This post in by @carapringle founder of Blogmouth.
This summer me and the extended family went on holiday to Cornwall, it was a holiday first for me and the other half as we had our 11 month old with us so we were full of mixed with feelings; part excitement and part trepidation! It was also the first time my other half would spend copious amount of time with my parents, so the plan was to do as many excursions as possible! Anyone who has visited Cornwall will know the choice is fantastic when it comes to days out, but there is one attraction that is now synonymous with that part of the world; The Eden Project, and so on a grey rainy Wednesday morning in August (yes it’s not a typo AUGUST!), we all set off to visit Cornwall’s most famous attraction.
The party comprised of 8 Adults and 4 children under 5 (well that’s what our tickets said anyway). We bought the tickets online before we set off saving quite a bit of money, bundled ourselves into 2 cars and off we went. My dad had been planning the trip since 5:30 that morning so both drivers were fully briefed ( lectured ) on how to get there so the drive was easy and the signposting was really good so we arrived there drama free! Parking was really well organised with park and ride buses taking you down to the entrance, full of excitement we opted to walk from the car park, it is probably a 10 minute walk and its downhill but if are unsteady on your feet I would recommend the bus.
The admission process was easy and hassle free and they even accepted a flash of our digital tickets on my Mums i-pad, and we all got a sticker to say we had paid and in we went! The first thing you are faced with is another walk, but the walk is full of interesting structures and pretty plants and a great way for little ones to run off a bit of energy. In the distance are 2 huge domes that from the outside feel really futuristic and make an interesting contrast to the lush green vegetation surrounding them. As you walk towards them the anticipation builds as you imagine what’s inside! There is a small train you can hop on as well as a lift, so they have made it as accessible as possible, however there is still a certain amount of walking involved. You can’t escape the environmental message running through everything you see, not that you want to, it’s really thought provoking and everything is done well so it appeals to all ages.
What’s in the Domes?
To access the bio- domes you have to walk past the food court and my how the folks at Eden Project know how to make food look good! We walked past mountains of freshly baked pastries, breads, pasties even the salads made me salivate! We all gave each other a knowing look … Having made the decision to go into the rainforest bio dome first, half the party decide to visit the afore mentioned food court for coffee (yeah right), while the rest of us headed towards the rainforest, as we got closer we could feel the humid heat coming from the dome and it is at this point I start to worry about the affect it might have on my hair as I have just spent half an hour walking in drizzle… it’s the first time I ever been jealous of my balding brother in law’s hairdo! Once inside it is really impressive, I would recommend wearing layers and taking a drink as it really does feel like you are in a rainforest which you are …just a captive one … mad eh!
Next stop the food hall, our party filled our trays with food and paid for it ( fairly reasonable prices) and quickly sat down to eat, as we tucked in I mentioned that the food hall was not very busy “ that’s because its only 11am” my brother in law flatly replied! At this point the 2yo in the party crumpled into his buggy and developed a tummy upset, closely followed by my Dad who instead of telling us he felt ill refused to talk to anyone and thus convinces both other males in the party that they have mortally offended their father in law in some way! So there we are in the food court at 11am two upset stomachs, one serious case of frizzy hair and two bemused son in laws!
There was no other option but to carry on regardless, my Mum decided to stay at base camp (food court) with poorly toddler (and pastries) while the rest of checked out the Mediterranean Bio-dome, now I have to say I preferred this dome, it was less humid and once again I really felt like I was in Italy or France but there was definitely a glum mood hanging over our party until we found the Chillies! This is a simple idea: a row of different chillies all with varying strengths called ‘heat units’ indicating the amount of capsaicin present in the fruit. The hottest chilli the Dorset Naga – measures 1.6 million units! Well this chilli footpath changed the mood completely and all the males in the party bonded over the chilli plants and all was well again! There was also a nice café in this dome and a storyteller for the kids. So easy to while away an hour or so in this dome alone.
After our Mediterranean experience we checked out the ‘The Stage’ area that in the Summer had Den building activities inside, in the winter months it is turned into an ice rink and they run various events from this area. We didn’t get involved in den building but there was lots of older kids ( Dads & Grandads) really getting stuck in and as it was undercover it was a great place to keep kids of all ages entertained. There is also the education centre called ‘The Core’ that once again is a great area for kids to spend time but our party were flagging and so we opted to take the land train up to the visitor centre…The land train was fab, the jolly train conductor was lovely and kept us talking on the short ride up, much to the horror of some Londoners in our cab who had clearly never experienced the act of talking to strangers on trains!
Once inside the visitor centre my Mother and I came alive! The shop is BRILLIANT, even my Dad and other half got involved and started picking things of the shelves and contentedly placing them into the shopping baskets, our purchases included chillies ( of course ) children’s rattles, a football, scones, bread, books, hessian bags…I could go on but you get the picture? I can honestly say it is one of the best gift shops I’ve ever been into! On the plane home a women came over to me and knowingly said I see you have been to Eden Project…my first thought was that I had left the sticker somewhere on my person or even worse in my hair but no she recognised my child’s environmentally friendly rattle and admitted that she had bought one and didn’t even have a child!
I would definitely go back to Eden Project but will probably wait until the children are a bit older but of course the beauty about this attraction is that it changes all the time depending on the time of year so every visit is different! And the purchase of one ticket does allow that person free entry for a whole year – just not that easy for those of us who reside in the North East for the rest of year to make use of this!
For more info click here: http://www.edenproject.com/
|Ticket type||On the door||Online:
|If you walk, cycle or
take public transport***
(60 and overs,
|Children aged 5–16||£9.50||£8.55||£8.05||Free|
|Children aged 0–4||Free||Free||Free||Free|