The one downside about holidays in Devon and Cornwall is how long it takes to get anywhere. You can also go in and out of different weather within a short space of time. Unfortunately the day we decided to go to the Eden Project, it decided to go against forecast and rain.
The Eden Project was set up as a charity consevation project to bring different species of plants together. And to teach visitors more about different habitats. We definitely didn’t make the most of our day there -there’s so much more to see and do. The OH was with us and had one of his headaches, but didn’t tell us about it until we arrived. Very annoying seeing how much it costs and therefore how little we could do while there.
Once arrived, it takes a long wait to get through the ticket area. Not helped by groups going through, always ending up in the queues with people asking lots of questions, and that they ask if you want to upgrade your tickets to the non transferable annual pass. It all adds extra time, so if you can, buy in advance and get a small discount on the price as well
You can choose your route down towards the biomes. We zig-zagged down (and managed to avoid the tractor pulled land train much to N’s disappointment and the OH’s relief. He hates crowds, but he doesn’t seem to realise that days out are mostly for the children, not just us adults).
The Eden Project tells you lots about the plants and plant beds as you walk round. Why those plants were there, the history and what they are used for. There are also giant sculptures of plants and animals to explain them too.
We headed into The Core first. The first thing you see is this amazing sculpture puffing out smoke rings to symbolise artificial photosynthesis. It was quite a spectacle.
The Core is like a mini science museum but about plants. N loved the interactive wall, and there’s plenty of spots to choose to look at and try out, so there was no waiting around for other people to finish.
Upstairs there was a play area, but he decided to go in the science lab instead to look down microscopes. The miscroscopes were set up with plenty of specimums to look at. N was quite excited about seeing them all.
Everywhere you walk there’s different gardens to look at. We liked the water garden the best but enjoyed looking into the interactive ‘stations’ to find out about different types of soil and ground structures.
N decided we’d go to the rainforest biome first. I ended up a sweaty mess because it’s so warm and humid in there. It’s interesting to see everything though – new plants, seeing bananas growing, finding out about different crops in the rainforest like cola, sugar, gum used for chewing gum and rubber. We saw how rain happens, went on the walkway above, and got squirted with ‘clouds’. The cool room was pleasant respite from the humidity.
Lunch was calling. The OH was feeling rough so didn’t want anything. We just opted for pasties (well, when in Cornwall). Although I really fancied Mexican from the ‘Cantina’. The food queues were really long so if you don’t want to queue (or pay the pretty expensive prices), then bring a picnic lunch. Randomly we even bumped into someone from N’s school while we were there. That always seems to happen when you’re a long way from home.
I was out-voted about going to the mediterranean biome, but I made them walk around the Pollinator’s flower areas so I could get some photos.
This summer, there’s been space discovery activities and show to explore at the Eden Project. N wasn’t interested in meeting aliens and there was a queue to go into the theatre to discover Mars. It was a shame as I think these added family activities on days out, really give good value for the ticket price. If we’d not had the OH with us, I’m sure we’d have been there another couple of hours.
Top tips for visiting the Eden Project
1, If you’re a daredevil, book the zipwire at Hang Loose
2, Layers – you’ll probably need to strip down to t shirts in the rainforest biome, but may be coler elsewhere.
3, Avoid the queues at lunch and take a picnic
4, Look out for kids trails or activity booklets – we took ours to do at home at it was all space themed activities
5, Get tickets in advance to save. You can also turn you 1 day pass into an annual version
6, Us the park and ride bus. Some of the car parks are some way away.
7, If you arrive later in the day, you may miss the crowds. The Eden Project is open until 8pm in the summer.
Maybe if we camp in Cornwall next summer, I’ll get the chance to visit again and see all the bits we missed.
Have you ever been?
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