The Eden Project is one of the premier tourist attractions in the South West. The reclaimed china clay pit was transformed between 1998 and 2001 to create what we know today as The Eden Project.
The Eden Project is often referred to as a global garden as it hosts a variety of plants from around the world in tropical biomes that nestle in a crater the size of 30 football pitches.
This incredible attraction is home to the world’s largest rainforest in captivity with steamy jungles and waterfalls as well as cutting-edge architecture and buildings.
However, we don’t think The Eden Project is worth visiting if you are on a tight budget, it’s expensive and only lasts 3 – 4 hours. I’d also advise against visiting the Eden Project if you have young children as it lacks interactive elements to keep young minds engaged.
However, if you’re interested in biodiversification and looking for an outdoor experience then you’ll likely find The Eden Project fun and highly informative.
The entrance fee to The Eden Project is an annual pass and allows you to visit the attraction as many times as you like over the following 365 days from your first visit.
Therefore if you live within an hour’s drive, The Eden Project is worth visiting as you’ll be able to go back as many times as you like to experience the attraction throughout the different seasons.
The idea that all tickets are automatically annual passes can be frustrating though, especially for people such as myself and Helen who live almost six hours away and are therefore highly unlikely to come back within the following 365 days.
Instead, a single entrance ticket at a reduced rate would make the experience significantly better value for money which would as a result make the attraction worth visiting for everyone.
How Much Does It Costs To Visit The Eden Project
Tickets to The Eden Project currently cost;
£32.50 for adults
£10.00 for children (under 5’s go free)
£30.50 for seniors
£20.50 for students
The admission ticket is often referred to as an annual pass as it’s valid for as many visits as you like for a year from the day of your first visit.
Parking at The Eden Project is included in the ticket price. However, additional funds may be required if you’re planning on purchasing any food, drink, or souvenirs during your visit.
The only souvenir we purchased during our trip was the guide book which cost £6 and came with additional information that we could reference during our visit.
We also picked up drinks and a scone from one of the many on-site cafés. Much like all major attractions food and drink are slightly inflated (£2.70 for a can of sparkling water and just over £6.00 for a scone with some jam and clotted cream).
As a couple, the total cost of our three and a half hours at The Eden Project came to £76.15 (this includes tickets, food, drink, and our guidebook). Therefore as a family of three or four, you could easily spend in excess of £100 on the experience.
How Long To Spend At Eden Project
During our visit to The Eden Project, Helen was six months pregnant so it’s safe to say we took things incredibly slow. We stopped for lunch, took a drinks break, and sat down regularly to read from the guidebook we purchased upon entering.
However, even then the entire experience only took us 3 and a half hours (from 10.30am through until 2pm).
In fact, after leaving The Core, our final building for the day. I was questioning Helen as to whether or not we’d missed something? Sadly, that wasn’t the case.
The Eden Project state on their own website that visitors should expect to spend between three and four hours here. An while 3 and a half hours of viewing plants sounds like more than enough, the cost of visiting warrants a full day’s experience – at least in our opinion.
In which case it would be great to see The Eden Project implement more interactive elements or reduce the entrance fee and make it reflect the amount of time that’s spent here.
Should You Visit Eden Project In The Rain?
Around 60% of The Eden Project is located outside. Therefore the rain will have some impact on your visit, and would likely significantly reduce the amount of time you spend visiting the attraction – if you aim to avoid being in the rain that is.
Light showers and drizzle won’t completely ruin the experience, however heavy showers, thunder, lightening and any storms will likely mean that the time spent outside looking at the plants is not an enjoyable one.
Of course, you could opt to visit the indoor biomes first, or grab a bite to eat (all of the cafés are either indoors or under some shelter) however these will likely be significantly crowded as everyone will have the same idea.
Ultimately, whether or not you choose to visit The Eden Project in the rain should come down to a couple of things.
