Cornwall is renowned as a destination steeped in arts and culture. From a world-famous open-air theatre carved into a granite cliff, to the largest collection of Barbara Hepworth work in the world – there’s a wide range of cultural attractions offering artistic inspiration and theatrical performances on offer.
Here are just some of our favourites.
North Coast Asylum
Just down the road from us in Newquay, is the North Coast Asylum. Described as more than a traditional art space, NCA is devoted to nurturing the next generation of creatives by selling and exhibiting emerging mid-career artistic and photographic talent. A gallery not to be missed.
The Minack Theatre
The world famous Minack Theatre was originally a sloping cliff covered in gorse with a ninety-foot drop to the sea below. It came about due to the extraordinary hard graft of Rowena Cade, who offered a local open-air production the use of her cliff garden for a performance of The Tempest – something that started a lifelong project.
The theatre was built by hand over the course of the rest of Rowena’s life – largely using hand tools and the odd stick of dynamite (!) to create the iconic spectacle it is today.
From plays to musicals, opera to children’s events, there’s something to delight everyone.
Tate St Ives
Overlooking Porthmeor Beach and the Atlantic Ocean, the curved structure of Tate St Ives is every bit as impressive as the art you’ll find inside.
As well as a changing programme of large-scale seasonal shows, it also provides a permanent presence for those iconic 20th century artists who lived and worked in the town – demonstrating the role of St Ives in the story of modern art.
Times tickets are currently required for all visitors.
Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden
Dame Barbara Hepworth first came to Cornwall with her husband, Ben Nicholson, and their young family at the outbreak of WWII. She lived and worked at Trewyn Studios, now the Barbara Hepworth Museum, for 26 years until her tragic death in 1975.
The museum and sculpture garden are a favourite with culture visitors to St Ives and provides a thoughtful insight into the life of this world-famous sculptor. The majority of the bronzes are in the positions which the artist herself placed them and the studio itself is a time capsule.
We recommend booking a combined ticket to tie your trip in with a visit to the Tate St Ives.
Royal Cornwall Museum
Explore thousands of historical objects from Cornwall alongside some of the county’s finest art collections at the Royal Cornwall Museum.
The museum was founded by the Royal Institution of Cornwall in 1818, to promote excellence in science and art and highlight the world-leading industries that Cornwall was known for. From Bronze Age Cornish Gold to Roman forts, industrial growth and Cornwall’s mining heritage, visitors can explore the great wealth of the county’s history.