Artists have long been drawn to Cornwall for its rugged, natural beauty, amazing light and picturesque towns. The south of the county is particularly well known for its artist communities and acclaimed galleries, with St Ives, Falmouth and Newlyn high on any art connoisseur’s itinerary. But north Cornwall won’t disappoint and is full of galleries bursting with every conceivable form of art. Here are 10 of the best in and around Padstow:
Lemon Street Gallery, Truro
This well-established institution is housed in the elegant surroundings of Truro’s prestigious Lemon Street. Billed as one of the country’s leading contemporary galleries it is home to a mixture of established and up and coming artists.
Port Isaac Pottery, Port Isaac
Based in the heart of this historic harbour town and located in a former Methodist chapel, Port Isaac Pottery is both studio and gallery space. During your visit, watch local potters throwing and firing their latest pieces, dine in the chapel café and look out over the stunning harbour views.
Create Cornwall, Mawgan Porth
Located within the Bedruthan hotel, an establishment built in the 1950s to encapsulate the Modernist movement in art and architecture, the in-house gallery remains an integral part of that ongoing mission. The current owners continue to shine a spotlight on contemporary Cornish art and sustainable design, which spills out of the exhibition space and throughout the entire hotel.
Jo Downs Glass, Padstow
The internationally renowned glass designer has galleries across Cornwall including one on our doorstep in Padstow. Jo’s glass work is inspired by the region’s coastal landscapes, using advanced glass fusion techniques to create stunning abstract designs on vases and dishes as well as in large scale windows and wall panels.
The Padstow Studio, Padstow
This studio and exhibition space was founded by landscape artist Sarah Adams. Her large scale, dramatic oil paintings of the Cornish coast, cliffs and caves can be found on the second floor. An artist run gallery, it is also home to some of the region’s finest textiles, ceramics and sculpture.
Whitewater Gallery, Polzeath
This delightful gallery in the stunning bay of Polzeath is run by artist Suki Wapshott. A great selection of original art from local artists with a mix of dramatic coastal and modern art and local pottery. Caroline Cleave is a popular artist at the gallery, and Kilden Mor has an original on the walls called ‘Camel Estuary Frills’.
Mid Cornwall Galleries, St Blazey
A former Victorian School on the outskirts of St. Austell is the unlikely setting for one the West Country’s largest exhibition and retail spaces for contemporary arts and crafts. You’ll find a wide range of highly accomplished paintings, ceramics, jewellery, glass, and metalwork.
Next door to the ancient village clock tower, the well-established Tregony Gallery was transformed in 2015 from a traditional exhibition space into an artist run venture with a focus on figurative painting and contemporary art. It is now home to an impressive selection of established and emerging British artists.
Cliffside Gallery, Port Isaac
If you’re looking for something a little (or a lot!) more personal than Tate St. Ives, visit Port Isaac and the working studio / gallery of artist Katie Childs. You’ll be greeted by her friendly dogs and invited to enjoy her ever changing selection of oil pastel and collages of the local landscape.
Atishoo Gallery, Charlestown
On the approach to a picturesque harbour well known to viewers of Poldark (check out Real life TV and movie sets to visit in Cornwall), the quaintly named Atishoo is a commercial family run gallery bursting with colour and Cornish influenced art and craft.
Zeath Gallery, Polzeath
Overlooking the legendary surfer’s beach at nearby Polzeath and connected to the Tubestation cafe, this hidden gem champions work by local artists. You’ll find work inspired by the sea along with jewellery, giclee prints, cards and gifts.