AD – Press trip
If you’re thinking of visiting the Eden Project, you’ll probably be looking for somewhere to stay nearby. The YHA Eden Project Campsite is managed by YHA. It’s actually on the Eden Project site, around a 15-minute walk from the entrance. Better still, it’s dog friendly, family friendly and a fantastic location to explore other nearby attractions too. We spent a lovely few days at YHA Eden Project last week, staying in one of their beautiful bell tents.
Types of accommodation at the YHA Eden Project Campsite
Visitors to the YHA Eden Project campsite can choose between an airstream, landpod or bell tent. These are all glamping style accommodation, somewhat more upmarket than taking your own tent. Whichever accommodation you choose, you’ll have access to a toilet and shower block, as well as the YHA reception, kitchen and café. The staff at the campsite were extremely friendly and helpful and the views from the bell tents are absolutely glorious.
Choose between a two-person airstream with a double bed, or a three-person airstream with a double and a single. Bedding is provided, along with heating, USB charging points, storage, lighting and space to sit and relax.
Landpods have space for four people and you can choose between keeping them fully waterproof, or opening the roof for a great view of the night sky. Bedding is provided for your two double mattresses, along with LED lights. A barbecue fire pit is located outside each landpod but there is no heating inside.
Premium Bell Tents
We chose to stay in one of the YHA Eden Project Campsite premium bell tents. These sleep up to five people with one double and three single beds. Included in the price is a wood-burning pack for your indoor wood burner which keeps the bell tent nice and warm overnight. You’ll also have a barbecue firepit outside the tent.
The bell tents offer a nice big space for families, including two beanbags to sit in and a cosy wood burner. We found there was plenty of space for all four of us, plus the dog bed. The overnight wood burning packs provide plenty of heat for a comfortable stay.
When Eden Sessions music shows are taking place, the YHA offers pitch-up wild camping. This is within the Eden Project’s grounds, a short walk from the entrance. Visitors using this option will need to bring their own tent.
Eating and drinking at the YHA Eden Project Campsite
The YHA reception has a self-catering kitchen that is always open. Here, you have access to a fridge, hob and microwave. There are also washing up facilities. All accommodation has a barbecue fire pit outside, but guests will need to bring their own cooking utensils to use them.
Reception is open from 7.30 am to 10 am and 5 pm to 10 pm. They serve light breakfasts – hot rolls or continental breakfast – from 7.30 am to 9 am. In the evenings, light meals are available from 5 pm to 10 pm. As well as serving light meals, staff in reception are checking people in and serving drinks from the bar. Because there’s so much going on, there’s often a bit of a wait for food.
We had some nachos and pizzas along with a pint for my husband and I, and soft drinks for the children. We had to book a slot about an hour later for our food to arrive. The food was fine, but the gluten-free pizza was particularly tiny. This is very much a light snacks option, so I’d eat here on a day when you’re not overly hungry. It was great to be able to get food on-site though, and Bubbles appreciated their doggy ice cream!
Visiting the Eden Project
If you’re staying in the YHA Eden Project campsite, you will almost certainly be planning to visit the Eden Project itself. Tickets should be booked in advance and can be purchased from their website. Should you decide to drive from the campsite to the entrance car parks, it’s a couple of minutes’ drive. You’ll then need to walk from the car park to the entrance gate. Alternatively, it’s about a 15-minute walk from the campsite car park to the entrance gate. It’s all downhill on the way there and uphill on the way back. So if you’ve got little ones who will be tired from a day of walking around the Eden Project, you may prefer to take the car!
Visiting the Eden Project with children and dogs
I have never visited the Eden Project before. I was aware of the biomes within the iconic domes, but I hadn’t realised how much there was to do outside of those. A network of paths surround the domes with various plants that are beneficial to pollinators. Visitors can learn about insects, plants and the Eden Project’s work around the world, including a new project in China. Inside the domes, there is a plethora of information about the environment you find yourself in. I found out more about the Amazon rainforest from being in the biome than I did when I visited the Amazon rainforest itself.
