The Eden Project is an amazing place we had visited a couple of times in the past when the kids were dinky, but we have returned twice in the last month with the children now being 9 years and 7 years old. They couldn’t remember it from before, but Bella had a school trip recently and since moving to Cornwall last year, we decided it was great value to sign up for their annual membership so we can visit regularly throughout the next year.
Read on to see our March and April 2022 photos from the Eden Project and some thoughts on our two recent visits so you know what to expect. Discover some answers to some common questions about the Eden Project Cornwall and how you can save money if you are local, or if you regularly visit Cornwall and love the Eden Project.
Eden Project spring 2022 review and photos
We’d been to the Eden Project with young kids before, but when they were really small. It was great to go back now they are ‘proper children’ and not toddlers/babies. They were too small before to remember it. Before returning in spring 2022 we hadn’t been for five and a half years so me and Ben were also looking forward to returning as we’d loved it on previous visits.
One good thing about the Eden Project is it’s always growing and developing, making it interesting to return to for multiple visits. They are also proactive at keeping things updated and making positive changes to the experience. The food offering and hall had changed since we last went, there were some new sculptures to see, the art installation was different and the rainforest seemed to have developed massively since we last went. In the Mediterranean biome they are creating a new restaurant with a Mediterranean dining experience which will be good to experience on another visit once it’s complete.
I can imagine it’s also very different throughout the seasons. We have now experienced it in spring this year and it will be interesting to return perhaps in summer, autumn and winter this year to see the differences, particularly with the produce they are growing and the outside areas changing from blossom to full bloom and to autumnal shades later in the year.
The rainforest biome is the best biome in my opinion. It’s really quite a magical place and the largest ‘indoor’ rainforest in existence!
You really get a feel of the smells and sights of a rainforest being surrounded by trees and plants that exist there, as well as the humidity and warmth!
Tip: it’s humid and hot! Do not make the mistake of turning up on a cold day in winter clothes as you’ll be sweating! Take some extra clothes with you to change if needed as it is very warm and sticky in there! Like suddenly walking into a different climate!
It’s 18-35 degrees Celsius in the rainforest biome. If you are too hot in the clothes you are wearing, there’s a shop right next door to the rainforest biome where you can support the cause and buy a t-shirt!
Things to look out for: the lizards in the shack! The rope swing bridge. The steamy clouds. The waterfall. Banana trees. Crested (roul roul) partridges. Cacao pods. Giant water lily pads. Pineapples. Baobab. White leafed bush. Canopy lookout.
Rainforest biome canopy lookout
Suspended from the ceiling of the rainforest biome is a metal staircase to a lookout high above the trees.
Suspended around 50m above the lowest floor in the biome, a wobbly walk up the stairs takes you to a platform with amazing views to see another perspective of the biome.
A much cooler biome with temperatures between 9 and 25 degrees Celsius. Quite refreshing after you’ve been in the rainforest biome!
The Mediterranean biome has over 1000 species of plants from the Mediterranean, California, South Africa and Western Australia.
I definitely don’t think it’s as impressive for the senses as the rainforest biome which is overspilling with plantlife all around, but it’s still very interesting to look around.
Things to look out for: thought-provoking Greek sculptures. Mighty olive tree trunks. Citrus fruits. Cotton. Cork. Huge aloe vera.
Outdoor gardens at the Eden Project
It’s incredible to think the Eden Project was once a bare, dusty, sloped clay mine with no signs of green. Now those slopes are bustling with plant life, flowers and edibles with sweeping paths for all to enjoy.
As soon as you enter via the visitor centre, it’s a really extraordinary site and feeling to see the outdoor gardens down below and the magnificent biomes. Even being a returning visitor it still feels quite magical when you see the biomes and greenery from above. Especially when you compared it to what it looked like before.
Here are a whopping 3000 plants just in the outdoor gardens which cover 20 acres.
In Eden’s own words: “The Gardens are home to over 20 plant-based exhibits, colourful seasonal borders, art installations and play areas. The Wild Edge area displays the world’s temperate lands while the Crops area introduces plants for food, fuels, medicines and materials. There are gardens for play, creativity, fruit, veg, flowers, health and wellbeing. Our growing Climate Garden takes you through 400 million years and explores possible positive futures.”
Art installation at the Eden Project
In spring 2022, the Core building housed the Invisible Worlds exhibition exploring how life is created by and shaped by invisible systems.
A huge blue art sculpture represents cyanobacteria and its importance for all living beings on our planet.
“Around three billion years ago, cyanobacteria first developed oxygenic photosynthesis and changed the nature of the Earth. The sculpture is a monument to these vital microscopic beings, who, along with their descendants found in the photosynthesising cells of all green plants, continue to provide the oxygen in every breath we take.” – https://www.edenproject.com/visit/things-to-do/infinity-blue
Things for kids to do at the Eden Project
If your kids aren’t a fan of looking at plants all day long then fear not! There are lots of kid-friendly activities for kids at the Eden Project.
They’ll love the rope bridge in the rainforest biome and spotting the lizards and bananas. In the Mediterranean biome they love to see the oranges and lemons and huge cactuses.
Outside is a kids play area and inside the exhibition centre was a soft play area with spinning discs like roundabouts which we couldn’t get the kids to leave! In previous years there have been different interactive activities for the kids indoors.
There are also gift shops which the kids love, yummy food to buy and an ice-cream hatch!
More things to do and see at the Eden Project
From the outdoor gardens and paths, there are a few nature play areas for kids as well as exhibitions to see. We saw the plankton exhibition with some truly stunning imagery of different types of plankton.
