Some of us like to relax with a book when we’re on holiday – and others prefer to get stuck into learning a new craft or developing an existing skill. St Ives, with its artistic heritage, is an inspirational place – and many visitors to the town find themselves drawn into one of St Ives’ workshops. From the sublime to the delicious, here are our recommendations for exploring your talents in St Ives’ workshops.


st ives school of painting

St Ives School of Painting opened in April 1938 in the Porthmeor Studios

St Ives School of Painting

Don’t feel daunted by the name – this welcoming art school is wonderful for artists of all ages and levels of experience. Housed in Porthmeor Studios, a recently-renovated building which literally touches the sand on Porthmeor Beach, the School was established in 1938. Classes are small, and taught by professional artists. The art courses vary in length, and are aimed at a range of abilities.

You can choose your course based on medium (watercolour, oil, or drawing, for example) or by special category, including marine landscape and the St Ives Modernists. You can simply choose your course based on how much time you have to dedicate to it, and upon which courses are available during your stay in St Ives (the courses run all year, so are ideal for an out-of-season holiday). If you just want the experience of drawing in the famous Studios, there are also drop-in life drawing classes.


DSC 9488 I Should Coco Small

I Should Coco

Of course, food is also an art; and if you want to create something that isn’t a long-lasting memento but tastes divine, here’s a workshop with a difference. I Should Coco in St Ives is a delectable chocolate shop and workshop, which has been making Fore Street smell gorgeous since 2009.

They offer workshops for families, groups of children, and adults, which can be booked in advance online. You’ll learn lots about the art of the chocolatier, including moulding and dipping chocolate, and truffle making. The Junior Workshop is about getting as creative as possible, with all sorts of exciting ingredients and toppings to work with. And then you get to eat your creation – what’s not to like?


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