Additionally, the Eden Project is a surprisingly fun day out for children. My girls loved completing a short, 15-minute long kids’ escape room. Outdoors, they whizzed around on scooters that were free to borrow and use on the Eden Project skate ramps. Various children’s play areas were dotted around that broke up the walks nicely. It was also great to see that dogs were so welcome in outdoor areas. Whilst they couldn’t go in the biomes, all the outdoor paths were dog friendly, as was one of the indoor cafés. There were plenty of dog bowls around too, which was great to see on a warm day.
Other things to do near the YHA Eden Project Campsite
When we checked into the YHA Eden Project campsite, the person checking us in was surprised we were staying three nights. Apparently most people simply use it as a base when visiting the Eden Project itself. For us though, it was a fantastic opportunity to explore the wider area. The Eden Project is about a ten minute drive from Charlestown, which is a gorgeous place to explore. On our arrival day, we went straight to Charlestown for a stroll by the sea and a meal at one of the lovely local pubs, the Pier House Hotel.
A day in and around Charlestown
As we had a day at the Eden project, we only had one other day to explore the area. We’d been to Charlestown in the past and always liked it, so we headed back there. The main reason for our visit was because we’d spotted the Shipwreck Treasure Museum. We were aware that this would probably be quite interesting, but I wasn’t prepared for how fascinating it was going to be.
The bulk of the museum focusses on Shackleton’s voyage in the Endurance. Interestingly, the wreck of the Endurance was discovered in March 2022 and the museum already has an underwater video of the ship, complete with its name in tact on the hull. My husband and I were both keen to read all the information. This can get a bit chaotic if the children are wanting to move on, but the museum was nice and contained so they were able to do their own thing, looking for penguins and seals as part of a children’s trail and reading the bits they were interested in.
After the museum, we left the car in Charlestown and walked along the beautiful coast path to Carlyon Bay Beach. The beach itself is a little odd, with something called “stent”, rather than sand. This is quite coarse, like very fine pebbles but it was perfectly pleasant to walk on. The beach is now dog friendly, when in the past it hadn’t been but dogs do need to be kept on leads. I had a swim in the sea with the dog and both the sea and the beach seemed very clean with clear blue water.
How do you book the YHA Eden Project accommodation? Book direct with YHA for the best prices and availability.
Accessibility: The Eden Project is extremely accessible, you can see their accessibility statement here. However, the YHA Eden Project campsite is not accessible due to the nature of the accommodation.
Check in / check out times: Guests can check in from 5pm to 10pm and need to check out before 10am.
Dogs at the YHA Eden Project Campsite: The YHA Eden Project campsite is extremely dog friendly. They are allowed in the café, which even serves doggy ice cream. The Eden Project, the Shipwreck Treasure Museum and Carlyon Bay Beach are all dog friendly too.
Does a stay at the YHA Eden Project Campsite include tickets to the Eden Project? No – staying at the campsite and visiting the Eden Project are completely separate and you will need to purchase separate tickets to visit the Eden Project.
Is there parking at the Eden Project? Yes, there’s plenty of parking including accessible spaces. However if you’d prefer to leave your car at the campsite, it’s about a 15 minute walk.
Is Eden Project worth the money? Yes, it’s an expensive day out but you will easily fill the day there. To make the most of all the children’s activities as well as exploring the biomes and outdoor paths, I recommend arriving early.
Can you take your own food to Eden Project? Yes, absolutely and there are plenty of picnic areas where you can eat it, although the café seating areas are only for food purchased on site.
Is the Eden Project all undercover? No, there’s plenty to do outdoors too. You could definitely spend a rainy day there, but you’d miss out on the outdoor paths and children’s playgrounds if you didn’t want to get wet.
Can you stay in your own camper van at the YHA Eden Project campsite? No, this is a glamping site that doesn’t cater for camper vans.