We have investigated strained GaAs–GaInP core–shell nanowires using transmission electron microscopy and nanofocused scanning X-ray diffraction. Nominally identical growth conditions for each sample were achieved by using nanoimprint lithography to create wafer-scale arrays of Au seed particles. However, we observe large individual differences, with neighboring nanowires showing either straight, bent, or twisted morphology. Using scanning X-ray diffraction, we reconstructed and quantified the bending and twisting of the nanowires in three dimensions. In one nanowire, we find that the shell lattice is tilted with respect to the core lattice, with an angle that increases from 2° at the base to 5° at the top. Furthermore, the azimuthal orientation of the tilt changes by 30° along the nanowire axis. Our results demonstrate how strained core–shell nanowire growth can lead to a rich interplay of composition, lattice mismatch, bending and lattice tilt, with additional degrees of complexity compared with thin films.