It cost £104 on the train to Par, not bad considering I only booked two days in advance, and total travelling time was just over six hours. I love looking out of the window on a train, so this was not a problem! I stayed at The Royal Inn, which is right next to the railway station. The room was a room and the food was amazing. I will stay there again.
Anyway, Eden. I saw on their leaflet that they do a discount for ‘green travellers’ which was a bonus since I was intending to walk anyway. The ‘given’ walking distance from Par to Eden is 4 miles, along cycle trail #2. It only took me an hour and included some hills, so I don’t think that the journey was that long. The first view of the project was amazing, round a corner and there it is, just nestled in its clay pit.
It’s a place I’d LOVE to take my class, but distance makes it somewhat tricky. There’s an amazing touchable model at the entrance. The paths are accessible and the majority of information signs also have Widgit/CiP info on them, sadly many of these are too small for purpose and it took me a while to notice them. You’d think working with it all day…. oh, and there’s a changing places toilet too.
Anyway, the external gardens are well laid out, with paths so that you don’t have to double back on yourself too often. The range of planting is amazing, and I can imagine it looks very different as the seasons progress. The sculptures also are great, I think I took as many photos of them as I did of the plants!
Inside the Biomes is again, amazing. Having been to the real rainforest, I was impressed with what I saw, and braved the high platform for a different view. How lovely to see bananas growing as well. I had lunch in the Link (yummy) and an ice cream in the Mediterranean biome. By this time, it was raining, so that one was very busy and I didn’t enjoy it so much.
Again, the Core building (love the architecture) was heaving due to the weather, so I popped in but didn’t stay too long. On the way out I had to visit the plant shop. The restraint due to being on the train was amazing…and was the excuse I needed not to buy up the whole shop.