Once a kaolinite pit in Cornwall, the Eden Project is now home to the world's largest indoors rainforest as well as a major collection of plant species from all around the world, all hosted under two large biomes. The biome structures are composed of hexagonal and pentagonal plastic cells, all supported by sturdy steel framed. There were 230 miles of scaffolding used to build the Eden Project biomes which earned a well deserved entry in the Guiness Book of Record. The Eden Project opened in March 2001, attracting a great deal of publicity and positive reviews. Ever since, the Eden Project has been visited by millions of travellers from all around the world and has been continuously improving on the site, to create Europe's only redwood forest and UK's first geothermal energy plant.
About the Eden Project
The Eden Project consists of a two large biomes as well as an outdoors botanic garden. One of the biomes is home to the world's biggest indoors rainforest, whilst the other is a Mediterranean glasshouse, full of incredible plant species from Europe, California and Africa.
Rainforest Biome - The Rainforest Biome, the Eden Project's star attraction, replicates four different rainforest environments: South America, Southwest Asia, West Africa and Tropical Islands. The moment you step into the biome, you can feel the heat taking a toll on you, hence it's rather bizarre to believe you are still in the rainy UK (especially because I visited during January). Dotted along the walk, are gigantic lush trees stretching almost as far as the biome's ceiling. There is a well defined path you can follow, to ease your way around the jungle. You will encounter cocoa plants, coffee shrubs, bananas, rubber trees, nuts and spices and even a beautiful waterfall. The best part? You can enjoy a rainforest canopy walkway, where you will oversee the top of the jungle, and enjoy beautiful views of exotic plants. The temperatures soar up there, so make sure to wear something light. If you start feeling wobbly, make your way back down. To end the tour, stop by the baobab bar, where you can enjoy a specially hand crafted baobab smoothie: a delicious health bomb explosion.
Mediterranean Biome - A milder and more temperature glasshouse, the Mediterranean Biome is home to over 1000 plant species. During blooming time, not only can enjoy a world of color and beauty, but can also smell the sweet scent of flowers, herbs and spices. For a superb experience, head over to the Mediterranean Biome between 12-2 pm and listen to tales and fables told by a group of Eden Project storytellers. The sessions last for about 15 minutes and take places by the Citrus Grove. This is a great opportunity to find out a lot of fun facts and beautiful stories about Cornwall as well as various plants which have been brought to the Eden Project all the way from the Amazon.
The Core Building - The Core is an Eden Project building designed based on the structure of a sunflower. Inside the Core, you will have the opportunity to see how things function and find out a bit more about the essence behind the Eden Project. Among the best attractions are the Seed sculpture, the Nutcracker, the plant engine and the film room. Each educate the public on the importance of the environment and its preservation.
The outdoors Eden Project garden - Enjoy over 3000 plant species spread over 20 acres of garden. Walk along the pathway and enjoy miles of flowers and plants which eventually lead to beautiful vistas over the Eden Project biomes. It's best to visit the Eden Project during the summer, to really enjoy an amalgam of colors and sweet scents.
Rainforest Canopy Walkway - This was by far my favorite part of the Eden Project. A beautiful treetop walk, enjoying magnificent views across the biome and learning essential information about the importance of rainforests. Access to the canopy is included in the admission fee, but limited to a number of people per session. There is a swinging walkway taking you to the top of the canopy, where temperature soar.
Adrenaline at the Eden Project - After a relaxing stroll around the Eden Project, it's time to get the adrenaline pumping. There are plenty of activities available at the Eden Project, with the zip wire being amongst the favorite. Want even more? You can try the giant swing which will literally throw you off a giant cliff. Which one would you be up for?
How to get to the Eden Project
The best way to get to the Eden Project is by car. You can take the train or bus to the local station St Austell, but know there is still quite a walk to the Eden Project. If you arrive by public transport, you will receive a small discount from your admission fee. However, coming from Bristol for example, I had difficulties finding enough connections to allow me to visit the Eden Project for the day. Driving takes a long time too, as the Eden Project is located in a relatively remote (and beautiful) area of England, called Cornwall. Many come to Cornwall for a beach holiday and a wonderful getaway, so best to fit the Eden Project visit as part of a more extensive visit.
For those pressed for time, I advise getting to the Eden Project as early in the morning as possible. You can then leave after 6 when it normally closes during summer times, which gives you plenty of time to drive back to Bristol or London. There are accommodation options around, including a lovely YHA on-site hostel with private rooms starting from as little as £39. Alternatively, you can rent a intimate cottage in the heart of Cornwall, in St Austell.
Tickets costs £25 per adult and £14 per child. There are discount available for small groups and families visiting together. Students and seniors also get a discount and if you book your tickets only a further 10% is available for all. The money from the admission go towards the preservation of the Eden Project, as this is a registered charity.
Where to eat
There are a few options when it comes to food at the Eden Project. The Eden Kitchen is perhaps the best restaurant, offering healthy meals made with locally sourced ingredients. This is also great if you want to grab dinner should you decide to stay at the YHA Eden Project. Alternatively, there is the Mediterranean Terrace, located in the Mediterranean biome, as well as a small pastry bar, a juice bar, a coffee house and an ice cream parlor. With so many options around, it's easy to see why so many come here for the day and end up spending a few epic nights at the Eden Project.
To buy tickets for the Eden Project click to access the official website.
Would you like to see an indoor rainforest? Which biome excites you the most here at the Eden Project? Let me know all about it in the comments section bellow.