Barbara Hepworth Museum & Sculpture Garden

In the enchanting seaside town of St Ives, known for its vibrant art scene, lies the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden.

This unique museum offers a personal insight into the work of one of Britain’s most significant modern sculptors, Dame Barbara Hepworth.

Set within the tranquil garden that was once the artist’s studio and home, the museum not only showcases her striking sculptures but also serves as a serene retreat from the bustling town.

Discovering the Barbara Hepworth Museum

The Life and Work of Barbara Hepworth

Barbara Hepworth moved to St Ives during the Second World War and became a central figure in the town’s artistic community.

Her studio and garden, where she worked from 1949 until her death in 1975, are preserved much as she left them, offering an intimate glimpse into her creative process.

The museum displays a remarkable collection of her sculptures in bronze, stone, and wood, alongside drawings, paintings, and archive material.

The Sculpture Garden

The garden, designed by Hepworth herself, is a living gallery where her sculptures are displayed in the natural environment she intended.

Walking through the garden, visitors can appreciate the organic shapes and forms of her work, set against the backdrop of lush plants and the Cornish sky.

Planning Your Visit

Getting There

The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden is located in the heart of St Ives, within walking distance from the train station and the main car parks.

St Ives can be busy, especially in the summer, so arriving early or using public transport is advisable.

Tickets and Opening Times

Managed by Tate St Ives, the museum is open throughout the year, with reduced hours outside of the peak summer months.

It’s recommended to check the Tate website for the most current opening times and to purchase tickets in advance.

Entry is free for Tate Members, and joint tickets with Tate St Ives are available for those wishing to explore more of the town’s art offerings.

Best Times to Visit

The museum and garden are beautiful in all seasons, but spring and summer offer the chance to see the garden in full bloom.

Early morning or late afternoon visits provide softer light for viewing the sculptures and a more peaceful experience.

Maximising Your Experience

Take Your Time: The museum and garden invite contemplation. Allow yourself plenty of time to wander and observe the interplay between the sculptures and their surroundings.

Photography: While photography for personal use is allowed in the garden, remember to respect the tranquillity of the space and the experience of other visitors.

Guided Tours: Check the museum’s schedule for guided tours, which can offer deeper insights into Hepworth’s life, work, and her influence on modern art.

Tips for Your Visit

Wear Suitable Footwear: The garden paths are uneven in places, so comfortable shoes are recommended.

Weather Considerations: Much of the museum is outdoors, so bring suitable clothing for the Cornish weather, which can be changeable.

Accessibility: Due to the historic nature of the site, some areas may present difficulties for those with mobility issues. Check the Tate website for detailed access information.

Nearby Attractions

Tate St Ives: A short walk from the museum, Tate St Ives offers a broader look at modern and contemporary art, with a focus on the St Ives School.

Porthmeor Beach: Just moments away, this beautiful beach is perfect for a relaxing stroll after your museum visit.

St Ives Town: Explore the narrow streets of St Ives, filled with independent shops, galleries, and cafes, reflecting the town’s artistic heritage.


A visit to the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden is a journey into the heart of 20th-century modernism, set within the idyllic surroundings of St Ives.

It offers not just an appreciation of Hepworth’s artistic achievements but also a moment of reflection and connection with the landscape that inspired her.

For art lovers, history enthusiasts, or those seeking a peaceful escape, this museum is a captivating and enriching experience.