Off the beaten track at Eden: 10 things not to miss

June 26, 2013
Author: Matt Ashdown

A visit to Eden isn't just all about the Biomes; there are all sorts of quiet spots to discover off the beaten track, from hidden huts to woodland glades to scented gardens. We spoke to staff and visitors to bring you this list of 10 places you shouldn't miss on your next visit to Eden - whether you're an experienced gardener or are simply looking to get away from it all.

1. Lose yourself in Wild Cornwall

High up on the brim of the Eden Project, and with great views over our bustling Biomes, our Wild Cornwall area takes you through tranquil paths bordered with bramble, budding oak, willow, ash and hazel. Traditional stone walls, wild flowers, ferns and Neolithic-looking rocks give a real feeling of being out in the wild Cornish countryside. Look out for stone carvings emerging from the moss and lichen.

Wild Cornwall and the Cloud Chamber

2. Soak up the sun

On a sun-kissed day, put your factor 50 on and take a seat amongst the scented geraniums, olive trees, yuccas, agaves and Chilean wine palms in our Plants for Dry Places garden. This giant rockery was designed to show which plants might grow in a hotter, drier climate in the future, but it also makes a lovely sun trap, set against a south facing cliff face.

The steps in the Plants for Dry Places

3. Pay a visit to Eve

Find your way through to a quiet land of myth and stories, where you’ll spot Eve, a curvaceous earth sculpture, laying in the shade. Don't miss the Willow Dream Chamber, an inspirational and calming willow structure with an ancient pattern inside that you can follow to the centre.

The Willow Dream Chamber and it's labyrinth

4. Hide out on the prairie

In August, our prairie is out in full. Walk up the steps beside it and you’ll find a quirky little hut situated at the top. It’s a perfect shelter to take a few moments' rest and look out over the site. One visitor told us he’d found a relaxing and creative use for it: ‘My wife meditated while I sketched the Biomes.’

The prairie and the hut

5. Get inspiration on the allotment

The Global Gardens offer a patchwork of fruit and vegetables from around the world. Stroll through archways of climbing French beans; immerse yourself in rows of chillies, peas, garlic, potatoes and chard, growing amongst splashes of marigold. You'll find plenty of inspiration for your own allotment, and if you’re lucky, you might catch one of our gardeners at work, who’s always happy to chat.

Gardener standing in the Global Allotment

6. Take the shaded path

Take a different route down to the hot Biomes; shaded by table-top trained platanus, the 'plane tree steps' are planted with borders of gorgeous woodland flowers. During summer you'll see white foxgloves and agapanthus, while in winter crocuses and helleborus add colour. Nearby, our pergolas and arches in the Garden of Senses are dripping with plants roses and clematis.


7. Enjoy lunch in the Med

Our Med Terrace is a relaxing place to sip a glass of wine and tuck into some delicious Mediterranean food. Enjoy homemade pizza or paella al-fresco-style amongst the olive trees and herbs. It smells gorgeous in there on a warm day. Check out the secret bench under the bougainvillea-clad pergola too; a great place to take the weight off your feet.

View of the Mediterranean Cafe

8. Have the garden to yourself

Head off the beaten track behind the Core building to find our Japanese-style hollow. In spring you'll be greeted by magnolia, acers, primula and aquilegia, while the great variety of trees and grasses make this worth a look all year round.

Grasses and plants behind The Core

9. Immerse yourself in art

A giant seed-shaped sculpture, made from one piece of granite, sits in an airy chamber at the centre of the Core building. Created by Peter Randall-Page, it's an object of contemplation and meditation, with cool surroundings and interesting acoustics. Walk around it and stimulate your sense of space - or lean against the wall and figure out how we managed to get it in there!

Seed sculpture in a chamber

10. Take a plant home with you

If you're inspired by our garden displays and want to recreate a little bit of Eden at home, don't miss the Plant Deck on your way out. Just outside the Visitor Centre, it features many of the plants you'll have seen on your visit, including olives, citrus, succulents, cacti, perrenials, herbs and ferns.

Visitors buying plants at the Eden Project

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