A birthday trip to the Eden Project and Hangloose

Thinking of visiting the Eden Project and Hangloose? Find out how we enjoyed our birthday trip to both whilst staying at Roadford Lake Lodges. As a family, we’d been meaning to visit The Eden Project for many years and we decided to go down for the day from Roadford as it was so accessible – it only took us 50 minutes down the A30 door-to-door. The perfect chance came when we were looking for some adrenalin-fuelled fun for our son’s 15th birthday and we decided to combine a stay at Snowdrop Lodge with a trip to the Eden Project and a Hangloose Adventure package for him and a friend. Hangloose is an outside adventure centre based at the Eden Project site. It proved to be a perfect combination for a very special day!

The Eden Project bee in the garden

About the Eden Project

The world-renowned Eden Project is an educational charity. Its mission is to create a movement that builds relationships between people and the natural world to demonstrate the power of working together for the benefit of all living things.

In the year 2000, after years of planning, investment and hard work, the team involved transformed a former barren china clay pit in Cornwall, a huge crater 15m below the water table, with no soil and no plants, into a groundbreaking and beautiful ‘Living Theatre of Plants and People’. Why did they do it? To demonstrate transformation and to show that we can all leave the world better than we found it.

Inside the tropical biome of the Eden Project

Today, nestled in this crater, their massive covered Biomes house a fully-grown rainforest, Mediterranean landscapes, crop displays, art installations, exhibitions and stories. They serve as the backdrop to their striking contemporary Outdoor Gardens where they grow wild and cultivated landscapes, exhibits, artworks and seasonal programmes that reconnect us to the natural world.

Booking, getting there and parking

We had pre-booked our visit (and time slot) in advance, as all visitors to Eden must do – it keeps things simple on the day. Finding the site and then parking was very straightforward, with excellent signage from the A30. And there was plenty of parking with clear directions from staff and bright, well-thought-through signage to the entrance. It’s probably a ten-minute walk from some of the furthest car parks, downhill to the centre and with the indoor Biomes and the gardens outside covering roughly 30 acres they estimate it takes four hours to walk around the site so do make sure you wear sensible shoes. If you have trouble walking there were plenty of nearer accessible parking spaces for those who require them.

Eden Project facilities

There are also lots of places to sit and rest on the way around the site, and plenty of toilet facilities (flushed by recycled rainwater of course). Dogs are welcome though do check their rules to ensure a trouble-free visit. We took our own food and plenty of water but there was a good choice of catering outlets where you could buy a range of food and drink and, although it was the busy summer season there were few queues when we were there. It’s worth noting that all payments on site are cashless.

Inside the tropical biome of the Eden Project

The Biomes at Eden Project

We thoroughly enjoyed the amazing Biomes which transport you to what feels like another world, our favourite was the tropical biome which was hot and humid and as educational as you want with all sorts of ‘stations’ along its pathways with fascinating information and displays. We also loved just wandering the extensive, beautiful, outdoor gardens with contemporary artworks and performances at every twist and turn, and environmental themes on recycling, the health of the planet etc at the core of everything they do. Plenty of inspiring ideas to take home on how to care for the planet that cares for us.

Events at the Eden Project

With a fascinating and imaginative schedule of events and exhibitions taking place over the year, they have plenty of things to do at Halloween. Any month seems like a good month to visit, although I have to say the summer flowers – lavender, agapanthus, allium, and sunflowers to name but a few – blooming on our sunny August visit were absolutely breathtaking.

Skywire above the Eden Project

Hangloose at Eden Project

Just a short walk up the hill from Eden’s entrance, the boys’ Hangloose Adventure package proved to be a massive success too. The organisation offers a great choice of adventure ‘packages’ (from one to six ‘experiences’ with discounts on multi adventures). We chose the Zip Wire– England’s longest zip line – which really was thrillingly providing a high fly over the Eden Project biomes and gardens. They also loved the ‘Giant Swing’ where they were hauled high up into the sky and then let loose to plummet and swing with spectacular views over the site.

Gravity giant swing at Hangloose Eden Project

The Sky Trek aerial course which included a good number of ‘obstacles’ and lasted a nice long time ending in a zip wire over a swampy area was also a success. The set-up was really well organised, staff were super friendly and helpful, it felt really well organised and safe and people of all ages looked like they were having a great time whilst really pushing themselves outside their comfort zones.

Sky trek at Hangloose with Eden Project biomes

There’s a little café up there too and we had a delicious locally made ice-cream whilst we watched people challenging themselves. For a reasonable fee, you can secure photos and videos of your experience which we found well worth it as a perfect birthday keepsake. If your child, or you, love adventure booking some activities at Hangloose Adventure could be right up your street. Make sure you check out their T&Cs as they obviously have age, height and weight restrictions for safety reasons.

Hangloose terms and conditions

Hangloose website

Reflecting on our day out

As we walked back up the hill to our car park, we all felt that we’d had an unusual, inspiring and really rewarding day out. People come from around the world to visit the Eden Project and when you visit you can understand why – it really is extraordinary.

“What we do to the Earth we do to ourselves – let’s treasure and support a world we want to live in” they say. We would highly recommend a visit and will certainly be returning. In fact, it inspired us to purchase a family membership to both help support this inspiring organisation and also to make it more cost-effective for us to return. Check out their website which has a mass of information on it about what they offer and how to make the most of a trip there.

The Eden Project website
Eden Project, Bodelva, Cornwall, PL24 2SG

It was lovely to get back to the peace and quiet of our Roadford Lake Lodge in the evening, sit in the hot tub with a drink and then enjoy a good meal in the comfort and tranquillity of the lodge whilst we chatted through our exciting day!

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