The Eden Project is a 30-acre site near St Austell in Cornwall that is popular both with guests staying at the Langstone Cliff Hotel, and with visitors from around the world.
Often described as the “8th wonder of the world”, the Eden Project really does need to be seen to be believed. The giant crater that it sits in, the enormous rainforest & mediterranean biomes and the outdoor gardens are breathtaking and a “must-see” for everyone.
The site of the Eden Project was formerly a china clay quarry. The quarry had been excavated for more than 150 years and was exhausted by the mid-1990s.
Construction of the Eden Project began in 1998, having been in the planning stage for around 2 years. Many obstacles stood in the way, including filling the deeper holes created by years of excavation and then repurposing 80,000 cubic metres of fill to other areas of the site.
Despite several setbacks, the visitor centre opened in May 2000 and the Eden Project was fully opened in March 2001.
The Eden Project is dominated by 2 enormous domes that have been created to imitate natural biomes.
Construction of the domes was a remarkable engineering feat. Combined, they cover in excess of 5 acres of land, while more than 230 miles of poles were used to create what was (at the time) the largest birdcage scaffolding in the world.
The panels, or cells, are manufactured from multiple layers of ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE), which are then sealed and inflated in order to create what is, in effect, a large pillow.
The Mediterranean Biome is the smaller (and cooler) of the 2, but equally as awe-inspiring. With temperatures that fluctuate between 9*c-25*c, it shouldn’t feel too different to a pleasant day at home in the United Kingdom.
Although it is called the Mediterranean Biome, you will also find eye-catching flowers, perfect plants and irresistible aromas from as far afield as the United States, Australia and South Africa.
The Mediterranean influence definitely dictates this wonderful space though, and you can easily immerse yourself in the beautiful surroundings and believe that you are on a break in Italy, Greece or Spain. If the sight of flourishing olive trees, climbing vines and an abundance of citrus fruits wasn’t enough, the smell of garlic and basil wafting from the freshly-baked pizzas in the cafe will either put you in holiday mode, make you hungry – or both!
With more than 1,000 varieties of plants, you can easily spend an hour or 2 wandering through the different areas looking, learning and smelling.
The Rainforest Biome is the largest, warmest and (arguably) the most popular of the 2 domes. With temperatures varying from 18*c-35*c, it is important to wear items of clothing that can be removed to combat the heat and humidity.
Like its Mediterranean counterpart, the Rainforest Biome is home to more than 1,000 different species of plants, so the time will fly by as you understand more about the origins of the plants and how important they are to humankind.
The vibrant colours on display are from all over the world, including South-East Asia, South America, West Africa and many different tropical islands.
For the thrill seekers, the Eden Project also boasts a number of adventure activities to get your heart racing.
Although it starts off low to the ground, Skytrek quickly elevates you to the higher levels of the aerial assault course. Once you complete the course, a zip wire transports you back to the beginning.
If jumping off of a platform onto an enormous airbag sounds like your idea of fun, then Big Air is definitely the activity for you.
You will start off at the lowest level to ensure that your technique is correct, before progressing to the next level, and then, the final level!
While it may not sound that bad, the final level is approximately 40ft high, meaning that it is higher than the average house in the UK!
The Drop is a controlled jump from a platform on the edge of a cliff.
Attached to a descender rope, you jump from the 33ft high platform and free fall until the rope regulates your fall and stops you gently and comfortably.
Gravity is a giant swing that offers panoramic views of the Eden Project while you are stationary. Then, moments later, you are released and are hurtling towards the ground at 80km per hour!
Riders will encounter the pressure of multiple G force and zero gravity weightlessness within seconds of each other – this is not for the fainthearted!
Last but not least, there is SkyWire.
Officially England’s longest and fastest zip wire experience, you start off from the edge of a cliff while suspended 100m above the ground.
You then travel the 660m length of the zip wire at speeds of up to 60mph, before coming to a cushioned stop at the other end.
As such an iconic structure, it is unsurprising that the Eden Project has been featured on TV and in movies on multiple occasions.
The Eden Project appeared in Die Another Day, which was the twentieth James Bond movie, and the fourth and final outing for Pierce Brosnan as 007. The biomes doubled-up as the ice palace of Gustav Graves in the 2002 blockbuster.
Comedian Jack Whitehall filmed scenes at the Eden Project for his role in The Bad Education Movie, one of which included him riding the zip wire.
In addition to its movie appearances, the Eden Project has also been featured in many TV shows, including How To Grow A Planet, The Day Of The Triffids, Gardeners World and Children In Need.
After the Eden Project opened in 2001, the Eden Sessions commenced the following summer.
Each year, a series of parties is hosted during June and July, with headliners from an array of musical genres.
Over the years, the Eden Sessions have welcomed Oasis, Pet Shop Boys, Amy Winehouse, Calvin Harris, Bryan Adams, Kylie Minogue and many more world-renowned artists to the stage.
The World Pasty Championships began in 2012. It is hosted at the Eden Project and is sponsored by the Cornish Pasty Association.
While the inaugural pasty championships garnered just over 100 entries, interest has grown exponentially and it now attracts more than 200 submissions across the Cornish Pasty and Open Savoury categories.
Entrants in the Cornish Pasty category must contain traditional ingredients and be made in Cornwall, while the Open Savoury category welcomes submissions from around the world. In the past, the Open Savoury category has attracted entries from Canada, Chile, India and the United States.
In addition to the existing site in Cornwall, the Eden Project is moving forward with plans to create additional projects at other locations.
Development is underway to create a marine-based Eden Project in Morecambe, Lancashire. Work is ongoing and the site is expected to open in 2024.
Also expected in 2024 is the Eden Project’s first site in Scotland. Positioned on the waterfront, the attraction will occupy what was formerly the Dundee Gasworks.
Although not yet confirmed, plans are currently being explored for a potential Eden Project site in the South Downs National Park.
The Eden Project is open year-round, with opening and closing times that vary by the season. The gates always open 15 minutes prior to the ticket kiosks, allowing visitors the opportunity to maximise their time inside.
We recommend that you check the Eden Project website before travelling.
The Eden Project is located around 80 miles from Langstone Cliff Hotel and takes approximately 1 hour 45 minutes to reach by car.
When leaving the hotel, head north-west towards Mount Pleasant Road and continue onto Dawlish Warren Road for around 1.5 miles. Turn right onto Church Road and then right again onto the A379 (Exeter Road).
Continue for approximately 6 miles before merging onto the A38 (Devon Expy). Proceed on the A38 for around 4 miles before taking the A30 West slip road to Okehampton/Exeter/A377.
Once on the A30, continue for approximately 65 miles before using the left lane to take the A389/A391 slip road to Wadebridge/St Austell. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto the A391.
After 1 mile, turn left from the A391 and proceed for around 2.5 miles, before turning right and continuing for 1.5 miles. Finally, turn left and continue onto Bodelva Road and the Eden Project will be on your right.
You’ll find our family-run hotel set within 19 acres of woodlands, right on the beautiful south coast of Devon. Thanks to our stunning location, the Langstone Cliff is the only choice when it comes to enjoying a beautiful South Devon hotel getaway.
Overlooking the Exe Estuary, we are the only Dawlish hotel that is surrounded by luscious lawns and gardens, not forgetting the magnificent sea views that lead down to the golden sandy beaches and the Warren. Our hotel’s reputation is unrivalled and it is something the Owners (the Roger’s family) are extremely proud of. With the beach just a short walk away via a public footpath and the internationally famous nature reserve at Dawlish Warren nearby, why would you want to stay anywhere else?