The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle

4.4
#1 of 13 in Things to do in Barnard Castle
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. For The Bowes Museum and beyond, use our Barnard Castle travel itinerary planner to get the most from your Barnard Castle vacation.
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The Bowes Museum Reviews
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4.5
TripAdvisor
  • August 20, 2017
    What a fantastic place. A purpose built museum by the previous owner. It houses many fascinating things. It also has a cafe which is good too.  more »
  • August 20, 2017
    We have wanted to visit for quite a while, and were staggered to find it is only just outside Barnard Castle, not in the wilds of the country as we had imagined from the pictures. It is therefore very...  more »
  • August 19, 2017
    It was such a pleasure to drive in through those glorious gates and to be able to park immediately outside this French chateau; no charge of course! It gave us an immediate sense of 'ownership' and li...  more »
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  • 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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