Explore our enormous indoor rainforest. Trek through the humid tropics via SE Asia, West Africa and South America.
Discover hidden secrets in our Outdoor Gardens. This family trail takes you on an exciting tour around our spacious gardens, with clues designed especially for kids. There’s a surprise at every turn.
Directions: After the Visitor Centre take a moment to admire the view of the Biomes. Then take a left to the Wild Edge. First stop – the Korean Garden, the first of a series of exhibits taking shape along the ‘Wild Edge’ zone.
Family challenge: What do you think the two wooden figures at the entrance of the Korean Garden are for?
Directions: Continue through the Wild Edge, leave Korea and take the left route as the path divides. Follow the path to Wild Cornwall.
Family challenge: Look out for a rare plant carved in stone in the Cornish hedge opposite the stone chamber. Where does the plant come from?
Directions: Continue your journey down the stone path, past the little oaks and around the corner. Turn a sharp left at the path junction. After you pass Plants for Changing Climate the path takes a sharp right. Continue on, pass the Myth and Folklore sign and after a few yards there in front of you, sheltered under a giant Dream Chamber you will find the Labyrinth.
Family challenge: Go on a journey to the centre of the labyrinth and back again - Go clockwise (‘deisul’, sunwise) around the labyrinth for good luck. Anticlockwise (‘widdershins’) ain’t so lucky.
This classic seven-ring Labyrinth is found worldwide. To sailors it was a good-luck token, ensuring safe return. It provided protection against wandering spirits who get lost in the curves (spirits can only travel in straight lines, allegedly). Pete Hill and Kate Munro created the beautiful structure around the labyrinth named the Dream Chamber.
Directions: Meander slowly and quietly through the green shady magical land of Myth and Folklore... Can you see Eve?
Family challenge: What is her face made of? What is her hair made of?
Directions: Retrace your steps until you come to the big red and black sculpture, take the easy access route to your right. Walk down the path and across the road towards North American Prairie, carry on and after a few yards you will discover South African Veld.
Family challenge: Have a look at the sign, what do you think biodiversity means?
Directions: Continue on the main path, walk past Crops and a ship wreck. When you reach the path junction, you will see Global Gardens exhibit in front of you.
Family challenge: Can you spot someone in the Garden? Can you see what their face is made of?
Directions: Follow the path to your left, below the ship wreck, keep walking until you see, the slope of lavender. Walk around to your right to get to the bottom of the slope.
Family challenge: Can you find the Roman in the bathtub? Why is he bathing in lavender?
Directions: Continue towards the Biomes, passing the big white Stage on your right. After a few yards, you will see Bombus the giant bee – you can’t miss it!
Family challenge: Plants can’t move. What insect do they sometimes use to help them move pollen from flower to flower?
Directions: Finally, before you head into the Biomes, take a look at the Biome’s structure from the outside. The Biomes are made of hexagons.
Family challenge: How many sides does a hexagon have? What things in nature are made of hexagons?
Directions: Part two of the trail begins at the water recycling poster. To get here, leave the lower floor of the Link building, between the Biomes. Walk up the path, past the olive trees, and on your right, you will see a giant poster telling the story of Eden’s water supply.
Family challenge: Use the diagram to find out where the water for the Rainforest Biome waterfall comes from.
Directions: Walk past the water poster, and a few steps up the path you will come to the mosaic circle on the ground.
Family challenge: There are lots of symbols in the mosaic. Can you find the one with two arrows? What do you think it means?
Directions: Walk past the pergola and through into the flower gardens alongside the Mediterranean Biome. Walk past the Minibeast Mansion play area. Continue on the brick path, past the curvy ornate metal fence, covered, in the summer, with sweet peas.
Family Challenge: Look closely at the fence, what sort of flowers do you think they represent?
Directions: Continue past the sweet peas, and to your left you will see three little streams of water flowing into a shallow pool, from our Invisible Worlds Fresh Water exhibit shelter.
Family challenge: In the shelter by the three streams discover pictures of a dozen delightful tiny creatures that live in fresh water. Which of these lives a very, very long time?
Directions: Continue along the Blue Border path towards the Core. Spot playful little blackboard signs on your left.
Family challenge: Look out for the sign that says 'bounce'. How many different sorts of signs can you see?
Directions: Go past the pond on your left (it’s behind all those flowers!) and the Soil Root Dome on your right. As you approach the spiky-roofed Core building turn left on the path that leads behind the building.
Family challenge: What shape is the giant butterfly’s tongue?
Directions: When you reach the Core building turn up to your right and walk up the path to exit and shops. Before going all the way to the top, branch right at the path junction, and walk a little way down the path to meet our three Climate Sculptures
Family Challenge: What do you think the first climate sculpture represents? Sun, wind, or water?
Directions: Retrace your steps turning right at the junction. Continue up the hill with hedges on both sides, past a giant spider. Just after a little cob shelter, the path takes a steep left turn. On the right there is a timeline on the wall with some mosaics in it.
Family challenge: Look at the image of the mosaic. It shows the first plants that ever came onto land. What are they called?
Directions: Before you head to the Visitor Centre take a look at the Biomes through the specially placed metal picture frame. A picture shows what they looked like as they were being built.
Family challenge: When did we start transforming a clay pit into a global garden?