Art, History, Culture & Gardens


Cornwall and St Ives have long attracted artists who have been drawn to the area by the varied scenery and the quality of the light in St Ives.

The Tate St Ives Gallery includes a permanent display of works by artists from the St Ives School as well as visiting exhibitions. The art at the Tate is modern in style, to see paintings that resemble their subject the Penlee House Gallery is a better option. Nearby is the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, which some would say is more interesting than the Tate itself.

The Leach Pottery is on the outskirts of St Ives and celebrates the work of renowned potter, Bernard Leach. It houses a museum, studio and shop.

The Penlee House Gallery & Museum in Penzance has a collection of paintings by artists from the Newlyn school as well as exhibiting visiting displays of art. There is also a small museum and a good cafe.

The Newlyn Art Gallery is situated near the sea front in Newlyn and displays contemporary art, as does the Exchange Gallery in central Penzance. There is a Gallery trail between the two locations that takes in various points of interest on the way.

It is possible to buy an art pass which provides unlimited 7 day entry to the Tate St Ives, Barbara Hepworth Museum, Penlee House, and the Leach Pottery as well as discounts in the shops at the Newlyn and Exchange galleries. 


Cornwall is rich in mining history and the remains of old engine houses and other mine workings can be seen dotted around the landscape.

Nearby mining museums and experiences can be found at Geevor and Levant on the coast near Pendeen, and at Heartlands near Camborne.

The St Ives museum is in Downlong, in the centre of town and includes exhibits related to local history, fishing, mining, shipwrecks etc.


The Minack Theatre stages various performances from late March to late September.

The September Festival is the highlight of the St Ives cultural year. It's held over the middle two weeks in September and includes performances of music, theatre, poetry, dancing etc. These are held in various venues about the town, with some outdoor performances.


Cornwall benefits from a mild climate which allows a wide range of plants to thrive here and means that we see an early Spring. Trengwainton and Trewidden are two classical Cornish Gardens near Penzance which feature magnolias, camellias and tree ferns, they are at their best in Spring but are worth visiting at other times of the year. 

A short drive away, near Gulval is the Tremenheere Sculpture Garden (Pictured). This combines a range of planting with sculptures. There is also an art gallery, cafe and plant nursery that specialises in succulent plants.