Tate Gallery at St Ives is almost too well known to require a special write-up. Inside, there is a warren of galleries on several floors and it can take some time to find your way around. There’s a lot to see. If you are planning a special trip, note that the gallery is in the old town, the streets are narrow and the town is popular and crowded in summer. If you arrive by car, you are advised to park in a car park above the town and walk or take a bus to the old town. There are fine views from the rooftop cafe terrace. Outside the gallery, there are other private galleries you could visit, plus the beach, etc.
A former airfield, now one of the two sites of the RAF Museum. It’s near the railway, and many years ago when passing by, one could see some large parked aircraft from the train. Nowadays the collections are housed indoors, including some purpose-built buildings. Admission is free, though I recollect that they expect visitors to “check in”. It’s accessible by public transport. Access by car is easy, but note that there is now a charge for car parking. This is a large and diverse museum – they say it is impossible to see everything in one day. For more information check the museum’s website. An essential visit for those interested in military aviation.
The Museum is housed in a large white building, and associated tunnels, which formerly housed the shore terminal for Britain’s trans-ocean telegraph cables. It now contains exhibits about marine cables, telegraph equipment, etc. If you are interested in electronics or the history of technology, you should find this a rewarding visit. Don’t underestimate the time required to look at everything inside – I allowed two hours and found that this wasn’t long enough. If you are parking in the car-park between the Museum and the beach, I recommend that you pay for 3 hours’ parking. Note that should you need to lose the rest of the family for two or three hours, a beach and coastal walks are nearby.
An impressive house, originally built as an Elizabethan “power house.” Notable are interesting contents, and the impressive Long Gallery. I remember that I much enjoyed visiting this house. There are also extensive grounds and a lake. Suggested visit time: half day.
Home of the 306th Bombardment Group Museum. This small museum is worth a visit if you are a military aviation or history buff. My elderly mother enjoyed it. Suggested visit time: 1 hr.
The runways still exist, if the satellite view is any guide, but the former airfield is occupied partly by the Jonathan Palmer motor racing site, and an industrial park.
Visited c. 2008
An Elizabethan house with gardens, not much altered. An attractive building with pleasant gardens. Worth visiting if you are in the area.
This is the airfield from which Glenn Miller departed before his disappearance. Wartime buldings remain on the site, and house the Glenn Miller Museum and other small museums devoted to aviation, militaria, old vehicles and the Fire service. The wartime runways have reverted to agriculture. Enough to keep airplane and history buffs amused for half a day.
Visited c. 2005
While the house is old in origins, it has been updated a number of times and it’s the contents and gardens which are notable. It contains a major collection of paintings and porcelain, including Old Masters. To the rear are the magnificent gardens, which descend by terracing towards water. There is also a kitchen garden. Allow for a half-day visit.
Below the hill are the Hellfire Caves (not NT), now refurbished as a tourist attraction. Possibly of ancient origin, they were extended by Sir Francis Dashwood to embellish his estate, and extend underground for about half a mile. If you like exploring holes in the ground you should enjoy them.
Extensive and attractive grounds with large lake and follies. The house interior is interesting. Note that the opening dates and hours are rather restricted. Suggested visit time 3hrs.
Village, Hill, Church, Mausoleum, and Caves (not NT) are nearby if you have a whole day.