With a summer of fun planned at Tate St Ives, we asked the staff for their best top tips on what to do in Cornwall

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  • St Ives, Porthminster Photo(C) Paul Watts

    The beach at Porthminster, St. Ives

    © Paul Watts

  • Porth Kidney Sand Photo(C) Paul Watts

    Porthkidney Sands: a north-facing beach that lies just two miles from St Ives

    © Paul Watts

  • Tate and beach Photo (C) Tate

    Tate St. Ives and it’s sunny beach

    © Tate

  • Men-An-Tol Photo(C) Paul Watts

    One of the best known megalithic structures in Britain, ‘Men-An-Tol’ means ‘holed stone’ and looks like the figures ‘101’ from a certain angle. Its true purpose remains a mystery

    © Paul Watts

  • Lizard coastline Photo(C) Ingrid King

    The distinctive and spectacular coastal path of Cornwall’s Lizard coastline

    © Ingrid King

  • Botallack Mine - Crowns engine houses  Credit Cornish Mining World Heritage Site

    Crowns engine houses at Botallack Mine 

    Photo: Cornish Mining World Heritage Site

  • Holywell Bay Photo(C)  Paul Watts

    Holywell Bay is a large, sandy beach on the North Cornwall coast near Newquay

    © Paul Watts

  • New Polzeath Photo(C) Paul Watts

    Known for it’s surfing Polzeath and New Polzeath are settlements on the coast at Hayle Bay in North Cornwall. In Enid Blyton’s Famous Five, the children were upset that their holiday would not be spent at Polzeath as was the norm.

    © Paul Watts

  • St Michaels Mount Photo(C)  John Such

    Flying high: aerial view of St Michaels Mount , an iconic, rocky island 366 metres off the Mount’s Bay coast of Cornwall and still home of the St Aubyn family

    © John Such

  • Wheal Coates Photo (C) Paul Watts

    Wheal Coates, St. Ives

    © Paul Watts

With summer well and truly in full swing, we thought we’d ask the staff at our own enviably located gallery, Tate St Ives, to reveal some of their favourite things to do in Cornwall*.

If you’re planning a visit to the South West over the summer, make sure you add some of these to your holiday must-do list (after a visit to Tate St Ives and the Barbara Hepworth Museum of course…)

Here’s what they said in what to do in St Ives and beyond…

*Tate St Ives staff assure us that they do still have time to do some work between the surfing, walking, cafe visits, swimming…

 “Rockpooling at Kennack Sands. Small fish, crabs, starfish – the full works!”

 “Camp at Trevedra Campsite near Sennen Beach and wake up to run down to Gwenver Beach for a surf, swim and a picnic.”

 “Lunch at the Penlee Museum café, everything homemade, set in delightful gardens”

 “Men-an-Tol near Little Bosullow – very eerie, remote and beautiful landscape. On the way back to St Ives, stop off at the Gurnards Head for good food or a pint”

 “A walk along the coastal path and then a pint in the Tinners Arms in Zennor.”

 “Walk along the coast from Perranuthnoe to Marazion, rugged coastline, great views and the sight of St Michael’s Mount is unreal!”

 “Toss up between Tehidy Woods and Praa Sands beach”

 “Eat out at Polpeor Café, positioned at the most southerly point in the UK at Lizard point. Incredible views and cliff-edge seating.”

 “A walk from Carbis Bay through the woods by the beach to Porthminster Beach – extend to Porthgwidden Beach by walking on the sand when the tide’s way out”

 “Genki café is a wonderful little beach hut-cum-café on the beach road in St Agnes: enjoy a smoothie in their hammock or grab a bacon roll on a lazy Sunday morning…”

Porthmeor beach café in a booth, with yummy food, chilled wine and a fabulous sun set.”

“A walk in Kennall Vale nature reserve, home to an old Victorian gunpowder factory with falling down water mills, waterfalls and ruins.”

“A visit to The Arts Cafe in Truro.”

“Walking above the cliffs at Botallack (looking down on the remains of Crown Mines)”

“The train ride from St Erth to St Ives

“Get the train to Lelant station, walk back along the coast path to Porthminster and enjoy a big glass of wine at Porthminster Café…”

“Taking the 300 open top bus from St Ives to Penzance (via Sennen and Land’s End)”

 “Watching the sun set at Cot Valley

Alfred Wallis, 'St Ives' circa 1928

Alfred Wallis
St Ives circa 1928
Oil and drawing on board
support: 257 x 384 mm frame: 355 x 455 x 44 mm
Presented by Ben Nicholson 1966© The estate of Alfred Wallis

View the main page for this artwork

‘St Ives’ by Alfred Wallis is currently on display at Tate Britain in room 1910 of the BP Walk through British Art. In his memoir, fellow St Ives School artist Ben Nicholson said of Wallis: ‘when looking at one of these paintings of houses into which he put so much affection… he said “Houses  houses – I don’t like houses – give me a ship and you can take all the houses in the world!”’.