Visiting Tate St Ives

Tate St Ives is a world renowned art gallery nestled into the hillside of Porthmeor Beach. Holding some of the most significant artworks of British history, visiting Tate St Ives is a must for art lovers.

St Ives has a rich history of attracting prominent artists spanning the last few centuries. During the Second World War artists like Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson and Naum Gabo moved here, securing St Ives as a hub of modernism and experimental practice.

Drawn by the unique quality of the light and natural beauty of the landscape, artists from all over are still finding inspiration to create beautiful works of art here. So if you’re feeling inspired, be sure to book a visit to this gem of St Ives.

Visiting safely

Safety is at the forefront of everyone’s mind right now, and Tate St Ives has made it easy and reassuring to visit by implementing a few safety precautions.

The online booking system makes it easy to claim a timeslot. Tickets are then sent via email with a QR code to ensure contactless entry. There is hand sanitiser throughout the museum and you are asked to wear a protective face covering while inside.

The one way system creates a seamless viewing experience while keeping you safe and comfortably distanced from other visitors. Visitor numbers are carefully managed to make the whole experience feel as safe and as pleasurable as possible.

What is there to see at Tate St Ives?

Upon entering the gallery you are greeted with one of the world’s largest, unleaded coloured glass windows, designed by Patrick Heron (a West Cornwall native) and architect Julian Feary.

The vast collection of gallery artworks are arranged carefully with an intended flow from early to late 20th century pieces. When entering the first gallery you are immediately pulled into a calm, contemplative stroll through the minds of some of Britain’s master artists.

Look out for Image II by Barbara Hepworth. A smooth, flowing piece of marble with a central piercing that makes it seem light despite is 400kg weight. Other pieces that stand out are Peter Lanyon’s Porthleven. Created from several perspectives, it explores the experience of a landscape and the cultural identity of his home. Also, Ben Nicholson’s relief and still life pieces are interesting examples of constructions and abstractions that play with space, light and shadow.

We visited during the last few days of the exhibition of Russian sculptor, painter and theorist, Naum Gabo.  At the time of writing, the exhibition is due to be replaced with Haegue Yang’s Strange Attractors, opening on 24 October 2020.

Rest and relax

After all that contemplation you’ll likely find yourself in need of refreshment. Time to head to the café on the fourth floor to enjoy a creamy latte or loose leaf tea, along with a locally sourced gooey flapjack or delicious cake.

The café boasts some seriously breathtaking views across the old town and the Atlantic Ocean, which can be spotted comfortably from inside through picture windows or from the terrace in warmer weather.

After relaxing in the café, why not head to the shop to peruse their collection of prints, books and art supplies. You might find yourself inspired to create a little art of your own or learn a bit more about some of the artists that made an impression in the gallery.

Create, read and relax in one of our beautifully presented cottages, houses or apartments. For a taste of quintessential St Ives living, there is Opechee or Maranatha quaint fisherman’s cottages situated in the heart of Downalong in St Ives. Or for fantastic proximity to Tate St Ives and boasting the same views, there is SeaCrest 2, a two-bedroom apartment with stunning views of Porthmeor Beach and easy access to the cobbled streets of the old town.

Or stay at Number Ten – Alexandra Dickens former art gallery is a holiday cottage situated in the heart of Downalong, St Ives. This newly refurbished hidden gem has been refurbished to a high standard accepts pets. A fabulous conservatory and outside patio area make this the perfect location to relax and unwind after a busy day exploring.

Planning your next trip?