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The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle
(4.4/5 based on 1,000+ reviews on the web)
The Bowes Museum boasts a renowned collection of fine and decorative art in the surroundings of a sumptuous French château. Highlights include paintings by El Greco, Francisco Goya, Canaletto, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, and François Boucher, as well as early works by French glassmaker Émile Gallé. Watch the 18th-century Silver Swan automaton preen itself, and wander through the extensive collections of decorative art, costume displays, ceramics, textiles, and tapestries. A cafe offers both light meals and heartier fare, or you can picnic outdoors in the museum's verdant parkland. The surrounding woodlands, children's playground, and seasonal outdoor events complete the experience. Put The Bowes Museum at the forefront of your travel plans using our Barnard Castle holiday planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This time we visited especially to see the shoes an amazing collection of differing styles ranging from several centuries up to more recent times and from various countries.We enjoyed it but Bowes Mus...  more »
  • Beautiful building and grounds! Nice size so you can see whole museum in one go. Particularly liked the Roman artifacts, toys, Silver Swan automaton, and porcelains. Paintings were impressive too. Def...  more »
  • We came upon the Bowes Museum quite by chance although we now know that it is a renowned attraction. Excellent helpful staff; a treasure trove of porcelain, furniture and pictures to enchant the cogno...  more »
Google
  • Lovely little gem. Beautiful building and grounds in a great setting. The regular exhibitions are ok but it often has spectacular temporary exhibitions.
  • Impressive building and collections. Interesting for a walk around and the gardens/woodland areas look like they would be worth an explore too.
  • We visit for the excellent temporary exhibitions but always discover something new in the permanent displays. Restaurant and free car parking.
  • Beautiful building, and a great day out if you enjoy watching robot swans pretend to eat pretend fishes.
  • Absolutely fantastic museum! So much to see inside from visiting exhibitions to the huge museum collections which ranges from paintings and ceramics to a wonderful silver collection. It's worth a trip just to see the superb silver swan automaton still in fully working order.