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The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle

(1,100+ reviews on the web)
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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  • 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 »
  • 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.