The best arts and culture attractions in Cornwall

Tuesday 11th August, 2020

Cornwall is a rich tapestry of cultural experiences. For generations, this place has been an escape for creative minds, leaving a vibrant legacy of galleries, museums and theatres. Here, you’ll find the space to immerse yourself in tales from our past or to experience groundbreaking new artists.

Imagine spending time together atop Cornwall’s dramatic coastline, watching acclaimed performances at the Minack Theatre. Discover more about the astonishing story of Rowena Cade, who built the theatre into the cliffs with her own hands. Just next door, beside Porthcurno Beach, is PK Porthcurno. This hidden gem was once at the heart of a communications revolution and has a fascinating WWII history.

The mining industry is a vital part of Cornwall’s heritage, and CATA has two member attractions that tell important tales of our mining past. In west Cornwall, Geevor Tin Mine offers an insight into life underground and shows the mine exactly as it was on the day it closed its doors for good. Over in east Cornwall, Wheal Martyn highlights the stories of china clay miners and the industry that shaped the landscape of this area.

Go as a family and follow in the footsteps of kings, soldiers and sea captains at two of Cornwall’s legendary castles. Set on a headland with breathtaking views out to sea, Pendennis Castle is one of Henry VIII’s finest coastal fortresses. Or immerse yourself in history, myths and stunning scenery at Tintagel, set high on Cornwall's rugged north coast. Inextricably linked with the legend of King Arthur, for centuries this dramatic castle and coastline has fired the imaginations of writers and artists.

Overlooking the Atlantic, Tate St Ives celebrates the artists who have made Cornwall their home and explores their links to the local area. From there, it’s just a short walk to the Barbara Hepworth Museum, which displays a collection of the renowned sculptor’s work that’s not to be missed.

At the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, learn all about the unbreakable ties between the people of Cornwall and the briny blue. The exhibitions at the Falmouth museum unravel fascinating tales of life on the ocean, from plucky Packet Service crews to modern-day explorers.

Not far down the road in Truro, the Royal Cornwall Museum provides an interactive and family friendly experience. The museum’s collection is a testimony to Cornish life and culture, with an eclectic and varied series of exhibitions exploring many different aspects of our county – all in a way that visitors (of all ages) will love.

Remember to check on each attraction's website to see whether they are open during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many attractions will have changed their opening times, and all those who remain open during the pandemic will have safety measures in place for your wellbeing. Many attractions will require you to think ahead, plan your trip and book your ticket in advance.   

The best arts and culture attractions in Cornwall

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