Freaky Science” show presented by a “wacky” Professor which was held inside the Mediterranean biome. This was perfect entertainment for the 6yo. He loved the experiments that simulated what different plants do as part of their survival mechanisms involving firing ping pong balls over the audience, smoke rings and creating a volcanic eruption.
The “Stage” area was full of Easter activities including an area to make plasticine creations. Noah particularly loved this! You could pay extra to have a go wearing a Velcro suit and sticking to a wall, or have your face painted. There was also crazy golf and insect “dressing up”. We also tried eating worms (well I didn’t!).
We finished off our day in the “Core” area, which is full of educational, interactive things for kids of all ages . This has a cool mechanism which the boys loved, where you had to turn a wheel to move balls around a huge contraption. Noah liked a little tent he found to explore in.
We had a great afternoon at the Eden Project. It was very busy but we took our time and saw everything we wanted to. I think it is worth taking it slowly,and trying to plan your day to catch the extra shows that are on, as there is so much to take in. I loved the emphasis on buying fair trade, showing respect to our environment through life and also the focus on the spiritual elements of earth.
On the downside , whilst it was open until 6pm most eating areas closed at around 4pm. It was also quite shabby in areas, particularly the toilets.
Overall though we had a great day out exploring the Eden Project and hope to return in the future as the boys get older.
Disclosure: We received complimentary admission to the Eden Project in return for sharing our adventure.