Arts & Heritage in West Cornwall

The art scene is based mainly in West Cornwall, offering visitors a plethora of galleries to sink their teeth into. In particular, St Ives and Penzance, where the Newlyn School of Art is based, are famed for their artistic roots. But you can’t forget to visit Cornwall’s Chysauster Ancient Village, which is thought to have been inhabited from 100BC to 3AD, or to learn about Cornwall’s tin mining past.

St Michael's Mount in the sun
St Michael's Mount by Darren Flinders is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Highlights: popular arts & heritage sites in West Cornwall

Barbara Hepworth Museum

Run by the Tate, this museum was opened to celebrate the life and work of sculptor Barbara Hepworth who lived and worked in St Ives. It is the largest collection of her work and includes carvings in wood and stone, and sculptures in bronze.

Penlee House

The gallery displays work created by a multitude of artists who learned their craft at the famous Newlyn School of Art, inspired by the dramatic west coastline. Doubling as a museum too, this attraction will keep you busy for hours.

St Michael’s Mount

This spectacular island topped by a castle is steeped in legend. The castle started life as a church under Norman Monks, and became the lookout post for the approach of the Spanish Armada. At low tide, it can be accessed by foot.

Godolphin Estate

This National Trust property was once the home of the Dukes of Leeds and the Earls of Godolphin. The location offers wonderful views of Cornwall and its wildlife.

Porthcurno Telegraph Museum

Very popular among visitors, this museum enthrals with its history as a Victorian global communications hub, using undersea cables that stretched to the corners of the Earth.

Poldark Mine

Explore this labyrinth in an underground tour of this Cornish Mining World Heritage Site. Used to mine tin in the 18th century, the site boasts unique rock features in a stunning setting.

Find out about Cornwall’s other masterpieces in our detailed guides below.

At a glance

West Cornwall houses the most spectacular castle of them all on St Michael’s Mount, a tiny island off the coast of Marazion

Learn about Cornwall’s mining past at the home of the Poldark Mine, a Cornish Mining World Heritage site, or visit the King Edward Mine Museum

Learn more about West Cornwall's arts & heritage

Browse our selection of Cornish highlights for ideas of things to see and do

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