Eden Project, Cornwall, England

Eden Project view, Cornwall, England, UK

The Eden Project, Cornwall’s greatest tourist attraction.

What is the Eden Project?

Now that Land’s End has been permitted to deteriorate into a squalid churning, gurning mass of lower life forms – Cornwall’s primary sight is the spectacularly ambitious and successful Eden Project close to St Austell that features exotic plant species from all over the world inside and outside bio-domes.

Opened in 2001, the Eden Project’s central theme is the global environment with the two large domes (Rainforest and Mediterranean) offering natural arrangements of typical plants (over 250, 000 of them) in, respectively, an authentically steamy tropical setting and a temperate, Mediterranean environment.

The Eden Project’s geodesic domes, otherwise known as biomes, consist of inflated UV-transparent sheets of thermoplastic (ETFE film) supported by tubular steel frames, all set in a disused Cornish clay pit. The entire operation is environmentally friendly, not only with regard to recycling all waste products and paperless ticketing but also almost all water used comes courtesy of the sky while power is generated by Cornish wind turbines.

Eden Project Sights

Eden Project, Rainforest Dome, Cornwall, England, UK

The Eden rainforest biodome, giving a good feel of the plants, temperature and humidity but missing something. . . no, not the critters, but the noise of a squillion insects looking for a mate.

The complex includes colourful outdoor planted areas and bizarre sculptures as well as entertaining educational facilities that encourage visitors to understand the essential relationship between people and plants around the world – all structured in an imaginative, environmentally aware way.

Eden Project, Mediterranean Dome, Cornwall, England, UK

The Eden Mediterranean biodome, which totally failed to impress the bugcrew. We preferred the colourful and interesting external displays to either of the domes.

Eden Project, green kiosk, Cornwall, England

Apart from a couple of large eco-oriented restaurants Eden offers snacks from this imaginatively decorated living kiosk.

Eden Project, white garden, Cornwall, England

There’s plenty of colour outside the domes, but we thought this all-white patch worked well.

Eden Project, kid

Kids are catered for too, with a series of little nookish gardens sporting funny sculptures, living tunnels and climbing frames.

Eden Project, cannabis garden, Cornwall, England

The cannabis garden, framed with hemp rope (i. e. processed cannabis plant) and backed appropriately by the concert stage that features leading rock acts in the summertime.

Cornwall pictures, England, UK

Poppies plants too, with educational information alongside, as usual.

Tim Smit

The primary instigator of the Eden Project is an Anglo-Dutch ex-archeology student, ex-millionaire record producer (Barry Manilow among others) called Tim Smit.

On moving to Cornwall in 1987 he discovered the remains of magnificent ancient gardens next door and spent two years restoring them with the help of local enthusiasts. These Lost Gardens of Heligan have now become one of the country’s top botanical attractions, so Smit has a history of green-fingered success.

Getting to Eden/St Austell

Arriving by air, the nearest airport is Newquay. In the summer the T10 bus goes directly to Eden from the airport.
By car, take the M5 motorway to Exeter then the A30 to Innis Downs. Eden is well signposted from Exeter and Plymouth.
By train tourists can travel to St Austell from London’s Paddington to Penzance, with additional services from Aberdeen, via Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham and many other stops in between.

For further official  information see Visiting Eden.