The Eden Project was well worth the six hour journey to Cornwall. We were there all day and still didn’t see everything. I’m still looking through our guide book and wanting to journey back. Initially I was concerned the kids would be bored, but they had a blast. Upon entering, we were greeted nicely and the kids were given a treasure hunting map. It led them all over and made them do some investigation/ research. Perfect for a nine and twelve year-old. The site was broken up into biomes (outdoor, rainforest, and mediteranean).
The first biome we saw was the outdoor biome which gave an introduction to the Cornish landscape. The kids got to learn about the unique hedge and heatherlands. There was also an area that touched on the mystical nature of Britain with a celtic labrynth, wicker structure, and native superstitions related to the trees of England (like Willow, Hawthorn, Rowan, Oak…). Next we went to the rainforest biome. It was huge and took around 45 minutes to walk through at a leisurely pace. It was divided up into geographical areas (like Indonesia, Malaysia, Africa, and South America). Lots of care was put into connecting various trees/ crops and modern day use (like rubber, gum, sugar, coffee, cocoa and so on). It did mention about trade conflicts and such related to the sugar industry, soybeans, and deforestation, but the message was not preachy.
They had a semi-outdoor skating rink. Pearl wanted to go, so we rented skates for her, Gabriel, and myself. They had only been skating once in Connecticut. So, I expected a lot of hand holding. After a while Gabriel had enough and he and Susie switched (yes, they have the same size shoe – scarry). Pearl took a bit of a tumble and was off the ice for a minute or two, but she got back out and was improving all the way to the end. The kids and I ate Cornish Pasties for lunch. Susie went with the safer jacket potato and cheese. I think her meal was better.
The last biome we checked out was associated with Mediteranean climates. It had all sorts of herbs, citrus, fruit, and vegetable plants. Like the rainforest area, it was broken up into zones (Mediteranean, Southern California, and South Africa) which all meet the climate conditions. Next to the bulb and perfume sections, the main attraction was the Bacchanal sculptures within the Pinot Noir vines. The sculptures were quite riveting.
We completed our visit with the main core building which explains how the Eden Project was built and why. It also has a few hands on activities along with a great stone scuplture of a pinecone. I’m very happy we went in the Spring. I expect during Summer it is packed with tourists and the biomes might be a bit too hot.