Eden Project, Cornwall, England
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.
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.