The Bowes Museum is the jewel in the heart of the historic market town of Barnard Castle in the beautiful Durham countryside.
Housing internationally significant collections of fine and decorative arts, the Museum was purpose built in the 19thC by wealthy businessman John Bowes and his French actress wife Josephine. Their romantic story is revealed as you wander around this graceful and elegant Grade I Listed building.
The diverse collections begun by this amazing couple are constantly being added to and currently span three floors of this magnificent French-style chateau. Whether its paintings by Van Dyck, Canaletto or Goya, delicate porcelain produced at Sevres, or fashion from the 16-20th centuries, it can all be found at The Bowes Museum, which has received Designated status from the Government in recognition of the quality of its outstanding collections.
Visitors to the museum can not only learn of John and Josephine’s wonderful story and marvel at the fascinating objects on show but can also enjoy an exciting programme of exhibitions – including fashion, photography and fine art – plus events, with guided tours and gallery talks by specialist’s curators enhancing the experience. A recent £12m makeover which has spawned the opening of new galleries and the delivery of enhanced visitor facilities has pivoted the museum into the 21st Century.
The magnificent legacy that John and Josephine Bowes left to the people of Barnard Castle and beyond has been transformed in a sympathetic way to retain its charm and intrigue while protecting the collections for future generations.
And if that isn’t enough, don’t miss the museum’s unique and popular exhibit, the Silver Swan musical automaton, built in 1773, which performs daily to delight audiences.
No visit is complete without sampling a delicious lunch, sumptuous afternoon tea or tempting snack in Café Bowes, or a browse in the shop, which offer s a wide range of gifts, books, confectionery and original art and jewellery.
Surrounded by 22 acres of parkland including formal gardens, a woodland walk, picnic area and children’s play facilities, The Bowes Museum, surrounded by rolling countryside, is the perfect destination for a family day out.
|Ticket Type||Ticket Tariff|
|Adult||£10.50 per ticket type|
|Concession||£9.50 per ticket type|
|Students (on production of Student Card)||£6.00 per ticket type|
Children under 16 free. Six month admission pass £16, Students (on production of Student Card) £6. Groups or 12+ £7 per person
- VAQAS VB Attraction VAQAS
- Visit England Code of Practice 2016
- Visit England Quality Assured Visitor Attraction 2014
- Regional and Miscellaneous TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2016
- Certificate of Excellence 2016
TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:
- Very Good305
- Kay TTrip Type:FamilyBeautifulTuesday, 23rd May 2017Well worth a visit lots of floors that you can see some great art. The Swan is worth seeing check the time when it's switched on. Gardens are lovely for a walk. Lots of parking toilets small shop. Read full review
- Sandra SWest Yorkshire, United KingdomTrip Type:CouplesBowes museumTuesday, 23rd May 2017Very enjoyable visit. Lovely artwork of josephine bowes and A very interesting story about josephine and her husband john. Read full review
- KristalB58Barnard Castle, United KingdomTrip Type:FamilyA Must Visit Place in Barnard CastleTuesday, 23rd May 2017Great place for a visit with lots of different rooms to explore, a children's discovery area and a really nice cafe. Its the sort of place you can go to time and time again and see something new... Read full review
- Access Statement - Please see below
Parking & Transport
- On site parking
|2017 (1 Jan 2017 - 31 Dec 2017)|
|Monday - Sunday||10:00||- 17:00|
|Bank Holiday||10:00||- 17:00|
* Closed 25 & 26 Dec, 1 Jan. Cafe opening 1000-1630. Shop opening 1000-1645.