The Eden Project is a part of The Countrywide Great Tour route this summer. We reveal some of the best restaurants and places to stay nearby in the Cornish town of St Austell
The Countrywide Great Tour begins on 4 July 2015 and takes place over 64 days visiting various coastal locations across the UK. Cyclists will begin to arrive at the Eden Project on the afternoon of 18 August after a ride along the coast from the Plymouth.
If you’re taking part yourself or supporting a friend or family member in the tour, there’s plenty on offer around the Eden Project. The visitor destination in Cornwall is nestled in a huge crater, with massive biomes housing the largest rainforest in captivity, stunning plants and exhibitions. As well as exploring the indoor Biomes, visitors can walk the miles of paths in vast outdoor gardens, or head to nearby town St Austell to discover delicious food and drink and relaxing places to stay. Thrillseekers will be pleased to discover that the Eden Project is home to the country's longest, fastest zip wire too!
The Eden project boasts England’s longest zip wire!
Eat alfresco style rain or shine, under the cover of one of the Eden Project’s famous biomes. Sit amongst the olive trees, herbs and flowers and feast on a range of Mediterranean inspired dishes created from locally sourced Cornish ingredients. Make sure you sample the local seafood and try the Cornish crab orecchiette as a main - featuring crab in a tarragon cream with pasta, tomatoes, garlic, lemon and arugula.
Combining bistro style dining with Cornish charm, the Kingswood bar and restaurant is a family-run establishment worth a visit. With an eclectic menu that includes a delicious sounding confit duck cassoulet, with Morteau sausage, and a fragrant Malaysian monkfish and prawn curry, it will be hard to decide what to order. One thing is for sure, the caramelised banana bread and peanut butter pudding is not to be missed.
The self-styled great old Cornish pub’ is nestled in a valley not far from the Eden Project and St Austell. Head inside the 16thCentury building to discover a fresh seasonal menu, packed with locally sourced produce, not to mention a selection of quality cask ales and wines. Don’t miss the basil and sundried tomato-crusted hake in a chilli, tomato and saffron broth.
Described as a picture book Cornish cottage’, the Woodpeckers is a bed and breakfast located in the pretty countryside, five minutes walk from the Eden Project. There are two bedrooms available in the renovated cottage, both featuring king sized beds and en-suites. Owners Jo and Rob McCutcheon are on hand to provide local knowledge and ensure a relaxing stay. Outside the pretty garden and patio is the perfect placeto soak up the Cornish sun and enjoy a chilled glass of wine - there's even a barbecue area to complete the alfresco experience.
Experience a four-star escape at Carolyn Bay – the luxury hotel is set amongst 250 acres of private grounds, with sea views and elegant décor. All rooms boast free WiFiand Sky Sports, plus en suite bathrooms with indulgent toiletries and luxury robes, ensuringyou don't have to forfeit any home comforts during the stay. Unwind after a long day cycling at the onsite spa complete with pool, heated stone loungers, steam room and sauna.
This 18th century manor house is surrounded by sloping gardens and ancient woodland. The contemporary interior is packed with luxe features and an attention to detail, with each room decorated in a different style and colour scheme. If that’s not enough to tempt you, the boutique hotel even has a spa and 2 AA rosette restaurant, with a locally sourced, seasonal menu.