Access guide

The Eden Project wants to provide a great experience for all ages, abilities and backgrounds. We're proud to have been awarded the Readers’ Choice award at the Rough Guide to Accessible Britain Awards in 2010.

We work with the Sensory Trust to find creative approaches to physical access and sharing information. If you have a question you'd like to ask us about access or facilities and you can't find the answer on this page please email us and we'll ensure you have all the information you need before you visit.

In this guide

  1. Before you arrive: planning your visit and personal assistance
  2. How to get to the Eden Project
  3. When you arrive
  4. During your visit
  5. Leaving
  6. Useful contacts

1. Before you arrive: planning your visit and personal assistance

Access volunteers

We offer a scheme for people who experience mobility or sensory impairments. We have an excellent team of volunteers to assist visitors around the project. There is no charge for this service. In order to ensure that there is a volunteer available please book at least two weeks in advance by telephone on (01726) 818895 before your visit (Mon-Fri 9.30 - 13.30, if calling outside these hours please call 01726 811911 for the main switchboard). When on site a member of staff is always close at hand to offer you all/any assistance required.

Assistance dogs

Assistance dogs are welcome at Eden and water is available for them around the site.

Carers

If you have carers to help you, there is no admission charge for them.

Wheelchairs

We welcome all types of mobility vehicles and we also have a number of manual wheelchairs (approx 40) which are free of charge and available to borrow on a first come first served basis *booking isn’t necessary for the manual chairs* These chairs are stored in the disabled parking areas Apple 1 & 2.

We have a very small number of powered chairs which are available to book in advance (we recommend one month's notice to avoid disappointment)

If you would like to book a powered chair please call 01726 818895 during office hours (Mon-Fri 9.30 - 13.30, if calling outside these hours please call 01726 811911 for the main switchboard)

2. How to get to the Eden Project

Please check our Directions page, which includes information on how to get here on foot, by bike, car, public transport, or from the airport.

3. When you arrive

Parking

There is plenty of free parking at Eden. We have lots of car park stewards to help you. All of the car parks are named after fruit, like Banana, Apple, Orange or Strawberry to help you remember where you are parked. You might have to park away from the entrance because the site is so large however this can often be the easiest and shortest way to get to the entrance. There are Park-and-ride buses that will take you from the car parks to the drop off point nearest the entrance and Visitor Centre. There are well signposted footpaths if you would like to walk to the entrance and Visitor Centre. If you have any questions about disabled parking and access issues please call our Access Eden helpline on 01726 818895(Mon-Fri 9.30 - 13.30, if calling outside these hours please call 01726 811911 for the main switchboard) .

Park-and-ride

The Park-and-ride buses run a non-stop service from the car parks to the nearest drop off point to the Visitor Centre. The buses are fully accessible and all pick up and drop off points have raised kerbs to accommodate access.

Accessible parking

When you drive into the Eden Project please display your Blue Badge clearly if you have one. If you are not a Blue badge holder but need accessible parking please speak to a car park steward when you arrive. Accessible parking spaces are available in car parks Apple 1, Apple 2 and Banana. The car park stewards will direct you. Please note the Park-and-Ride buses do not run from these car parks. To get to the Visitor Centre from Apple 1 car park you need to go down a tarmac path. The path is 32 metres long. The gradient is 1:18 with a short steeper section at 1:10. You can book assistance before you arrive. Please telephone 01726 818895 for more information (Mon-Fri 9.30 - 13.30, if calling outside these hours please call 01726 811911 for the main switchboard). There are manual wheelchairs available in Apple 1 car park.

Drop-off points

If you need to drop off someone there is a drop-off area in Apple 2 car park – for directions just ask any of our car park stewards. If further assistance is required please call the steward team on 07929 202408.

Taxi drop-off

The taxi drop off point is Banana coach park where you will also find toilet facilities and lockers.

