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Last updated: 19 April, 2023

Founded in 1920 by Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada, the pioneering Leach Pottery in St Ives went on to become the world’s most influential pottery studio; Eastern and Western ceramic traditions and the use of locally sourced materials continue to influence ceramic artists to this day.

It still trains potters from around the world, and you too can learn the art of pottery here from the best in the business. They offer a selection of workshops ranging from a 2-hour tasting session, to evening classes and 5-day courses. Adults only (18+)

There’s also a museum and gallery and shop if you want to explore the history of pottery, and a shop to purchase some first-rate, hand-crafted ceramics.

Especially for the under 12s

There are special workshops in school holidays for ages 7-12 and teens. There are also sensory experiences for toddlers, also during school holidays on selected dates.

Price from: £8
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

The studio is a 20-minute walk up the hill from central St Ives; if you’re driving, there are a handful of parking spaces on site, or public parking nearby. Guided tours are offered on Thursdays and must be booked ahead on the website.

When to do it

The museum and shop are open every day in summer, but close on Sundays in winter months. Pottery classes are run on selected dates – see the website for options and times.

Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

St Ives Harbour Hotel & Spa

St Ives, Cornwall, United Kingdom (UK)[1.1 miles]

Tranquil, luxury boutique hotel and spa, perfectly located on Porthminster Beach, with stunning views out to sea.

Official star rating:

Boskerris Hotel

St Ives, Cornwall, United Kingdom (UK)[2.3 miles]

A beautifully chic, beautifully run boutique hotel outside St Ives, with stunning ocean views. No kids under 16.

Official star rating:

The Godolphin

Marazion, Cornwall, United Kingdom (UK)[9.4 miles]

An intimate and welcoming 17th-century coaching inn, with spectacular views across to St Michael’s Mount, right above Marazion’s beach.

Official star rating:

Chapel House

Penzance, Cornwall, United Kingdom (UK)[10.4 miles]

A heritage Georgian home, originally built by an Admiral, now a stylish and welcoming 6-room guesthouse.

Official star rating:

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience


Cornwall, United Kingdom (UK)

A region of craggy cliffs, sheltered creeks, glorious sandy beaches and quintessential villages – rich in local life, pagan legend and delicious, locally-made food and drink.

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Our writer’s recommendations of other bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Tate St Ives

St Ives, Cornwall, United Kingdom (UK)[1.2 miles]

Internationally-renowned contemporary art gallery, an offshoot of London’s Tate, idyllically set overlooking Porthmeor Beach.

Best for ages: 4+ | £11

Foraging with Fat Hen

Penzance, Cornwall, United Kingdom (UK)[15.3 miles]

Excellently run and fascinating foraging and cooking courses with professional forager, ecologist and cook Caroline Davey. A must for foodies.

Best for ages: 13+ | £45 | 2 hours - 1 day

Other worthwhile experiences near this experience if you have time or interest..

children making chocolate at cocos kitchen

Chocolate-making workshops at Coco Kitchen

St Ives, Cornwall, United Kingdom (UK)[1.1 miles]

Families and chocoholics will love these chocolate workshops, that see you designing, moulding and decorating a variety of chocolate treats (that you take home after). A brilliant group experience for all ages, with special activities even for the toddlers.

Best for ages: 4+ | £25 | 1 hour

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Porthmeor & Porthminster Beaches

Porthmeor & Porthminster Beaches

St Ives, Cornwall, United Kingdom (UK)[1.2 miles]

St Ives’ web of narrow streets is framed by these two postcard-perfect Blue Flag beaches. Porthminster, nestling under the cliffs, is broad and great for families. Porthmeor is deeper, with great rockpooling for kids and surfer-friendly waves.

Best for ages: 4+ | Free

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Jubilee Pool, Penzance, Art deco, sea water filled lido at Penzance, Cornwall

Jubilee Pool

Penzance, Cornwall, United Kingdom (UK)[10.6 miles]

Stop for a swim at this Art Deco lido gem, with curving white walls, diving platforms, rows of cubicles, a baby pool and a warner geothermal pool (extra charge). Under 4s swim free. Right on the seafront, the pool is fed by the tide. Open end May to early September.

Best for ages: 4+ | £6

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