Visiting the Eden Project has sat gathering dust on my bucket list for years now. I adore spending my free-time in botanical gardens, wandering around and looking at all the amazing plants and flowers. I have even been known to lurk around a garden centre or two. Luckily for me, Gareth also enjoys spending time outdoors and had also really wanted to visit The Eden Project. Anyway, when we decided to book our holiday, we definitely had it in mind.
Entrance in to The Eden Project is £27.50 per adult, but Gareth’s mum kindly donated her Tesco Clubcard points to us so we got in for free. (Yay!)
As we entered we were greeted by the sight of those iconic biome structures, looming impressively up in to the sky. Shouldered by carved out quarry, lush green trees and nestled in the midst of carefully sculpted flower beds, the Eden Project looked beautiful. Overhead was a zip wire and as we descended the hill towards the biomes we laughed at the brave people whizzing past.
There are two main biomes at The Eden Project. A rainforest biome with tropical trees and plants and the other Mediterranean. For the sake of not overwhelming my post with around 60-odd photos I’m going to split The Eden Project up over two blogs. In this one I will be talking about the rainforest biome.
As soon as we had stepped in to the biome the the heat hit me in a wave. Unsurprisingly tropical plants require tropical climes. That translates to a very hot and damp atmosphere, one that feels slightly disorientating when stepped in to from the cold. The other thing I immediately noticed was how tall the trees were and how wild it all seemed. Great big tangles of ferns and plants thriving and spreading out creating a very real sensation of being in an actual jungle.
We noticed a small sign that described some of the wildlife that had been introduced in to The Eden Project for the purpose of controlling damaging insects. Small lizards, tree frogs and roul-roul partridges.
I was determined to seek out these unusual creatures, no doubt lurking just below the foliage. It wasn’t long before we spotted the partridges with their funny red mohawks, pecking and scratching at the soil.
The rainforest biome is home to many exotic species of plants and covers everything from the Tropical Islands, Southeast Asia, West Africa and Tropical South America. As we walked down the damp pathways we were surprised and delighted at every corner. The Malaysian Hut with its’ vegetable plot and paddy field was particularly interesting and looked as if it had been scooped up from a real rainforest.
I was excited to get up close to the Titan Arum which is the worlds largest perennial herb. This exotic and rare plant looks incredible and when fully open, smells of rotting flesh. Fortunately it wasn’t open when we were there although that could have been quite a unique experience!
Eventually we came across the canopy walkway; a series of precarious looking rope bridges weaving high above the plants below. On one of the bridges clouds of steam curled up from below creating an interesting fog effect that everyone wanted to stop and take photographs in.
At the heart of the rainforest biome is an impressive crashing waterfall, sending spray out across the path and pooling in a little pond below. This pond contained the most enormous lily pads we had ever seen.
For those who are very brave, there is a swaying metal staircase that leads to a suspended platform right at the very top of the biome, affording impressive views of the entire rainforest. I was not so brave so I let Gareth go ahead without me, armed with my camera whilst I sat and watched a brown lizard crawl across a canopy. Looking at the photos he took I can tell the view was beautiful but it’s definitely not for the faint-hearted.
One of the wonderful things (and there are many wonderful things) about The Eden Project and the rainforest biome is the sheer amount of unique and interesting things there is to see. Cacoa pods hanging from branches, bunches of green bananas growing high above, wild rubber plants and incredible pineapples springing up from the ground. The Eden Project takes the secrets and beauty of the jungle and reveals it to you bit by bit as you make your way around the 240 metre long structure.
Of the two biomes this was my favourite but honestly I enjoyed exploring both. Keep your eyes peeled for the next post in which I will be talking about the Mediterranean biome!