If there was a prize for the prettiest of Cornish ports, then St Ives would undoubtedly be a contender for the top spot. A tightly packed cluster of slate roofs, fishers' cottages and church towers spread out around turquoise bays – it's an unfailingly dazzling sight. Once a busy pilchard harbour, St Ives later became the centre of Cornwall's arts scene in the 1920s and '30s, when luminary figures such as Barbara Hepworth, Terry Frost, Ben Nicholson and Naum Gabo migrated here in search of artistic freedom.
The town remains an artistic centre, with numerous galleries lining its cobbled streets, as well as the renowned Tate St Ives, which recently received a multimillion pound extension. Whether the town has managed to retain its artistic soul is another matter – it's one of Cornwall's holiday home hot spots, and uncomfortably packed with tourists in summer, so visit in spring or autumn if you can.