As you may have deduced from other posts of mine, Cornwall is one of my absolute favourite parts of the UK, and the little coastal town of St Ives in particular. Each time I visit, there are certain places I have to go and pay pilgrimage to each time and the Barbara Hepworth house and garden is one of those places.
If you don’t know much about Barbara Hepworth; she was an incredible sculptor and had a fascinating life, there are lots of books around about her life so I recommend adding a couple to your summer reading list.
She was married to Ben Nicholson and was a leading influencer in the modernist artistic community in St Ives; you can take a look at this biography of her to find out a little more. Or alternatively just head along to this lovely little museum in St Ives and start your journey there. The Tate run regular tours and their guides are really lovely and helpful, even if you ask tons of questions (like I did).
Tucked away on a steeply sloping street (aren’t they all in St Ives!) the museum is Barbara’s house and studio and it has been preserved pretty much as she left it, her studio (above) hasn’t been touched since she died and it’s both magical and a little sad to see it. The quality of light and the size of the space is amazing. Look at the little steps from one studio to the next.
The garden is beautful too. It has the almost tropical feel that many Cornish gardens have thanks to the warm climate and her sculpture is dotted throughout. It’s a really peaceful and magical place and I highly recommend a visit.
If you need a reviving cup of tea after all that walking, I highly recommend this little gem of a cafe nearby – it has one of the best views in St Ives.
This is a photo I took of the house opposite the museum to give you an idea of how steep the streets are! Wear comfy shoes…
Visitor information can be found here -> Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden
All images: Victoria Harrison