The Eden Project sat with its domes shining in the sunshine as we mounted our bicycles ready to go exploring through a landscape which had been created from 250 years of clay mining. The recreational paths around here are aptly named the ‘Clay trails‘ for that very reason.
The clay mined from this corner of Cornwall is china clay. It is known as white-gold and is extremely fine. The coarsest grains of china clay are finer than most talcum powders.
It was originally used to make porcelain but is now mainly used as glazing for glossy paper, in paints and in medicines.
The ‘Boyfriend’ and I were about to cycle the ‘Eden to Wheal Martyn trail’. A short cycle trail that would allow us time to also indulge our senses at the Eden project. We easily escaped the confusion of the car park and pedalled up hill and onto a gravel path which would take us to the unique place of working mines, clay pits and luminous green and blue pools.
We followed the frequent signs as the path took us among leafy trees, over-grown fields, through areas of rocky ground and down muddy tracks. Coming from the opposite direction the occasional horse and their rider, dog walkers or the random jogger would pass us pedalling our bicycles. The trail became slightly hilly and the anticipation of seeing the clay pits was building. I knew we were close when I noticed the gravel becoming white in colour and powdery in texture.
As we rounded a bend a huge clay pit engulfed our vision and the colour of the water in it had us transfixed. It was a stunning translucent blue with hints of green like that from a piece of candy. A couple of mining huts could be seen close to its edges and the thought of summer time swimming came to mind ( not that it would ever be allowed ).
As we cycled around the top of the huge white rocky outcrop of the pit enjoying the scenic views on offer, in the distance we could see what looked like an upside down ice-cream cone. It was a clay tip peak towering into the sky comfortably surrounded by a hue of purple heather. It looked out of place on the landscape yet impressive at the same time.
The powdery gravel lightly dusted our shoes as we found ourselves happily cycling all over the tracks looking at every nook and cranny in the area. Eventually we headed back the way we came enjoying the sunshine on our backs and the breeze through our hair.
Visiting the Eden Project was definitely an added bonus. We spent hours admiring all the plants, creative sculptures and interactive art work in and around the enormous domes. I fondly remember walking through some stunning floral displays, smelling a collection of natural scents from the perfume vats and even experiencing a sense of the tropics amongst the largest rainforest in captivity with its steamy jungles and waterfalls.
The Eden Project has such a wide variety of plants from around the world, each with their own amazing colour, texture, smell and shape. It was mind-boggling and I would love to venture back to this place again. We had a great day out and even though the clay trail was short in distance the Eden Project sat on the back doorstep waiting to fill up the rest of our day!