A lovely family day out at The Eden Project
I’ve wanted to go to The Eden Project for years – it’s something I never got round to for various reasons – mainly as it seems so far away! We had been to a few gardens / rainforests already – Kew Gardens and The Living Rainforest so I was almost as bit jaded by them but the Eden Project didn’t disappoint – it was on another scale entirely – it is vast and very much has an ecological story running through it.
The drive down to Cornwall wasn’t as bad as we were expecting, though we did do it in stages – via The Living Rainforest and Stonehenge which broke the journey up- but the traffic really wasn’t that bad at all. We stayed in a nice little AirBnB nearby and the day we had planned was raining. We got there around 10.30 as we wanted to charge – we eventually found the chargers (a long drive round the perimeter in banana car park), to find that the chargers were already in use – 2 by hybrids. Now here goes my rant. I really think chargers should have a minimum charge – so many times we found hybrids plugged in and pure EVs waiting to charge – in our case there was a Leaf waiting too. They were slow chargers but only 3 for the whole place? Surely Eden Project could provide more? And charge too so those who really need it get to charge – we had 16 miles left. We drove back round and found the original marshall who had told us to go to the charger ages away, to be told there had been a rapid one very close by. It would have been nice to have known about this – we could easily have charged in the time it took to faff around finding the other charger, being stuck in traffic etc (by this point it was getting busy – I later saw on Facebook that it got so busy they stopped people coming in – it was a rainy day!). Anyway, we quickly successfully paid and charged the car which was easy and in a way good as it was raining heavily by this point.
Aside from that, we had a lovely day – it was busy but I was impressed at only minor queues for toilets, the shop and ice creams. The main queue was for food -we ate in the all vegetarian Core Cafe and had some lovely grub – most of it is sourced locally and was delicious and a nice change from sandwiches and beige food! As we’ve not eaten meat for years (and the kids eat fish and I do occasionally now) it was lovely to be able to have such a choice to eat. Yummy chocolate cake, kebabs and more were eagerly consumed. My main gripe there was people hogging the tables – there should be a sign saying don’t sit down until you have your food as nearly half the tables were occupied by people ‘saving them’ thus causing the problem of people waiting for tables! Anyway that’s a little tip for any food establishment and not Eden Project’s fault.
In the Core there was my 6 year old’s favourite thing – the Infinity Blue Sculpture. It is based on an organism and ‘breathes’ – all the kids loved it and chased the smoke as it came out.
Core also had lots of other things to enjoy like sculptures, interactive exhibits and even had a play area for younger kids which was keeping them busy.
I absolutely loved the big seed sculpture:
The highlight of the day for me were the Rainforest Biome. As I said before we’d seen a couple of rainforests earlier in the week – we loved the animals in The Living Rainforest and sculptures in Kew Gardens but the Rainforest Biome at Eden Project was spectacular. It’s hard to imagine the scale but some of those trees were so tall – I’d heard that they were smaller when the place was built – I worry – what happens when they touch the roof as some nearly are!
There was a walkway we queued to get up – a lot of steps (I didn’t look down – I don’t like heights – especially when you can see through the steps and platform!) and it was worth it. We had spectacular views of the whole Biome including of the waterfall and fun cloud bridge which we had just walked over – you get sprayed with ‘cloud’ and can’t see much!
We learnt about sugar, coffee, nuts, rubber, oil, olives and more – the boys loved seeing real bananas and grapes growing in the trees there – not something you usually see in Britain! The signs were informative and there were nice bits of interactivity plus some nice touches like a cold room to escape into – a welcome rest from the humidity.
I got a bit of an obsession with patterns this trip – especially natural ones found in plants and flowers. Eden was full of colourful plants, flowers, buildings and more – I loved the patterns and textures so took loads of photos. I thought I’d share some of those that I instagrammed – there are 3 galleries to scroll through – I hope you like them!
I didn’t get a picture of the shop but it was so big and I bought some lovely Cornish silver earrings (though annoyingly one has now broken – I need to see if there is a way of returning it), Eden Project cider, beer and Eden Project chocolate – yum! I wish I could have taken some plants back with me but sadly I didn’t have room and they wouldn’t have survived the journey. If you’d like to buy anything from the Eden Project shop – all money raised goes to the charity https://www.edenproject.com/shop/