Visitor Centre

In front of the Visitor Centre there is a covered area. This area has flat level access. There are toilets and a cash point and on the right is the Visitor Centre where you buy tickets and enter the Eden Project. If you need to borrow a wheelchair or would like assistance please see a steward in the Visitor Centre.

Accessible toilet

The Changing Places accessible toilet in the Visitor Centre includes a height adjustable changing bench, a hoist system, shower and space for a disabled person and up to two carers.

Tactile map

While you're in the Visitor Centre, why not explore our tactile map, which gives a textured experience of the different architecture and landscapes of the Eden Project?

4. During your visit

a) Getting Around

Gradients and surfaces

The Eden Project is an old clay mine and as such it is a challenging site with a variety of gradients. Zig-zag paths that cross the slopes have been used to keep steep gradients to a minimum. There are a number of accessible transport options on site and the stewards are always keen to help. Path surfaces on site inside and outside the biomes are tarmaced except for some of the paths in the Outdoor Biome in the Wild Cornwall area.  Please not that the upper floor of the link building, whilst accessible, is a decked area, so could prove bumpy for some mobility vehicles.  If you experience, or think you might experience probelms please contact a member of staff either before your visit or whilst you're here who will help you access the biomes via an alternative route.

Recommended routes

There are three recommended routes from the Visitor Centre to the Link building. Inside the Link building you will find a range of facilities including cafes, seating, toilets and of course the entrances to the Biomes. These routes offer the easiest access to the Biomes.

Route 1: Minimum gradient - The Core

Turn to the right from the Visitor Centre, go over the bridge and take the lift down to the back of the Core building. Enter the first floor of the Core through the automatic doors on the deck area. Take the lift from beyond the Eden Deli to ground level. You can then exit the building and turn right. This is the main path to the Link building and the Biomes.

Route 2: Gentle gradient - The zig-zag path

Walk left from the Visitor Centre down the zig-zag path which is a continuous 1:18 graded tarmac path with landings at each end. This is the most commonly used route, keep heading down to the middle of the pit and then head to the Link building and the entrance to the biomes.

Route 3: Assisted transport - The Land Train

Turn left from the Visitor Centre and take the left turning under the covered walkway to the Land Train. The Land train will take you through the Outdoor Biome to the Stage area which is a short flat walk from the Link building and the entrance to the biomes. The last carriage has been adapted to accommodate up to 3 wheelchairs, it is also able to carry most larger mobility wheelchairs. The entrance to the Biomes is through the Link building which is between the two biomes. The Link building contains restaurants, cafes and toilets.

b) Accessible services and facilities

To help Eden provide you with the best possible service we ask you to provide any access requirements you may have when booking your tickets. The box office staff are fully trained to help with any information regarding access and have attended TypeTalk training. Tickets can be booked by telephoning the box office on (01726) 811972 or on the Tickets page of our website.

c) Toilets

All toilets on site are easily accessible and offer accessible facilities. They are located in Banana coach park, the Visitor Centre (on the left as you come in), The Core and in the Link Building between the Biomes (in both Zzub Zzub and between Pasty and Café Bar on the ground floor and on the Link Bridge).

d) Hearing loops

Hearing loops are available at 3 of the ticketing booths located in the Visitor Centre at arrival. They will be shown by the T and ear symbol sign on the desks. We also have accessible telephones fitted with an induction loop, which work with a behind-the-ear hearing aid set to 'T'; please ask Eden staff for location of the nearest telephone.

e) Information (large print, Braille, audio tours)

Eden has developed a series of Discover packs with the Sensory Trust. These guidebooks are available to read in the Coffee House in the Visitor Centre and in the Eden Deli in the Core building. They are available in English, Easy English, Large Print, Widgit, on CD and also in French, German and Japanese. There is a Braille translation available to borrow while visiting Eden, and an MP3 version available via email: please call 01726 818878 or email jcollings@edenproject.com. We have installed a braille exhibit in the Core, where visitors can explore the carbon footprint of everyday items.

f) Food and drink

The restaurants and cafés at Eden offer vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options and do not knowingly include GM ingredients in any of our food. As well as enjoying the food you can also find out all about food and how it grows at Eden. We support the local economy by buying local food when we can.

