England // Devon and Cornwall //

The Eden Project

Occupying a 160ft-deep crater whose awesome scale only reveals itself once you have passed the entrance at its lip, the Eden Project showcases the diversity of the planet’s plant life in an imaginative style. Centre stage are the geodesic “biomes” – vast conservatories made up of eco-friendly Teflon-coated, hexagonal panels. One holds groves of olive and citrus trees, cacti and other plants usually found in the warm, temperate zones of the Mediterranean, southern Africa and southwestern USA, while the larger one contains plants from the tropics, including teak and mahogany trees, with a waterfall and river gushing through. Equally impressive are the grounds, where plantations of bamboo, tea, hops, hemp and tobacco are interspersed with brilliant swathes of flowers. In summer, the grassy arena sees performances of a range of music – from Peter Gabriel to Fleet Foxes – and in winter they set up a skating rink.

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