St Ives, Cornwall: Holidays, Art, and The Tate Gallery

Porthminster Beach, St Ives
Porthminster Beach, St Ives
Image by Chris J Dixon
The seaside town of St Ives, Cornwall, is situated on the coast of the Celtic sea, in the South-Western corner of the county.

Originally a thriving fishing port, St Ives is now primarily a popular holiday resort, boasting a rich artistic culture. Many artists live and work in St Ives for the perceived quality of the air and of the light.

The town is well known for its four beaches, for its many galleries, including the Tate Gallery, St Ives, and the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, and for its sub-tropical climate.

Beaches at St Ives

St Ives has four beaches, each with its own individual charms and facilities.

Porthmeor Beach

Porthmeor Beach is a Blue Flag beach facing the Atlantic Ocean, suitable both for families and for surfing. It has a surf school, fine golden sands, and restaurant facilities. It is well suited for sunbathing by day and for watching spectacular sunsets in the evening.

Porthgwidden Beach

Porthgwidden Beach is a small sandy cove, which acts as a suntrap, particularly in the morning. It is safe for swimming in the designated areas.

Harbour Beach

Harbour Beach is a sheltered sandy beach in the heart of the town. From the beach you can watch the local fishermen land their daily catches in the sandy bottomed harbour.

Porthminster Beach

Porthminster Beach has nearly half a mile of golden sand. The beach is sheltered, and the calm sea conditions make it an ideal family beach.

Tate Gallery, St Ives

Opened in 1993 by H.R.H. Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales, the Tate Gallery, St Ives, overlooks Porthmeor Beach. The award winning building has a spectacular stained glass window by acclaimed painter Patrick Heron. As well as showcasing local artists, the gallery hosts regular exhibitions of world class art works.

Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden

Barbara Hepworth, her husband Ben Nicholson, and their young family moved to Cornwall at the outbreak of Second World War in 1939. She lived and worked in Trewyn studios from 1949 until she died in 1975. As she requested, Trewyn Studio, and much of her work that remained there, was given to the nation and placed in the care of the Tate Gallery in 1980, becoming the Barbara Hepworth Museum.

The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden offers a remarkable insight into the work and outlook of one of Britain’s most important 20th Century artists. The museum and gardens house sculptures made from bronze, stone, and wood, together with paintings, drawings, and archive material.

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