Eden Project, St. Austell

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Eden Project, St. Austell

Museum - Address: Bodelva, St. Austell, Cornwall PL24 2SG

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Review of "Eden Project, St. Austell"

published 26/11/2017 | ravingreviewer
Member since : 28/03/2014
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Super
Pro Good for everyone.
Cons Prices.
exceptional
Prices
Is it worth visiting?
Transport links
Family Friendly

"The garden of Eden."

Eden Project, St. Austell

Eden Project, St. Austell

Having lived within a close enough travelling distance of the Eden Project to be able to make a day trip of it without having to leave home in the early hours of the morning or return home late at night, one would have to admit that I have never visited this particular site until only recently when a trip was made with the autism group of which I am a part of. This is actually quite a significant detail which is the main reason behind my first ever visit, which is something that is going to come up in no doubt at some length during the course of my review.

Opening all the way back in 2001, the Eden Project is situated in Cornwall and is to be found some three and a half miles or thereabouts away from St Austell which is it closest town. The entrance prices are as follows:

Ticket Type Full-price Ticket Advance Annual Pass/Advance Ticket
Adults £27.50 £25
Students £22.50 £20.50
Children 5–16 £14 £12.60
Children 0–4 Free Free
Family ticket £71 £64

There is also the opportunity to become a member, which allows you to get updates on what is happening; cheaper prices at certain times of the year, and priority invites to events and so on that occur here including priority parking. The prices for this are as follows (the first price is the cheaper option if you pay by an annual direct debit, and the second price is what you pay if you pay by credit or debit card):

Individual Membership (1 Member plus 1 family guest) £52/ £58
Individual Over 60 Membership (1 Member aged over 60 plus 1 family guest) £42/ £47
Individual Family Membership (1 Member plus 1 family guest and up to 3 family children per visit) £72/ £80
Joint Membership (2 Members from the same family living at the same address plus 1 family guest each) £72/ £80
Joint Over 60s Membership (2 Members as above both aged over 60 plus 1 family guest each) £62/ £69
Joint Family Membership (2 Members as above plus 1 family guest each and up to 3 family children per visit) £82/ £92

If you live locally (that is in either Devon or Cornwall), then you can get a ‘Locals Pass’ which allows you free entry for up to a year – however, you have to prove that you live in the area, by way of photo ID with something to prove your address. The prices for these are as follows, and as above the first price is if you pay by way of direct debit and the second if you pay by card:

Adult £17.50/ £20.00
Child (aged 5–16) £9.50/ £11.50
Family (two adults and two children) £48.00/ £56.00
Student (full-time) £14.00/ £17.00

And owing to its 'green fingered' ideals, there is also a scheme on offer that offers you a discounted entry fee if you arrive by foot; by bike, or by public transport. This is known as the Green Travel Discount, and proof of travel by public transport is needed by way of a bus or a train ticket - the prices for this are as follows:

Adults: £23.50
Students: £18.50
Children 5–16: £10
Family ticket (two adults and two children): £55

It must be pointed out however that there are of course other charges for things that take place within the Eden Project - there is a weekly parent and toddler group; private guided tours; wedding fayres (including the option of also getting married in the Eden Project), and more seasonal events such as an ice rink and meeting Father Christmas as well as other more themed events at Easter or Halloween. However as I have not had the pleasure of any of these events then I cannot really comment on them, but they are however advertised on their website and in the local or national press - more information to follow!

As already pointed out, the site is some three miles away from St Austell and can be accessed by a number of different ways. The most direct and easiest route for people would be to drive there and park up in one of the many free car parks, but it has to be said that the walk down the slopes to the front entrance is a lot more difficult on the way back up! Therefore, there is a free park and ride bus that goes throughout the car parks and takes people to the main entrance and back again and there is no need to pre-book this either. And for the more energy conscious car travellers among us, there are also electric car charging points on site too - along with spaces for coach parties; those with motorhomes, and even more shaded areas for people with dogs (although dogs are allowed on to the site but not in to the undercover areas not including the Visitor Centre apart from assistance dogs).

