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The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle

4.4
#1 of 13 in Things to do in Barnard Castle
Specialty Museum Museum
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
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1,196 reviews
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4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Spent over three hours visiting the museum. The staff at the desk were very helpful. Start at the video room to get an overview of the museum. The swan has a showing at 2 pm...worth a visit if in the ...  more »
  • Bowes was an experience. I went in at 10am and came out at 6pm. I made the trip specially to see the costme collection and I was not disappointed. Out of sheer luck, my visit coincided with the Museum...  more »
  • A wonderful museum set in a glorious building. There's plenty to see from art, toys, clothes, furniture, porcelain - a real collectors' paradise. However, amongst those gems of goodies there are some ...  more »
Google
  • In Barnard Castle the Bowes Museum seems big enough to grace a city many times larger than this rural market town. Do not be misled. This is a museum of first class quality. Set in open rolling countryside the museum is worth a visit just for the scenery and quiet strolls around the grounds. But wait, inside this copy of a French Chateau there are floor after floor of treasures gathered from around the world. The exhibitions held in this minor palace range from the history of Jeremiah Dixon, the original "Dixie" of the Mason Dixon Line fame (A local lad) to ladies fashions and shoes. Food festivals, music concerts and many other attractions are held in the expansive grounds. To top off this jewel in the County Durham crown the restaurant is an ideal place to rest your feet and fortify yourself, with a good menu and views from the windows to rival any in the world.
  • Great museum with a great selection of antiquities. It's such a magnificent building which is a must see in its self.
  • For painting superb. And furniture and glassware it's good too. Well worth a visit if your in North Yorkshire. Free easy parking, there is a charge to get in but it's worth it. Good coffee and cake shop too if that's you're thing.
  • If you are in the locality, you must visit this place. The location is stunning and the collection quite unique in the UK. It is a wonderful mix of decorative arts and paintings on a manageable scale. The layout is spacious and perfectly accessible. The cafe is exceptional in terms of design, sunning views, delicious food and value. The London Art venues should come to Bowes Museum and see how to run a cafe. The only slight negative is, the captions in the picture galleries are not always easy to relate to the paintings. Never mind, you just work harder at looking which is the purpose of a gallery. Thank you to all the staff that make a visit such a rewarding experience!
  • Lots to see - needs several visits. Today enjoyed the Canaletto and the fashion and textiles gallery.

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