Eden project. I knew it was a made up of several greenhouse domes containing tropical plants and landscapes but knew little else about it. You arrive above the site so the view is quite spectacular. Léon did make me laugh by commenting that his Pumpa would enjoy playing golf with such impressive golf balls!
You walk down to the domes through some beautiful gardens teeming with flowers of all sorts. As you reach the bottom you bump into this robot sculpture made up supposedly from the equivalent of all the electronic gadgets an average UK citizen throws out in a lifetime. Being a bit of an environmentalist place, this is of course meant to shock you and make you think. But given many people take their kids on day trips to Eden, this completely backfires. Léon, as any typical four year old, took one look at it, proclaimed it the coolest robot he'd ever seen and asked if we could gather old hoovers to make one of our own! Every other small boy within earshot was having the same misguided conversation with his family! I had to laugh.
Once inside the actual domes, the size was impressive enough but they were eerily silent inside. I couldn't put my finger on what was wrong until Thomas pointed out there were no animals, insects, lizards, snakes, butterflies, birds or any of the many things I had expected to see given I'd visited Denmark's Randers regnskov (which is a mini-Eden but full of life) a few years ago. Eden even used plastic fruit in several of their stands inside which was completely unnecessary given what could be grown there. All in all it was pretty enough, but I was much more impressed with the outside gardens than those inside the domes.
They do a special summer price whereby visitors arriving after 15h30 only pay £10 per adult and kids get in free as opposed the the extortionate morning prices. I was happy to have paid only £20 for all seven of us to visit because it wasn't worth more. Given a choice at some future date between revisiting Eden or Randers I'd opt for Randers every time.