Head to Cornwall and be transported to the Mediterranean, a Rainforest environment and a beautiful Cornish landscape. Carol Barrett offers an overview of this unique and hugely popular attraction.
The Eden Project, an educational charity and social enterprise, explores how people can work together with nature towards a better future. Eden is an international visitor destination for all ages and interests, and has all of the ingredients for a great day out: spectacular global gardens, dramatic and changing exhibits, exciting and varied events, and shops and cafés selling products sourced with the planet in mind.
Eden was established as one of the Landmark Millennium Projects to mark the year 2000. Our first project was to make a 35-acre global garden in a 50 metre-deep crater (previously a china clay pit) to demonstrate the art of the possible. Eden has now welcomed over 17 million visitors and contributed over £1.6 billion additional income to the Cornish economy. We celebrate our 15th birthday in 2016.
Feel the tropical heat in the stunning Rainforest Biome and experience four of the world’s rainforest environments: Tropical Islands, Southeast Asia, West Africa and Tropical South America. With the awe-inspiring domes and enormous trees towering above you, you’ll follow the path deep into the vast indoor jungle and find surprises around every corner.
With over 1,000 varieties of plants and temperatures of 18–35°C, discover the Canopy Walkway, where you can take a stunning walk among the treetops, a Malaysian hut, complete with vegetable plot and paddy field and, at the highest point, a cascading waterfall.
Meander through the landscapes of the Mediterranean, South Africa and California, and discover the amazing variety of plants growing in these warm temperate regions of the world. With the sweet aromas of herbs in the air, you’ll take an unforgettable journey through a paradise of brightly coloured flowers, gnarled olive trunks and bountiful vines. Throughout the year, you can discover a dazzling display of tulips in the early spring, drifts of colourful poppies and lupine in the Californian grassland, and giant lemon-like fruits called citrons.
What was once a sterile clay mine is now a vibrant global garden, brimming with plants, sculptures and exhibits. Explore miles of paths that twist and turn up and down the slopes of the pit. You’ll get breathtaking views of the Biomes and discover gardens and landscapes featuring everything from beautiful ornamental flowers to crops used for medicine, fuels, materials and food. Come and be inspired by the changing seasons at Eden, Cornwall’s contemporary garden.
July 23 – September 4
In 2015, they tried to take over. In 2016, they’re here to finish what they started. This summer, Eden is getting ready for its biggest dinosaur invasion ever.
Look out for ancient creatures from the oceanic depths and winged rulers of the skies, who will astound you with their fearsome ways and jaw-dropping scale. Don’t think you’ll be safe on land either; a stealthy pack of rampaging beasts could be lurking around every corner.
Autumn at Eden
Autumn is a delightful time to visit the Eden Project. As the weather cools and the colours of summer turn to shades of autumn, explore the Outdoor Gardens and discover the crops grown by Eden’s horticultural team.
Festival of Food
Eden’s Festival of Food returns with a three day programme, celebrating the best that’s on offer in food and drink. Be inspired by the secrets of top celebrity chefs, and sample some delicious wares from our selection of specialist suppliers.
Fruit, Fables & Folklore
September 12 – October 9
To celebrate the season of plenty, there will be a themed event, Fruit, Fables & Folklore, which includes four weeks of daily demonstrations, talks and stories planned exclusively for group visitors.
Apple Pressing: Link Bridge
Daily demonstrations at 11.30am
Learn all about apple pressing and cider making, and discover the tastes of traditional apple juice harvested from our unique Eden Orchards.
Citrus Grove inside the Mediterranean Biome, daily at 12pm and 2pm
Tall tales, told by the wonderful team of storytellers, range from local Cornish folk stories to fables from around the world.
Set amid the grapevines in our Mediterranean Biome, daily at 1pm.
Tim Shaw’s sculptures depict the myth of Dionysus, Greek God of the Vines. Discover how his good intentions as the God of vegetation changed when he went from growing the vine to drinking its fermented juices.
Christmas at Eden
November 25 – January 2
The ever-popular ice rink will be back and, on selected dates, visit later in the day and see the site transformed into a winter wonderland. Take a wintry walk around the Outdoor Gardens, and when ice fingers beckon, escape the cold amongst the palm trees and tropical plants of the Rainforest Biome, which still has an average temperature of 28C. A 20% reduction on the advertised group rate is available for pre-booked groups visiting during this time.
The delicious food served in the variety of cafés reflects the stories told in our exhibits, boasting fairly traded, single-source, organic, seasonal, and/or local (91% bought in Cornwall/Devon) produce.
Our main restaurant serves a freshly made seasonal menu, from winter warmers to summer salads. In peak season, we offer authentic Mexican burritos inspired by the rainforest, and al-fresco style dining on our Med Terrace. Visitors can choose from ice cream (made using rainforest raw cane sugar), pasty huts, a juice bar, two cafés and seasonal pop-up outlets.
Pre-booked group benefits include a 40% reduction on admission and, at a small additional cost, the opportunity to include tours and introductory talks with an Eden guide.
Discounted guidebooks and catering vouchers are also available, along with an additional 20% discount for coach visits during the winter season. To book, call 01726 811903, email firstname.lastname@example.org or check out the website – www.edenproject.com – for further information. n
Carol Barrett is Group Bookings Coordinator at the Eden Project.
Eden Fact Box
- Since opening, Eden has welcomed over 17 million visitors.
- Awarded ‘Best UK Leisure Attraction’ for a fifth year in a row, it has recently been hailed as the top British landmark of the 21st century.
- A huge on-site composter, installed in 2005, converts food waste into a nitrogen-rich soil enhancement that our gardeners use to feed the impressive collection of plants.
- An underground drainage system collects all the water coming on to the site, this is used to irrigate the plants and flush the loos.
- The transparent ‘windows’ are made of ethylene tetrafluoroethylene copolymer (ETFE), or ‘cling film with attitude’, as we like to call it. Each window has three layers inflated to create a two metre deep pillow. The ETFE windows are very light (less than 1% of the equivalent area of glass), but they are strong enough to take the weight of a car.