The Eden Project has been on my list of places to visit for a while. Being in Cornwall and staying at Coombe Mill over Christmas was the perfect opportunity to finally spend a day there.
“Look Mummy, it’s Go Jet Academy!” Sophie exclaimed as we headed down the hill towards the biomes. Go Jetters is one of her favourite CBeebies programmes. I love that it sparks an interest in geography and different landmarks across the world. I don’t think the Go Jetters have visited the Eden Project but I can see the similarity between the iconic biomes and Go Jet Academy.
The giant bee sculpture outside the biomes caught my eye. It’s a reminder of the importance of bees and other pollinating insects in helping plants to reproduce and produce the crops that provide us with food. Sophie was quite taken by the big bee, although she was glad that bees aren’t that big in real life!
There are coat racks inside the link building where you can leave your coats while visiting the biomes. The temperature ranges from 9˚C to 25˚C in the Mediterranean biome and 18˚C to 35˚C in the rainforest biome. It was good not to have to carry our coats around with us!
We started off in the Mediterranean biome. This is the smaller of the two biomes. It features plants and landscapes from the warm temperate climate of the Mediterranean, South Africa, California and Western Australia.
Sophie had the map and was leading the way as we made our way past olive trees and a citrus grove with tangerines and satsumas growing in the trees.
It was a whistle-stop trip through the biome and I suspect we missed out a big chunk of it. Sophie was eager to head back through the link building and visit the rainforest biome.
The rainforest biome is the largest indoor rainforest in the world. It features plants and landscapes from the tropical islands, South America, Southeast Asia and West Africa. Sophie was fascinated to see pineapples growing next to the path. I have to admit I never realised that pineapples grew on the ground – I always assumed they grew on trees!
I loved all the beautiful orchids on display in the orchid house. The orchid I have at home is about the only house plant that I’ve managed to keep alive!
The rainforest canopy walkway has several different areas which help explain the importance of the rainforest and its effect on weather and climate. I’d have liked to have spent a little longer looking at some of the displays here and reading more, but Sophie was keen to keep moving on!
The cloud bridge was lots of fun. Sophie enjoyed getting to walk through the clouds. She also loved walking across the canopy rope bridge.
We admired the beautiful big waterfall flowing from the top of the rainforest biome at the end of the rainforest canopy walkway.
As we headed to the viewing platform at the top of the rainforest biome, we passed a series of colourful Peruvian wall paintings. The paintings tell stories about the spirits of various plants that are used for healing properties.
I wasn’t able to go up to the viewing platform as I was carrying Thomas in the sling. It can be very hot and humid at the top and there are various safety restrictions for going up to the viewing platform. If Jessica had still been with us, her heart condition would have also prevented her from going up there. Hubby took Sophie to the top and took some photos of the view though.
After leaving the biomes, we briefly popped inside the Core which is home to the Invisible Worlds exhibition. This exhibition explores worlds that are beyond our senses – for example, those that are too tiny, like bacteria and viruses or too far away, like the planets and stars. We didn’t have time to look around the exhibition but Sophie was quite fascinated by the Infinity Blue sculpture near the entrance. This huge sculpture which has vapour rings coming out of it, represents cyanobacteria which produce oxygen. Sophie had lots of fun trying to catch the vapour rings.
A little robin came over to say hello to us when we stopped at the bench outside the Core. It came up close, perching quite happily on the back of the bench, just a few inches away from me. I left hubby sitting there while Sophie and I popped to the toilets. The robin was still by the bench when I returned. I was amazed when hubby told me that it had hopped right on to his knee. There’s a saying – “when robins appear, loved ones are near” – I couldn’t help thinking that this was a sign from Jessica, reminding us that she is still with us.
The beautiful butterfly sculpture near the Core also made me think of Jessica.
There were various outdoor garden areas which we would have liked to explore, but we didn’t have time left to do so. Our tickets are valid for a year though so if we are visiting Cornwall again this year, we can always make a return trip (or two!).
Visiting the Eden Project – what you need to know:
There is plenty of free parking on site and a park and ride bus operates from the car parks to the visitor centre.
Opening times and ticket prices:
The Eden Project is open every day apart from Christmas Day and selected days in January and February. For more information about times, visit the Eden Project website here.
We bought our tickets on the day at £27.50 for each adult ticket and £14 for a child ticket (age 5-16). Children under 5 go free. If you donate the cost of your ticket (as we did), you will receive an annual pass instead.