The steeply built town of ST IVES has been a favourite haunt of artists ever since the early 1900s. Among its most famous residents was a wave of innovative artists headed by Ben Nicholson, his wife Barbara Hepworth, Naum Gabo and the potter Bernard Leach. In the 1960s they were followed by another wave that included Terry Frost and Patrick Heron. Art is still big news in the town, whose major sights are the Tate St Ives art museum and sculptor Barbara Hepworth's house and garden. Dozens of smaller galleries fill the narrow streets around the town.
Porthmeor Beach dominates the northern side of St Ives, its excellent water quality and surfer-friendly rollers drawing a regular crowd, while the broader Porthminster Beach, south of the station, is usually less busy.