"Tate St Ives" Top 5 Page for this destination Saint Ives Things to Do Tip by Sjalen

Saint Ives Things to Do: 58 reviews and 125 photos


Since the Tate Gallery spread out of London, St Ives got an annex 1993 on account of being one of England's really famous art towns with hundreds of people coming for art holidays in town apart from the more established artists already living here. The strange cinema-looking gallery is built on what was the former town gas works which were bombed during the war so the site became vacant in the modernisation which followed. It lies on a slope just above Porthmeor Beach. It has a café on the top floor with views over the lower parts of St Ives as well as the beach itself. We never tried it as there was a queue and waitresses looked stressed, but we had a wander out to its terrace for those great views. Sadly there were no lockers or anything so if you have a backpack, you have to lug it around with you, and the same goes for your coat.
The gallery itself was rather disappointing to us apart from the wonderful Barbara Hepworth sculptures in the atrium. We came on a rainy day when everyone had the same idea (and it got tremendously hot) but even crowds aside, the exhibitions were too odd and uninspiring for us, with a few exceptions. I had expected at least something famous and quite a bit of local art and its history but there was only Alfred Wallis (buried in the cemetery next door) to represent the latter group and his naive paintings were not my kind of thing I'm sad to say. Katie Moran with her almost Chinese paintings were nice but some huge installations with projections and letters on white walls I just thought was pretentious. Still, these belonged to the temporary exhibition 2009 and you might be luckier and get to see inspiring things. As for us, we finished off in the museum shop which is just as fabulous as in other Tate galleries with fun note books and lots of art literature, cards, things on architecture, film...you name it. If you want to visit Tate, you can buy a combined ticket with the Barbara Hepworth Museum if you visit both in the same day which is perfectly possible.

Address: Porthmeor Beach, St Ives
Directions: Porthmeor Beach - also well signposted as a main attraction.
Phone: +44(1736)796226
Website: http://www.tate.org.uk/stives/

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Apr 7, 2010
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