When we went to Cornwall, one place was top of the list to visit – the Eden Project, even though we weren’t even sure exactly what it was…..
Jess, aged 14, writes: For such a large and famous destination, the Eden Project is quite difficult to describe. It consists of two large biomes which replicate the climates of the Mediterranean and the rainforest, an exhibition on dinosaurs, large gardens, lots of places to eat and drink, and a centre full of rides, such as a zip wire, giant swing, and a free fall. Even though everything was quite varied, we enjoyed all of it and had a fascinating and exciting day.
The Eden Project is so large that you have to take a bus from the car park to the centre. We quickly made our way to Hangloose, the location of the adventure park.
Robert, aged 11, says: I love adventure activities, so it sounded great to try out the fastest and longest zipwire in Britain. We prebooked the zipwire for me as it sounded the most fun, but I was horrified to find I was more than five kilos too light to go on it safely. Instead they offered me all the other activities to do instead of the zipwire, which just that shows how good it must have been. I decided to go on the The Drop and Big Air.
First I went on Big Air, which was basically jumping onto an airbag. Firstly I had three goes jumping from about a metre up, this wasn’t very thrilling but still vaguely fun. Then I got two goes at jumping on the airbag from eight metres up, I was really nervous. The few seconds you were falling were quite exhilarating but when you hit the bag it hurt your bum. Overall it was a bit like something you would do at a kids party.
Next I went on The Drop which I had been told was going to be very scary. They made me put on a harness before making me walk of the edge of the tower before they dropped me down. This was really disappointing as I didn’t feel like I was falling at all and didn’t get any exhilaration from the experience. The giant swing which I now wished I picked looked really fun, although compared to the no time queuing for my activities you might have had to wait a long time to do that.
Jess writes: Next, we made our way to the rainforest biome, which is the world’s largest indoor rainforest. The biome covers three point nine acres, and is full of plants from rainforests across the world. I am very interested in geography and the world’s countries , so I was really looking forward to finding out about rainforests, their climates, and the adaptations plants make to live there. I was also interested in seeing how the biome was made, and how they regulate the climate.
While the information certainly was good (and presented in a way that younger children could understand) it certainly wasn’t at the level I hoped it would be, and I didn’t learn anything. However, I may be being too harsh – mum and dad didn’t know a lot of the information, and they found it interesting.
The biome was full of plants, and I loved finding out about them. I would have liked more information about their adaptations and where they were from, but there were a lot of facts on hand and I was fascinated by everything. I especially enjoyed seeing an epiphyte, but wished that there were more. We encountered one member of staff who was talking about a specific plant, but I had too many questions in my head and promptly forgot all of them!
We learnt about the food in Malaysia and walked around a typical hut before walking up the biome to a waterfall. We found some information about what it is like to work in the rainforest (it sounds amazing, but too hot for me), and walked up to the top of the biome and looked down at the plants and people. We had to queue to do this and it got very hot, so be warned, especially if you are with younger children.
After walking down, we learnt about tropical fruits, chocolate, and the production of rubber products. We bought really good baobab smoothies, and marvelled at the incredible plants. The family was especially surprised by seeing how pineapples grow! We rushed out as it was very hot, but I had a marvellous time.
Next was lunch. There are many options for lunch at the Eden Project, and we decided to visit the burrito bar. My vegetable burrito was delicious, and the salad that went with it was gorgeous. Robert found it a bit too spicy, but we washed them down with lemonade.
Robert says: At the time we went to the Eden Project the exhibition in the land, air and water tent was on dinosaurs. We went in and saw the most amazing models of the creatures, they moved and made sounds. I didn’t learn much (probably because I ignored the boards full of information) but it was really cool.
Jess writes: The Mediterranean biome was our last destination. I was surprised to see that California and South Africa have Mediterranean climates, and was pleased to see some familiar plants from our holidays. The biome seemed smaller than the rainforest one, but it was really nicely done and it seemed as though we had been transported to the Med.
The Greek and Roman myths hung up across the biome were a really nice touch, and there was someone telling myths to a cluster of children in the centre. I enjoyed learning about the benefits of different variations of tomatoes and other plants, and really enjoyed the visit.
After our quick trip to the (excellent, huge) shop and walk through the beautiful gardens, we left the Eden Project. We all really enjoyed the day, and I thought that the biomes were incredible. While I would have liked more information, I’m sure I’ll be able to find what I want online. I definitely would recommend a visit for the whole family, as there was so much to do, and we had a really great day.
Disclosure: We were fortunate enough to be given free entry to the Eden Project and to try out the rides at Hangloose in order to write about it. All our opinions, however, are our own and not influenced by this.
A package to do the Drop and Big Air costs £18. Other pricing can be found here. A family ticket for the Eden Project (for two adults and two children) costs £62 if you book in advance.
Be warned that if you have small children, there is a lot of walking!
Please watch the video below to see more about our trip to Cornwall: