Tate St Ives

Image courtesy of the Tate St Ives and Kirstin Prisk

In Brief

Type: Art gallery
Suitable for: Art lovers
Location: Porthmeor Beach, St Ives
Price: Book your visit. Members free, adults £13.50 (with donation), children free
Dog friendly?: The venue welcomes guide dogs, hearing dogs and assistance dogs only

St Ives is beautiful. But alongside the picturesque town and stunning seaside vista, you can find another whole gallery of beauty near the shoreline. Quite literally. Welcome to the Tate St Ives.

This gallery’s mission is to ‘increase the public’s enjoyment and understanding of British art from the 16th century to the present day and of international modern and contemporary art’. It has been on this mission since it officially opened in 1993 and has attracted an average of 240,000 visitors a year in recent times, according to pre-COVID figures.

Part of the Tate family of galleries which includes both the Tate Modern and Tate Britain in London, as well as the Tate Liverpool, the St Ives attraction was formed out of the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden in the 1980s to show works by artists who have lived or worked in the town. Artists have moved to or at least created pieces in St Ives since the Victorian era, including Hepworth and American abstract painter Mark Rothko.

Today, visitors can marvel at some of the most-loved British artworks of the 20th century in the gallery, as well as discover newer British and international modern and contemporary works as the Tate changes its exhibition programme regularly. And then there’s the Hepworth garden, just 10 minutes’ walk away where more than 30 stone, bronze and wood statues await. Finish at the gallery’s café and shop while looking out over the shimmering waters across Porthmeor Beach. What a picture.