Would you like to live for a few hours in the heart of the rainforest or in a Mediterranean vineyard, surrounded by hundreds of rare and beautiful plants? Or find out what sustainable energy is while having fun in an amazing place? If yes, the Eden Project is the park in Cornwall that you cannot miss.
This place is literally intended for everyone, with plenty of activities designed for kids, widely accessible also to those with reduced mobility: a world-class park born from an ambitious dream that today offers visitors a unique experience.
Thirty years ago, when the soil of St Austell began to be unproductive for the clay extraction industry, the local entrepreneurs started to think about what to do with the land destroyed by the mines: Cornwall’s future had to be reinvented.
Tim Smit, the deus ex machina of the restoration of the Lost Gardens of Heligan, was at that time in search of a new adventure: he was looking for a place to give people the chance to see the most beautiful and important plants of the planet. It was 1995 when his eyes met the St Austell mines and six years later the Eden Project opened to the public.
We bet that every professional involved in the design of the Eden Project was looking for a great scenic impact.
As you step into the park, you are immediately struck by the gigantic white hemispheres that fill the landscape: the Biomes, large greenhouses where the Rainforest and the Mediterranean ecosystems have been recreated. Inside them, every step is a discovery.
In the Rainforest Biome, very hot and humid (18-35°C), you will find waterfalls, forests, market stalls, rope bridges, banana plantations, cocoa trees, sugar cane and over 1,000 varieties of plant. On the other hand, the Mediterranean Biome is cooler (9-25°C), with vineyards inhabited by iron statues celebrating Dionysian rites, cactuses, olive trees and sunflowers, Al fresco restaurants shaded by large palms and flower plots, tomatoes and aubergines.
These two biomes represent the heart of the Eden Project, but there are also extremely interesting routes outside them. From the entrance, for example, starts a path that retraces the stages of the fossil fuels formation (coal, oil and natural gas), while on the downward alley a giant bee reminds visitors how important it is to support the life of bees by growing flowers that attract pollinators. There is also the route that explains the hops processing to craft beer and the aromatic plants section for those who love the intense perfumes of nature.
A pavilions dedicated to the discovery of the Solar System will leave the kids open-mouthed and the zip lines to fly over the whole Eden Project won’t fail to entertain the adrenaline seekers.
In terms of sustainability, everything here is super insulated and built with ethically sourced material, low energy consumption is a top priority and water is harvested to flush the loos and water the plants. Cafés and restaurants serve dishes strictly prepared with locally sourced ingredients, to support local agricolture and producers. Waste management is simply great and a geothermal energy plant will soon come to support not just the park but also the neighboring communities along with solar panels. Discover more clicking HERE.
Local communities are involved through educational and professional initiatives, as well as through Big Lunch events to strengthen social cohesion.
A great project from every point of view, a place of education, discovery and fun that approaches distant and different worlds in the heart of Cornwall.
Bodelva, Cornwall PL24 2SG (UK)
Tel .: 44 (0) 1726 811911
Tickets: £ 27 (adults), £ 14 (children 5-16), £ 71 (families 2 adults 2 children)
Discounts available for online purchases and for tickets combined with the Lost Gardens of Heligan.
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