Eden Project – Review for families

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What is it?

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It’s one of the world’s top economical visitor attractions. Find it in one of Cornwall’s busiest towns, St Austell. The Sat Nav postcode is PL24 2SG.

Best for:

5 – 8 / 9 – 12 / 12+

OK for:

Babies / Toddlers & Preschool

Cost

£££ – Tickets are very expensive. An adult costs around £23.50 on the day and child tickets cost £13.50 on the day. Under 4’s go free. You can save 15% on each ticket by booking online in advance and family tickets are available. There’s also a green discount for those who travel to Eden Project by walking, public transport or by bike

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What’s on offer

The Eden Project is based in a complex outside of St Austell, a lovely town in Cornwall. The complex consists of giant domes known as biomes. These act as the home to thousands of plants from across the world, each dome taking on the appropriate climate for the wildlife living within it. There are several biomes – the Mediterranean biome, Tropical biome, Rainforest biome and an outdoor dome, which houses lavender, sunflowers and hemp that usually grow in a temperate region.

If you or your children have an interest in nature or more specifically, plants, then you’re in luck.

Visitors can wander the biomes and explore the different plants and wonders of nature – in addition to an educational centre, amazing architecture and sculptures of a giant robot made out of scrap mechanical parts and er, also a giant bee.

Children will love learning about nature in this futuristic dome. If not, they can always go for a stroll along the treetops through the stunning rainforest canopy walkway. If heights aren’t there thing, you can also get a free ride on a land train. It’s pulled by a tractor so don’t worry, it’ll be nice and slow for little ones.

There’s also an ‘interactive’ play area for youngsters, trails for them to follow, a zip wire experience and engaging talks by staff designed to help them get the most out of their visit. Kids can get their hands on free, fun worksheets. Events for children and temporary exhibits are on throughout the year, including ice-skating at Christmas time, so please check the official website for full information.

Facilities at the Eden Project include restaurants and cafes with children’s menus, 245 toilets on site (no, really) and every toilet building has a unisex baby-changing facility inside. They’ve also got lockers for big, heavy bags – these cost £1 per use. The site is pushchair accessible.

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Highlights

Children will love it here – the play area, education centre and zip wire are all big hits with families on TripAdvisor. One thing that’s really great about the Eden Project is that it’s not just an attraction, it’s a charity, which should make you feel less guilty for spending so much on the entrance fee. Finally, it’s the perfect place for an unusual, one-of-a-kind family day out. It’s beautiful and an ideal place to stay for a lovely picnic with the little ones.

What to watch out for

  • The temperature is always changing at the Eden Project, due to the different climates required in the separate biomes. Parents are advised to bring and wear sunscreen, as sunburn IS a risk in the Mediterranean biome. Please bring your own water bottle (even though there is a water fountain in the Rainforest biome).
  • Make sure your children are wearing layers, so they can cool off or warm up depending on which biome they’re in. It’s also wise to make sure the whole family have waterproof jackets and comfortable walking shoes on!
  • It’s not ideal for those with walking difficulties, as the complex is large and it’s quite a hike to get around. There is the land train, though, so make good use of it if you have little ones unsteady on their feet.
  • During peak periods, you can expect crowds, due to the popularity of the attraction. If you would prefer a quieter experience, perhaps visit outside of the summer months.
  • There may be height and weight restrictions on the zip wire ride. Please check with staff or consult the website before queuing!
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MFM tips:

  • Don’t forget – waterproof, comfy shoes, sunscreen, bottles of water.
  • Book early for the restaurant in the Mediterranean dome, as it gets quite popular!
  • It’s incredibly expensive, so perhaps if you want to save money, skip the restaurant and just bring lots of snacks and a picnic. They accept Tesco Clubcard vouchers and if you’re local to Cornwall, it may be worth buying a year long pass.

What the owners say

“The Eden Project is an exciting attraction where you can explore your relationship with nature, learn new things and get inspiration about the world around you.

Trek through the world’s largest indoor rainforest, take in the sights and smells of our Mediterranean Biome, and explore our huge outdoor gardens. At the Eden Project you’ll discover the fascinating relationships between plants and people.”

Visit the official Eden Project website

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Where to visit in Cornwall…

Newquay Aquarium
Newquay Zoo
Land’s End
Buccaneer Bay
Paradise Park
Cornish Seal Sanctuary
Flambards
Holywell Bay Fun Park
Dairyland Farmworld

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