Our permanent catering outlets and bars have dropped counters to help with accessibility.

g) Seating and shelter

Eden has plenty of sheltered and indoor spaces as well as the great outdoors. There are also plenty of places to take a rest, on a seat or on some grass.

h) Medical assistance

If you require medical assistance please speak to a member of the Eden Team who will call a member of the First Aid Team. We have a First Aid room in the Visitor Centre, the Link Building and the Core. We also have a paramedic onsite.

i) Sensory highlights

The Eden Project is a feast for all the senses.

  • Sight
    After arriving at Eden you will go through the Visitor Centre and step out onto the viewing platform where you will be presented with the spectacle that is Eden. The breathtaking landscape encircles the Biomes, giant stage and the Core, our unique copper roofed building. The more you look the more you see. As you explore you will be tantalised by the colours, shapes and patterns that present themselves! Eden is a living project that will be different every time you come.
  • Touch
    The Biomes offer a full sensory experience as you travel from the temperate tropics outside through the humidity of the Rainforest Biome and the dry warmth of the Mediterranean Biome. There are many natural textures that can be explored in the Outdoor Biome particularly in Wild Cornwall. Don’t forget to check out the back wall in the Core which is covered in hand prints; see if you can find one the same as your own. Also, check out our tactile map in the Visitor Centre and our braille exhibit on carbon in the Core.
  • Sound
    Listen to the roar of the waterfall in the Rainforest Biome, or see if you can identify some of the British birds that have made the Outdoor Biome their home. Every summer Eden puts on the Eden Sessions, a series of outdoor concerts; come and experience the joy of music in the magical setting of Eden.
  • Smell
    Take in the rich smell of nature decomposing in the Rainforest Biome and the dry fragrance in the Mediterranean Biome. Outside you will find a range of heady scents through the garden of flowers, lilies, sweet peas and many more!
  • Taste
    Enjoy the fresh taste of local produce at all of the restaurants and cafes or try our own Eden Ale, brewed by Sharp’s Brewery. Cool down with a Cornish ice cream or take home a tempting treat from the Shop. Look out for our Pollination team who can sometimes be found handing out tasters of chai tea or chocolate.

5. When you leave

Park-and-Ride

The Park-and-Ride buses run a non-stop service from the pick-up point at the end of the covered path from the Visitor Centre. Please ask a steward if you need assistance up this path. The buses are fully accessible and all pick up and drop off points have raised kerbs to accommodate access.

Buses

All bus services to St. Austell, St Austell train station, Newquay, Helston, Falmouth and Truro leave from Banana car park. Telephone the Traveline on 0871 200 22 33 for timetables and more information.

Feedback

We are always looking for feedback, good or bad, on the service and experience that we provide. Please take the time to let us know about your visit, what worked and what could work better.

6. Useful contacts

Eden information line

Telephone (01726) 811911 for general information.

Box office

Email boxoffice@edenproject.com for box office enquiries.

Eden Access volunteers & Powerchair bookings

Telephone (01726) 818895(Mon-Fri 9.30 - 13.30, if calling outside these hours please call 01726 811911 for the main switchboard)

Sensory Trust

Telephone (01726) 222900 or email enquiries@sensorytrust.org.uk

 

This access guide for the Eden Project has been developed by the Sensory Trust. The guide is based on the Access Chain which looks at access through the stages of a visitor’s experience.

Person walking along path behind person in wheelchairChild touching tactile map of Eden Project with adults looking onPlaque embossed with Braille with illustration of a Smart Car

Fantastic feedback from visitors [to Eden], saying everything is thought through from start to finish.

Rough Guide to Accessible Britain