The Eden Project is a popular tourist attraction in St Blazey, Cornwall, where hundreds of unusual and beautiful plants are cultivated. The state-of-the-art multiple greenhouse complex features futuristic biomes that house plants collected from all over the world, from a multitude of environments and climates.
The largest greenhouse, the spectacular Tropical Biome, spans a massive 3.9 acres and stands 180 feet high. It is filled with plants that are nurtured at a tropical temperature such as fruiting banana, giant bamboo, rubber and coffee plants.
The adjacent 1.6-acre Mediterranean Biome is 115 feet high and covers an area of 1.6 hectares. It houses plants that thrive in a warm, arid environment including olives and grape vines, as well as a host of beautiful sculptures.
The idea for the Eden Project was formed in January 1995, when plans to build the greenhouses in a clay pit began to come to fruition. The project was the brainchild of Tim Smit, the British businessman who is renowned for creating the Lost Gardens of Heligan – another popular botanical garden that is also in Cornwall.
Architect firm Grimshaw drew up the original plans for the Eden Project, based on Smit’s ideas, in October 1996. The design began to develop into the two giant “bubbles” that are now a popular landmark on Cornwall’s skyline. The design was chosen because it was versatile enough to be stable on any surface, including clay.
The Eden Project opened to the public in March 2001, when the construction was finally completed. The Times newspaper called it the “eighth wonder of the world” and by June 2001, more than one million people had visited the attraction.
A must visit
Over the years, the project has developed and transformed into one of Cornwall’s biggest and most spectacular visitor destinations.
In August 2002, Eden launched the first of a series of one-day music festivals, when Pulp was the headline band. Other stars who have appeared in subsequent years have included Oasis, Paolo Nutini, Amy Winehouse and Muse.
Eden launched its global gardening initiative in January 2004 – an educational programme to help children to create their own gardens, while exploring food produce and the environments. Thousands of children across four continents have joined the initiative over the years.
In November 2004, Cornwall’s first undercover ice-rink was constructed at Eden. Some 100,000 people enjoy skating there each year and its annual winter festival is world-famous.
In May 2013, the first community camp opened, inviting visitors to join a residential camp to gain practical ideas of how to engage people in gardening in their own home town.
In June 2013, the treetop walkway opened. Aimed at educating visitors about the importance of the rain forests, while offering spectacular views across the landscape, the facility was further enhanced in 2017 with the opening of a new section.
In October 2014, the attraction opened its Eden Project Hostel – comprising hotel accommodation for up to 228 guests in comfortable en-suite bedrooms.
Continually developing with new ideas, the attraction now offers apprenticeships in horticulture, hospitality, creative design and media, in association with Cornwall College.
Thanks to its multitude of attractions, the Eden Project provides fun for all the family. There’s something different for everyone, including diverse music events and half-term family fun.
The beauty of the Eden Project is that it remains eco-friendly, with the emphasis on ethical, sustainable and recycled products. No matter how large it becomes, or how many people visit, it will always retain its environmentally-friendly ethos.
If you fancy visiting the Eden Project, a Driveline motorhome is ideal for getting away from it all and appreciating Cornwall’s breathtakingly beautiful countryside. To enjoy the fun and freedom of the open road, please contact us.