Looking for alternative plans is generally the norm when bad weather puts a damper on outside sightseeing. A museum visit is an easy idea. However, with a little digging, you can sometimes find something more unique to do. In Cornwall, if the weather is gloomy, you can still wander cliffs and bluffs like the ones found in areas such as Land’s End. But if it is out right raining, why not check out Eden Project. It’s a great place where you can be outside without actually being outside!
Eden Project is located in Cornwall, England. It is a fairly large complex of adjoining domed biomes situated in a now defunct clay pit. When I first saw it in the dripping gloom, it appealed to the sci-fi nerd in me as it looked like a human habitat on a different planet! The steel-framed domes are constructed from inflated thermoplastic cells which gives it a rather futuristic appearance.
There are several biomes that make up Eden Project. The first biome represents the tropical world so inside, it is very warm and humid. Meandering the path through the biome will take you through exotic flowers, towering trees, thick verdant vegetation, waving bamboo, and delicious looking plants including banana and cocoa. There is even a waterfall. This particular biome is actually the world’s largest indoor rainforest so you can check that random box off your bucket list!
The second biome represents the Mediterranean climate – it is warm and dry inside. There are all sorts of Mediterranean plants including olive and grape vineyards. There are some interesting looking cacti and some rather giant flowers. There is also an outdoor biome that may be a tad wet if you are going on a rainy day. This particular biome represents temperate regions of the world so has plants like lavender, sunflowers, and vegetables.
The complex also includes classrooms and exhibition space. This is because Eden Project considers itself to be a proponent of environmental education. Their goal is to teach people about sustainability and the interdependence of plants and humans. In doing so, they have found many creative ways to reflect their teachings. For example, they recently opened a hostel on site where the bedrooms are made from shipping containers. They also harvest rain water for plants, toilets, and the tropical biome (the waterfall and the humidity). Their gift shop is also a pretty cool place, selling a wide variety of items made from sustainable or reclaimed material. It was one of the very few times when I actually enjoyed browsing through a gift shop!