There is also the chance to get to the Eden Project by train, and the main nearest railway station is actually at St Austell which is on the mainline from Paddington to Penzance - this then connects to the number 101 bus which is run by First Kernow, and the bus and coach station is situated on the same site as the train station and the timings of the buses are nearly always in line with the train times and run quite regularly. However should you wish to take a slightly more scenic train ride to get there then you can travel to Luxulyan or Bugle or Par, and then continue on either foot or by bike - there are no bus services that run from these stations.

Upon getting to the front entrance by whatever manner you have done so, you walk in and find on the right hand side is one of cafes and the main gift shop. And on the left hand side is the area in which you pay, or indeed present your membership card if this is not your first visit. But not having been here before, I had to go through the whole process of 'signing up' as it were - but as I had gone with the autism group of which I am a member, this was something that I personally didn't have to pay for myself because they have had a grant given them for visiting gardens and other such attractions.

Once we were all sorted out and through the main gates, the day was our own then for as long as we wanted to be there. There is quite a lengthy walk down to the main biomes, and there were a number of different ways to do this. One way was to take advantage of the land train that went down through the slopes on the site; another was to take quite a direct route through the gardens which involved a lot of steps, or the other way was to slowly walk down through the gardens to take in all of the sights - this is what we did, and I took many photos of the grounds whilst doing this (although many of them didn't really come out that well it has to be said!). But owing to the time of year in which we visited the site, some of the flowerbeds and other similar such things were in the processes of being replanted ready for the spring to come.

The biomes do of course take up most of the view, and they are interconnected through a mid section that holds another café/ restaurant. And on entering the building, on one side is the Mediterranean Biome and on the other is the Tropical Rainforest Biome. Those who had been before suggested that it would might be better for a 'first timer' for me to go in the Mediterranean one first, as the Tropical one can of course be rather much hotter.

This piece of advice I took, although it has to be said that those people who had been before had noticed that the Tropical one wasn't actually as hot as they had thought it had been on their last visit.

However on entering the Mediterranean one, I was pleasantly surprised to see many different things from all over the world. Technically speaking this is not just things from the Mediterranean, but from similarly placed ecosystems from around the world - including pampas grass from Australia; flowers and scents from South Africa, and other trees/ plants/ sculptures from Chile and California - all places that quite surprisingly have similar climates to the Mediterranean regions. There is no set route to take in this particular part, as there are so many different little nooks and crannies that it is easy to get lost - but if you walk around in a circle for long enough, then you should eventually come back to where you started off!

Also situated in the middle of this particular area is an indoor seated area for picnics and suchlike, they have no problems with you bringing your own food allow - just so long as you clear it away once you have finished!

However long you have spent in this particular part of the attraction, it is also worth noting that if you have not yet done so then there is also the Tropical Rainforest biome to pay a visit to as well. There are four main areas that you go through in this particular biome, these being the areas from the Tropical Islands; from Southeast Asia; from West Africa and from Tropical South America.

Within this particular biome there is a set route to take owing to the make up on the area, however there are signs throughout the area saying how long it will take you to complete the route - and should you start to feel a little unwell, then you can turn back and retrace your steps from there. However if you wish to carry on, then it is advised on sticking to the main routes in order to get the best experience from being in there.

As you go around the area you will see so many different things that will not only surprise you, but will warm your hearts to see just how diverse this planet is that we live on. From a Malaysian hut complete with vegetable plot and paddy fields; through a waterfall from South America, to an African totem pole to banana plants and rubber trees. And owing to apparently hot this can be at times, there are also a number of water fountains situated at various points during the course of this particular area.

