Tate Around Town

Peter Hutchinson

Mid October, and while St Ives still has its regular visitors it has quietened down considerably from the multitude of holidaymakers who enjoyed the summer months. Perhaps, if you can, this is the best time of year to visit; warm days, restaurants free to drop into when it suits you best, and generally more space everywhere. The town certainly feels less frenetic, and the cultural choices more accessible.

As corporate members of Tate St Ives, Sail Lofts and our guests not only get free entry to the Tate Gallery and the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, but we are often invited to their regular special events.

Late in the summer Abi and I gathered at the Hepworth for an update about the Gallery’s Phase 2 extension (all back on plan and ahead of schedule according to Mark Osterfield, Executive Director of Tate St Ives), followed by a ‘Tate Around Town Art Tour’ led by the engaging and ebullient Andrew Jackson.

Andrew has researched and devised this guided walk through St Ives from his extensive interest in the creative community, and his many years as part of Tate St Ives gallery team. During it you will discover the story of the artists who called this special place home, and earned the town its worldwide artistic reputation. He has also managed to get access to buildings that would not normally be open to the public.

We particularly liked the amount of information he crams in, avoiding that high-flown Tate language that most of us seem not to understand (… can anyone explain what they are going on about half-the-time). Starting at The Barbara Hepworth, the walk works its way through the tucked away streets of St Ives, exploring some inspiring and often overlooked art along the way, and ends about an hour and a half later at Tate’s Visitor Centre, opposite Porthmeor Beach. Costs are £5 and £3, but that includes admission to the Hepworth as well … a bit of a bargain considering how much you will take in.

If you’re heading west, and coming to the Sail Lofts, it’s one we highly recommend as a perfect, gentle, cultural stroll in the morning and/or afternoon sun. Details of how to book are below. If it proves difficult to get through, just arrive at The Hepworth with ten minutes to spare, and you will be able to join-in on the day.

Tate Around Town Art Tours

Every Tuesday, Friday–Saturday

Every Friday at 15.00–16.00

Every Saturday at 15.00–16.00

Every Tuesday at 11.00–12.00


£5 or £3 with Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden admission. Booking essential, call 01736 791177 or email stivesticketing@tate.org.uk