Vouchers got me free entry to the Eden Project and a host of East Anglian attractions

The Eden Project in Cornwall is one of many attractions you can get into for free if you save enough

The Eden Project in Cornwall is one of many attractions you can get into for free if you save enough supermarket reward vouchers. Photo: Martin Keene/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Sixteen years ago, on a holiday to Cornwall, I visited the then-newly opened Eden Project, an extravaganza of plants from climates and habitats around the world housed in two enormous biomes built in the crater of a disused china clay pit, writes Sheena Grant.

The world’s largest indoor rainforest was impressive but truth be told, it needed time to mature. I put a return visit a few years down the line to what one commentator dubbed the ‘eighth wonder of the world’ on my mental ‘to do’ list.

I’ve been a Cornwall several times since but had never managed that return to Eden.

It never seemed to fit in with the schedule, tickets were pricey and my husband dubbed the whole thing “a rip-off”.

I’ve just come back from another holiday to Cornwall and this time, we did spend a day at the Eden Project. What’s more, we got in completely free.

Quite some accomplishment, since adult entry costs £27.50 (£25 if bought online in advance). Ordinarily, our family day out at the Eden Project would have set us back almost £70.

The fact we got in for free was all down to one of the best supermarket reward schemes out there. I’m talking Tesco Clubcard vouchers. Spent instore, these vouchers are fairly run-of-the-mill. But turned into ‘rewards’ to spend on days or meals out, they become super-charged, worth up to four times their face value. Hence, £20 in clubcard vouchers saved up over several months paid for family entry to the Eden Project.

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This isn’t the only day out I’ve enjoyed courtesy of clubcard. Over the years I’ve been to Colchester Zoo, Africa Alive and various Sealife centres.

My return visit to the Eden Project was certainly worth the wait. The gardens were more verdant and lush than before. Even my husband was impressed.

What’s more, spending the day at the attraction allowed us to avoid the holiday hordes and travel home later in the day on roads devoid of the usual August traffic jams. A real bonus.

It’s not the only fond memory of free holiday fun I’ll cherish. Days on the beach with only a bodyboard and endless waves for entertainment are pretty hard to beat too. The best things in life, as they say, are free...

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