For those who wish to do so, there is towards the end of the tour of this particular area within the Eden Project a chance to go up to a viewing platform that is situated right up in the highest most part of the biome. However for me not being the greatest fan of heights (I don't even like being on the top deck of a double decker bus at the best of times!) and with the steps being the open sort that you see on a fire escape, one can guarantee that I would be stressed even on the first two steps - one part of my autism that comes through too, one believes.

However with all joking aside, this particular area does give you a much better insight overall of how the world works in its general form - as it also gives you how an idea of how generally the food chain works; the temperature of the earth and how it is regulated, and how the different parts of the world all seem to work together in order to create the planet on which we all live in.

Overall, I have to say that although I have heard quite a lot more hype about this particular site I was thoroughly impressed by what I had experienced during my time spent here - and yes, I shall be returning again! Not just because I have been supplied with a year long free pass without even having to pay for it, but because it is a totally out of this world experience in being able to understand just how this world works - or in some cases, doesn't!

In terms of the facilities that are on offer, I do feel that I have covered them in some small way during the course of this review so far to date. However there is no harm one feels in going over them again, just to make sure that everyone who is reading this review is clear on them as I may not have gone in to details in so many ways owing to whatever it was that I was describing at the time.

There are two main café/ restaurant areas that sell food or drink, the first one that you will experience as soon as you enter the site to pay for your entry in to the park. This particular one sells more drinks and snack foods, including small lunch deals such as sandwiches and cakes and meal deals for children. And when you get to the main biome centre, there is another restaurant here too - however, this sells more main meals such as pasties/ chips/ roasts/ soup and so on but some of this yet again is more seasonal and so therefore the menu may change accordingly at times.

But one thing that I will say that although they do have these facilities for people to make the most use out of, there is still the opportunity for people to bring their own food and/ or drink - just so long as they clear up after themselves, the people who work don't really mind what you do!

For those people who may have a disability of any description or visibility, then people are on the whole able to get about the place with no real difficulty - perhaps with the exception of the odd area, but this can easily be found out by getting in to contact with them. Throughout the park there are slopes as well as steps to get to many of the places, and indoors there are also lifts and other such adaptations to help everyone in order to make the most out of their experience of visiting the site.

There are also a number of different toilet facilities throughout the site too, with accessible areas for everyone regardless of their abilities. These are well signposted as is most other things within the site, however there are also a number of very helpful staff in my own personal experience to help you out.

All in all apart from the pricing of the site, I have to say that I was thoroughly pleased with how I got on here - and yes, I shall now be going back to visit the site for suite some time to go yet! However with all things aside, I do also understand that the reasons for prices to be so high are because they put money back in to the site again for other people to enjoy. The experience of being there to my mine far outweighs this, however I do also understand that for some people it may be too expensive for them to visit - but if you contact them in advance, they then may be able to do you a bit of a deal.

There are also the opportunities for educational groups to visit the site too, as well as for people to go and stay there. However this is something that I have to say that I have had no experience of personally, but the main contact details are going to be provided below for you to get in touch for any further information.

The site opens every day apart from Christmas Day and any other special days as advertised, and is normally open by between nine and ten in the morning - but closes as early as four in the afternoon and eight in the evening. However all of the times for opening and closing are on their website, as always - further details are provided below!

Eden Project
Bodelva
Cornwall
PL24 2SG
UK

01726 811911

www.edenproject.com

There is something here to my own mind for everyone, which makes it such a special place for people of all ages or abilities to visit - which is why to my own personal mind, you must pay it a visit.

Thanks for reading, and I also do so hope that you enjoy some of the photos!

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Comments on this review

  • anonymili published 29/12/2017
    Super review
  • siberian-queen published 05/12/2017
    excellent
  • Mac83 published 04/12/2017
    E rev :)
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Product Information : Eden Project, St. Austell

Manufacturer's product description

Museum - Address: Bodelva, St. Austell, Cornwall PL24 2SG

Product Details

Address: Bodelva, St. Austell, Cornwall PL24 2SG

City: Cornwall

Type: Museum

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Listed on Ciao since: 18/05/2010