Firstly, what type of rain it is. Light drizzle or heavy storms. Then, how long the rain is expected to last, if it’s only an hour or so then you could spend that time inside the biomes, they’ll likely be busier but you will stay relatively dry.
Finally, you’ll want to consider how your mood is when it rains and you’re visiting a new attraction. Personally if it rains and I’m exploring in wet clothes I’m relatively grumpy and would therefore likely not enjoy my visit as much as I would during dryer weather.
When We Think The Eden Project Is Worth Visting
There are some instances where we think The Eden Project is well worth visiting. Some of the most common instances are;
1. If You Have A Keen Interest In Plants / Biodiversification
If you’re interested in plants and biodiversification then you’ll love The Eden Project as it’s home to the world’s largest greenhouse and the world’s largest rainforest in captivity.
The Eden Project allows you to see unique plants that often would only be seen in selected areas of the globe. There’s also a number of highly informative boards that provide further information about each of the plants to allow you to learn more.
2. If You Live Within A One Hour Drive / Visit Cornwall Multiple Times A Year
All tickets to The Eden Project are automatically an annual pass.
This allows you to visit The Eden Project as many times as you like within 365 days of your first visit. However, this is only suitable for some people.
In the case of myself and Helen, Cornwall is a five-and-a-half-hour drive. Therefore we were highly unlikely to return over the next year.
However, if you live within an hour’s drive of The Eden Project or visit Cornwall multiple times over a 365 day period then a trip to The Eden Project proves to be better value for money as you could visit multiple times for the same cost as just one visit.
3. If You’ve Always Wanted To Go
Despite reading the reviews online in advance of booking our tickets to The Eden Project (around 2 months before our visit) I still wanted to go and experience it for myself.
The reviews I read online in advance were mixed – to say the least. However, when I thought about Cornwall I thought about The Eden Project therefore it felt fitting to experience the attraction and make my own decision as to whether or not it’s worth the time & money for both myself and other travelers.
When We Think The Eden Project Is Not Worth Visiting
Here are the following circumstances in which we think a trip to the Eden Project is likely not worth it or certainly worth researching further before making a decision.
1. If Your A Large Family
If you’re a large family with children aged five and over then the cost of a trip to The Eden Project is likely going to be in excess of £100 if not £200.
However, this experience is likely only going to take between 3 and 4 hours. In this case, we believe that the money could likely be spent on bigger, better things in the local area.
2. If Your Travelling On A Budget
Tickets are annual passes automatically therefore they are expensive for what they are (at least in our opinion).
Instead, your money is likely to go a lot further at some of the other nearby attractions.
3. If Your Not Interested In Plants
The Eden Project is a large botanical garden. The core of The Eden Project is plants from around the world and the power / impact they have in our day-to-day lives.
Therefore if you’ve zero interest in plants this attraction might not be the right one for you. Although I realise this is very much a sliding scale. Helen and I have some indoor plants, we also de-weed our garden (out of necessity rather than love), yet we still saw the beauty in The Eden Project.
4. If You Struggle With Mobility
While The Eden Project prides itself on being disability friendly with dedicated disabled parking bays and easy access routes there are some caveats to be aware of.
Firstly, the walk from the car park to the main entrance is around five minutes for disabled bays and up to fifteen minutes for non-disabled bays. The walk from the car park down to the entrance is a steep decline which of course you have to climb back up upon exiting the park.
The mobility routes inside The Eden Project are fantastic, they are done over stable terrain but can mean you miss out on some of the experience as selected plants and features are only on the more challenging routes.
An if you sometimes require mobility assistance you may need it when visiting The Eden Project. My mum for example uses a walking stick, but for longer distances may require a wheelchair.
I thought about her a lot during this visit and how she would have definitely had to rent one of the wheelchairs in order to comfortably enjoy the attraction.
For reference, we walked over 10,000 steps in our 3 and a half hours. This was done over multiple terrains and up and down inclines.