Wednesday, 29 June 2016

The Eden Project, Cornwall

On our recent weekend break in Cornwall we decided to visit The Eden Project. Ram and I visited years ago, soon after it opened in fact, and I've been wanting to take the children along for a long time, but it's just so far away from us! Staying in Newquay we were about a 30 minute drive away. We booked our tickets in advance, which saves 10% on the ticket prices, and tickets are valid for 28 days after purchase so you don't need to select a specific date. See the link at the bottom of this post for full ticket details.

Visiting the Eden Project, Cornwall

We visited on a Sunday in early June, and deliberately chose a day that was forecast to be showery in the hope of avoiding crowds. We arrived just as it opened, and as we had hoped it was a very quiet day. A great deal of the attraction is indoors, so we managed to time our visit to avoid most of the showers and started off in the Rainforest Biome. 

Eden Project, Cornwall

The Rainforest Biome is the largest of the two biomes, and simulates a rainforest environment filled with tropical plants and lots of educational exhibits to teach about the importance of rainforests and how we use the resources that it provides. It's very warm and humid inside, but not overwhelmingly so. You can take the Rainforest Canopy Walkway to see the biome from above, along with some other exhibits, and there is plenty to explore.

Photographs from the Biomes at the Eden Project

There are hands on exhibits for children, such as this section about tapping rubber trees which was very interesting.

Rubber exhibit at the Eden Project

Then we walked through to the Mediterranean Biome, which is cooler and a lot more open, housing warm temperate and arid plants and sculptures. There is lots to learn about farming and how crops are grown, and Harry was fascinated by a beautiful mosaic walkway that contained a dove mosaic for each country that was known for olive production.

Tractor in the Mediterranean biome

Because we were not visiting from home we weren't able to take a packed lunch as we normally do, so we were reliant on food that we could purchase there, and with two fussy children I was a little concerned about what we would find them to eat. Fortunately we hit upon a winner with the children's lunch selection. For £5.95 you could select any five items, and so we chose five items that the children could share among themselves, to eat along with some snacks and drinks that we had brought along. You can see the great selection below, and you could also choose from packs of plain crisps or individual pieces of fruit, I was very impressed. For Ram and I we bought burritos and nachos with vegetables, which were filling and reasonably priced.

 Eden Project children's lunch selection

Then with the showers having ceased, we headed off to explore the outside areas.

Eden Project photos from the outdoor areas

The Outdoor Gardens represent the temperate regions of the world in the plants that are grown, as well as many local species. There is lots to see, and various little corners tucked away that children can explore and find exciting things to see. This little house is hollowed out of a large tree trunk.

Hollowed out tree trunk house

This climbing frame was a bit of a challenge but they got there in the end! We also had fun exploring The Core during a well timed rain shower, where we learned about the importance of the relationship between people and plants, and also enjoyed some fascinating exhibits about water and how despite the planet being over 70% water, only a very tiny percentage of that is freshwater that we can access.

Climbing frame at the Eden Project

I'll admit that we don't normally indulge the children with purchases from the gift shop when we are on a day out, but this time we caved and bought the Children's Guide Book for £5, as Harry had shown such a huge interest in visiting the Eden Project beforehand. I'm really glad we did, he loved following it through during our visit and he's been reading it avidly ever since, it's definitely a book that he's going to pick up over again, not just for when you are there.

We had a great day at The Eden Project, would definitely recommend a visit!

Eden Project children's guide book

Two adult and two child tickets to The Eden Project cost us £70.20, and you can check current ticket prices here. If you choose to donate your entry fee when purchasing then your tickets will be converted into an Annual Pass, so you can visit as many times as you like during the year after your visit. 

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