Tuesday, 3 December 2013

A Visit to the Eden Project

A few weeks ago the very kind folk at Superbreak offered me a family ticket to one of the many attractions at which they can help plan a breaks. Superbreak offer packages to an awful lot of destinations and venues, so there were PLENTY of options to choose from: Cadbury World, Warwick Castle, Tower of London, Sea Life Centre Birmingham, Chester Zoo, Hampton Court, Legoland Discovery Manchester, Jorvik Viking Centre, and so the list goes on. And on. In the end we decided on the Eden Project for two reasons: 1) it's been on my Bucket List of places I'd like to visit for well over 18 months, and 2) it's probably the closest attraction of those that we were offered a ticket for.

So, on a bright Saturday morning we hit the road not long after 8am and arrived at the Eden Project two hours later. Being a cold, but bright, November day meant we weren't fighting through hordes of other visitors - as you can see from my photos. We've heard from other people that it can get very busy during the summer, so I'd heartily recommend an 'out of season' visit, if you prefer a little more elbow room.
Our first view of the biomes
First stop, the skating rink. No skating for us, just spectating.
Plenty of room to stretch out on this bench.
Important pit stop before tackling the biomes
One of the things that really impressed us about the food on offer was that it wasn't overpriced rubbish. We had taken packed lunches, drinks and snacks with us but we're always keen to taste the cakes on offer when we go out and about and I can honestly say that this Viennese Whirl did not disappoint. DC had a chocolate brownie (I had a sneaky taste and it was also very good) and hubby had toast with jam. He was impressed by the fact that next to the bread (which you were invited to toast yourself), were large blocks of butter which you could dig into, rather than silly little foiled-wrapped pats the size of a postage stamp. The prices were reasonable: two cakes, two hot drinks (one tea, one latte) and two thick slices of toast, butter and jam came in at less than £10.

Once we'd refuelled we headed into the 50-metre tall Rainforest Biome. This is the world's largest rainforest 'in captivity' and you certainly get a feel for the jungle climate as you climb higher and higher through the dome towards the aerial walkway. There are tropical plants galore, a waterfall, butterflies and birds. 

There's even a reconstructed Malaysian hut.

The temperature in the biome ranges from 18-36 degrees, so it was no wonder that dear old DC ended up stripping down to his vest! At least he kept his trousers on.

Ahhhh, my favourite beverage. I wonder if we could grow one of these plants in our greenhouse? It would certainly save a few pounds.

After the heat and humidity of the Rainforest Biome, it was quite a relief to step over to the Mediterranean Biome. First stop was the lovely terrace cafe where we enjoyed a peaceful drink while listening to the sounds of a choir filling the Biome.

The temperature in this Biome can range from 9-25 degrees, so it was a much easier to spend longer in here than in the Rainforest Biome although, personally, I didn't find this biome as interesting. That's not to say it isn't lovely, I think it's just that so many of the plants are more identifiable and the regions they come from (the Mediterranean [obviously] and California for example) are  more well known gives it slightly less of a 'wow' factor.
After the biomes we headed to The Core, which is the Eden Project's education centre. To be honest, we were all getting tired by now and merely used this area as a means to get to the lift which takes you back up towards the exit. So, no photos I'm afraid - sorry! However, the walkway from the lift does offer a stunning view back across the biomes.
And then, of course, the exit is through the gift shop. But what a lovely shop it is, with many, many reasonably priced items on offer. It was very hard to resist and hubby and I both made purchases.

In all we spent about five hours exploring the whole place (including stops for snacks and shopping), and I can thoroughly recommend a visit if you are in the area, or if you don't mind a bit of a drive to get there. So, many thanks to Superbreak for offering us the opportunity to visit and, if you're looking for a company through which to book Eden (and many other) tickets plus accommodation, here's the link:

1 comment:

  1. I visited in 2006 and enjoyed it, but I think once is enough. I would've chosen the viennese whirl too!


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