About 65 miles west of Torquay is the Eden Project. It takes about 1 hour 45 minutes to drive there, since there is no motorway in the region.
The Eden Project is a remarkable enterprise. Once a disused clay pit, something that mars many locations in Cornwall along with disused tin mines, the space has been transformed into, well a Garden of Eden really.
Nerd alert – before the Eden project was developed and opened in 2001, in 1981, the pit was used by the BBC as the planet surface of Magrathea in the 1981 TV series of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. In 2002 the site was used for the James Bond film, Die Another Day.
The site is very large – much larger than it appears at first glance. Essentially a series of botanic gardens, the Eden Project seeks to address man’s relationship with plants. So, for instance, there are sections that showcase plants used in medicines and remedies, as well as various food plants. The two large greenhouses, called biomes, house plants from tropical regions in the world and Mediterranean plants respectively. Additionally there are numerous outdoor beds as well as concert, education, and event space.
Scattered throughout the site there are various art installations, many larger than life.
The place is very beautiful and quite educational. They also have a number of eateries, which provide surprisingly tasty and healthy options, some using products that they have grown themselves.
It took us several hours to get around all the exhibits. Interspersed with many of the plants are information displays about the regions the plants grow in, the plants environment, specific uses of certain plants, etc.
Tickets are pretty pricey, but they have different packages for different families and groups and you can also save by pre-purchasing your tickets online, although not all ticket types seem to be offered on their website. The Eden Project is a charity, so hopefully the money you spend on a ticket is doing some good beyond just your own entertainment.
All in all a fun day out.