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Review: Eden Project

Attraction - Park & Garden

Bodelva, Cornwall, United Kingdom

Worth it, especially at half price

  • By SilverTraveller DRSask

    403 reviews

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  • May 2018
  • Adult family

153 people found this review helpful

We arrived at the Eden Project just after 11:00 on a rainy Wednesday in May. We parked in the Plum1 lot and walked down to the entrance though there is a shuttle bus if you wish as the parking lots are a fair distance from the buildings. We had bought two copies of the May issue of Gardener’s World magazine for the 2for1 entrance card for numerous gardens around the UK and we’re glad we did because the entrance fee for the Eden Project is £27.50 for adults. There were four of us and with just this one garden the card had more than paid for itself. With your entrance fee you also get a yearly pass so if you live in the area or will be visiting again within the year it is even more good value. My one aunt and uncle had been here before when it had only just opened and noticed quite a change. The parking lots are much bigger, the gardens are more developed and the site in general seems larger.

Following the map provided with our tickets we headed to the land train for the trip down to the Rainforest Biome. This biome is very hot and humid. This is the larger of the two biomes and it is full of lush tropical plants. We went through it at different speeds to match our comfort levels. My one aunt has difficulty with warm weather and was feeling ill so had to quickly go through and out. I considered going up into the top of the canopy I could see by the roof but there is a list of health questions at the entrance that precluded me from going higher into the increased heat and humidity of the biome. I did, however, go on the Canopy Walkway including the rope bridge and the waterfall. At one spot you can walk through a cloud. There are lots of story boards to read as you go around about the animals, plants, trees and produce (e.g., palm oil, cocoa and coffee) in the rain forest as well as how the rain forest acts as a weather machine to keep us cool and watered. If you look closely you can see lizards, frogs and birds wandering around the biome that serve as insect control. About half way through there is a cool room that you can step into for a break from the heat. It was also interesting to see artwork from the people who live in the rain forest regions around the world.

After a very interesting lunch in the Cantina (separate review) we moved into the Mediterranean Biome. This one is much more temperate and comfortable to walk around. We could imagine we were in any country around the Med, drinking in the sunshine despite the clouds outside. Surrounded by lovely flowers, statues and garden layouts we took some time to sit and drink in the atmosphere. There is a sculpture installation by Tim Shaw, “The Rites of Dionysus,” depicting The Maenads dancing and playing instruments around Dionysus who is in the form of a bull. The biome also represents areas of California, South Africa and Western Australia and there is a restaurant here which serves Mediterranean food.

The rain had stopped so we headed outside and walked through the Zigzag Through Time, Slopes of Earthly Treasures and Outdoor Gardens where art installations are interspersed in the vegetation. At one point a blackbird was singing to me as I took its photo – a beautiful sound. The one area we did not get to see was the Core as it was closed. It’s amazing to think that all of this was created out of an old china clay pit! We did see a couple of intrepid people zoom past on the zip line; maybe we’ll do that another time.

Much of the grounds and inside the biomes is wheelchair accessible – they won an award in 2017 for accessibility. There are clear signs and maps showing which areas are stepped and which are flat.

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 8 Comment(s)

  • DRSask
    about 3 years ago
    You're welcome, @Restlessjo. If the coach trip also goes to The Lost Gardens of Heligan they're worth a visit too. I'm working on a review for those gardens as we went there the day after the Eden Project.
  • Restlessjo
    about 3 years ago
    Thanks for the detailed review. I'll have a look at your restaurant one too. I live up on the north east coast and have looked at doing this on a coach trip, but not booked so far. I'd prefer to do it 'under my own steam' but my husband isn't so keen on distance driving. It's a shame because I'd love to see it.
  • DRSask
    about 3 years ago
    We stayed in self catering in Looe (https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/accommodation/188019-review-three-ways-cottage) and discovered that nothing is very far from anywhere else in Cornwall. I am not aware of what is in the immediate area but you can stay at the Eden Project if you want. Accommodation is outlined on their website including a hostel for £39 a night for a private room.
  • PamWNorth
    about 3 years ago
    Thank you for your interesting review. The Eden Project is somewhere I have wanted to visit for some time. I imagine it would take a while to see it all? Do you know if there is accommodation locally to it, any nice B and B's hotels?
  • DRSask
    about 3 years ago
    Glad you enjoyed it @pzmaid. A circus event sounds wonderful. A concert looks like a good idea too with the acoustics in the valley.
  • pzmaid
    about 3 years ago

    Enjoyed your review. I like to check out an update every few years. Because we live in Cornwall we tend to send visitors there rather than accompany them, it is a bit pricey. Last time we went was around 5 years ago. I think we are about due for another visit. Our last visit was a Circus Event in the evening, with lots of different acts performing high above in the biospheres - it was a magical evening.
  • DRSask
    about 3 years ago
    If everything is open you could definitely spend a full day there, @ESW. We would have been there longer if the Core had been open. Also, if we'd all been fit enough, we'd have done the zip line as well. Sadly, the one member of our party who really wants to zip line, the oldest I might add, was having back issues on this trip. No, they don't do geriatric discounts which is why the Gardener's World garden pass is such a good deal.
  • ESW
    about 3 years ago
    This has been somewhere on my 'to do' list for years, although I did rather blanch at the cost of the ticket (and they don't seem to do geriatric discounts either...) How long would you reckon a visit would take - is it an all day, or half day?