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.
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.
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.
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.
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.