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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
  • We visited the museum simply because it was on our route to Darlington. We had no real expectations but were hugely impressed. To find a large French chateau in a small market town in the North East i...  more »
  • I visited The Bowes Museum whilst staying in Barnard Castle over the New Year. It is a must do. The story is so interesting, there ate wonderful collectables. The building is a fine Victorian example ...  more »
  • This is a wonderful place and I cannot recommend it enough. The history and collection are are well worth a visit. 
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.