We also learnt more about plastic pollution and ocean pollution. Many people are probably unaware of how toxic their sun creams are to oceans and ocean life such as corals. We always make sure we use natural non-toxic sun creams which are coral safe.
Why was the Eden Project built?
What is the Eden Project, in their own words?
“The Eden Project is an educational charity and social enterprise. Our destinations and projects explore the interconnections between all living things and demonstrate the power of what people can do when they come together to protect the planet.”
When did the Eden Project open?
According to their website “The doors of the Eden Project open officially for the first time on 17 March 2001.” and they had 1.2 million visitors in their first year alone!
Eating at the Eden Project
There are lots of tasty food options at the Eden Project. We are a vegan family of two adults and two kids and there were a few vegan options for us.
We ate in the main food hall and had vegan pizza and a vegan rice box in March.
In April we had vegan pasties, vegan cakes and coffee.
The kids had ice cream from the ice cream hatch!
In the Mediterranean biome they were in the process of building a new cafe/restaurant which I can’t wait to try once open.
In previous years they had a smoothie station and different food options, so it seems they are always updating and adapting their offerings, keeping it new and exciting when you return in future years.
Tip: take card, not cash, as the Eden Project is a cashless venue.
How much are Eden Project tickets?
Tickets are priced seasonally so the prices do change depending on the date you go. They also have peak and off-peak prices.
To give you an indication of ticket prices, at the time of writing (April), day tickets are £32.50 (off-peak) or £37.50 (peak) per adult, students are £27.50 or £32, children aged 5-16 are £11 or £12, and children aged 0-4 years are free.
If you choose to sign up for a membership, annual pass or local’s pass then you can make great savings if you plan on visiting more than once throughout a year. I’ll share some of the details of each below.
Save money with the Eden Project membership
We signed up for an annual membership with the Eden Project which gives us the following benefits on the family plan we chose:
- A more attractive price which we’ll make back the cost of standard day tickets in just three visits, or less if we take additional guests.
- Members parking in a car park closer to the entrance.
- 10% off all purchases in the cafes, restaurants and shops.
- Free entry for one guest each per visit and up to three children in total.
- Priority booking for events.
- Free entry in November and January to their partner attractions currently including Minack Theatre, The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Pinetum Gardens, Wheal Martyn, Trebah Garden, and National Maritime Museum Cornwall.
- 10% off the online Eden shop.
Do you live in Cornwall or Devon? Save money on Eden Project entrance fees with the locals’ pass
Doh! We didn’t realise they had a locals pass and we purchased the standard annual passes.
We know for next year! However, we do get extra benefits with the membership we chose, such as being able to take a guest each with us, access to partner attractions and discounts in the shops and eateries. So it might actually be more worthwhile for us to stick with the membership.
However, if you are looking for entrance only and aren’t bothered by all the extras of membership, then the local’s pass might be for you if you live nearby. If you live in Cornwall or Devon you can get an annual pass for around half the price of a regular pass, making an incredible saving!
Find out more about the locals’ pass here and prices: https://www.edenproject.com/visit/book-tickets/eden-project-locals-pass
Where is the Eden Project Cornwall?
The Eden Project is in the southeast of Cornwall, located approximately 2 km from St Blazey and 5 km from St Austell.
The Eden Project address is: Eden Project, Bodelva, Cornwall, PL24 2SG
What are the Eden Project opening times?
The Eden Project opening times were 9.45am to 4pm when we visited in March and April.
Further into the summer, from mid-July and beyond, the opening times increase to 9am to 6pm.
At the moment, you book a time slot to visit when booking your tickets. You have 30 minutes to turn up from the start of your time slot. Tickets must be booked in advance, even if you are a member, so you will be sure you are turning up during opening hours as you have to book a slot!
Are dogs allowed at the Eden Project?
Technically, yes. You can bring dogs to the Eden Project, but they are only allowed outside. You cannot take dogs into the biomes unless they are assistance dogs.
You can read more about the Eden Project dog policy here: https://www.edenproject.com/visit/planning-your-visit/visiting-with-your-dog
How long does it take to go around Eden Project?
I think you need at least 3 hours to see the Eden Project, though on a sunny day and if you want to take your time, you could easily spend half a day to a full day there. Without the kids, I’d be quite happy pondering around the biomes, especially the rainforest biome, for a lot longer to read all about the plants and have a good look at them all. It also depends on the weather.
We’ve been in the rain before and so just looked inside, but if the weather is fair then it’s nice to spend time outside looking at the plants and soaking up the sunshine for a bit!
Eden Project TripAdvisor
Click here to check out the Eden Project on TripAdvisor where you can see more traveller photos and reviews, as well as discover nearby places to stay and things to do.
Eden Project events
The Eden Project put on many events throughout the year from music concerts to their own interactive events for regular visitors. When we went with the kids when younger they had a dinosaur-themed event to entertain the children!
Here’s a video I took in 2016 when we visited:
We love the Eden Project for a unique day out with the children. It’s amazing to experience many rainforest plants in real life, many of which we would not be able to see otherwise unless we one day venture to a rainforest for real.
Is Eden Project worth the money? Entrance fees are quite expensive for a one-off visit, but if you’re able to make use of the annual pass or locals pass then you can make some great savings if you visit at least two or three times. It’s definitely a place to visit and experience at least once. If you’re paying for Eden Project tickets for one day trip only then I’d suggest planning to visit for the full day and really taking your time to soak up as much of the information and experience as possible. Perhaps even walk around each biome twice as I bet you’ll spot things on your second walk around that you missed on the first! There’s so much to see up, down and all around!
Follow Ben at wandering.cornwall on Instagram for more pics of our Cornish adventures: