During our half term stay at Hoseasons, Piran Meadows Resort & Spa, we were so looking forward to exploring Newquay and the surrounding areas as a family. Visiting in October I was initially a little worried about just how much there would be to do, and yet we were very lucky that, not only was the weather beautiful throughout the week, but we were in prime location for some amazing days out, starting with The Eden Project.
Every since The Eden Project opened in 2001, I have been desperate to visit. Now, as a parent, I can think of no better way to teach my children about the living world and working towards a better future, than by visiting The Eden Project. And so when we were invited along to see what it had to offer, we jumped at the chance!
The Eden Project is located just a short drive from Newquay and as we approached the entrance, it was every bit as impressive as I had imagined it would be!
The Eden Project has two large Biomes and we decided to start our day at the Rainforest Biome. Had we done our research we would have seen that the Biome can reach temperatures of 35 degrees, and yet wrapped up warm for an Autumn day, we foolishly entered without removing any layers – what a mistake that was!!
The Rainforest Biome is a tropical jungle of plants, trees and wildlife, and takes you through four of the world’s rainforest environments through Tropical Islands, Southeast Asia, West Africa and Tropical South America. And let me tell you, it is HOT!!!
Thankfully there are water fountains situated throughout the course of the Biome to stay hydrated, but as the children stripped off their layers, and I got stuck holding them all, I was literally melting in the heat. For future reference, there is a cloak room at the entrance to leave coats and jumpers, and I definitely advise wearing light clothing for your visit.
Despite the heat there are so many amazing plants and trees to admire, including banana plants, cacao, coffee and rubber. There are also lots of colourful displays to really capture the children’s attention and information points throughout to really get the most out of the experience.
The second Biome is the Mediterranean and has a far more bearable temperature of 9-25 degrees. As you enter the Biome the smell of flowers and herbs really hits you!
Through the landscapes of the Mediterranean, South Africa, California and Western Australia, there are some beautiful spots to stop and take photos, something that, as a blogger, is always a bonus!
At the centre of the Biome is a gorgeous area perfect for relaxing indoors, enjoying a picnic, or just having a lounge around on one of the brightly coloured scatter cushions.
It is here where, at regular intervals throughout the day, Storytellers share tales ranging from local Cornish folk stories to fables about rainforest plants all the way from the Amazon. We were lucky enough to catch one and the children loved to hear tales of their favourite mythical creature – the unicorn! It’s a great way of combining learning with fun and I can totally see why The Eden Project is hailed as such a centre of education.
One of the great things about the Mediterranean Biome are the many sculptures and exhibitions on display throughout. With cleverly designed displays, including those from Greek Mythology, there is something to look at around every corner.
Outdoors we were free to explore the Botanical Gardens which are just beautiful, and I imagine in the summer time the gardens are a beautiful place to enjoy a picnic and explore.
Due to visiting at Halloween we were lucky enough to take part in some of the Halloween activities, set up in a huge teepee. The children were able to paint rocks as well as create magical food for mythical beasts. All of the staff members were so lovely and helpful with the children and took their time to share their knowledge with us all of The Eden Project and all it stood for.
Inside the Core building, we were excited to see the Invisible Worlds exhibition, introducing the interconnectedness between life and the Earth’s environments, at all scales, which explores how life is shaped by and shapes this invisible ‘Life Support System’.
The Infinity Blue sculpture was a real focus point – a huge ceramic “breathing” sculpture, paying homage to one of the world’s smallest but most important organisms: the cyanobacteria. At over eight metres tall, Infinity Blue is one of the world’s largest ceramic sculptures and as it shot out vapour rings, all of the children watching were completely mesmerised!
Also in the exhibition was the giant Seed Sculpture, made from a single piece of granite and carved with 1800 nodes in the pattern of a Fibonacci spiral – the growth pattern found across the natural world in things like sunflowers, pine cones and ammonites. At more than 70-tonnes, Seed weighs as much as 10 elephants and the piece of stone it’s carved from is thought to be several hundred million years old. It was pretty impressive to say the least!
The main thing that struck me about The Eden Project, and particularly about the exhibitions, was just how incredibly educational it was whilst still being a really fun family day out. On the one hand you have the Biomes and the Core Building, and on the other you have a fantastic play area and activities to enjoy, providing a fantastic day out to please both adults and children.
As we made our way out of The Eden Project we took in the views across the bridge, watching the zip-liners zooming past (Gaz and Lewis actually returned the following day to do this themselves!) and it was amazing to think how much hard work has gone into this project, and still does every single day.
We had such a great day at The Eden Project and it completely opened both mine and the children’s eyes to our living world. Prices start at £64 for a family ticket and although it isn’t a cheap day out, it’s definitely somewhere I would encourage everyone to visit, at least once in their lifetime.
** We were invited to The Eden Project for the purpose of this review. All words and opinions are my own. **