The Bowes Museum, 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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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
1,584 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • We spent time with the guide and so got the story of the Bowes family p,us so much more. We had lunch in the cafe (very good with great service) and then spent another couple of hours wandering round ...  more »
  • Interesting museum with lots of exhibits including ceramics, art, textiles and a really good Lego trail with models of the museum and many exhibits during our visit. Very friendly staff and an excelle...  more »
Google
  • Loved this place and ended up spending half a day on site. My favourite part is the artwork and we got to see the silver swan do it's rather brief turn. Good coffee and cake in the cafe.
  • It was founded by people who loved beautiful things and it's still true to that ethos. Mechanical Swan is amazing and there's much else besides to enjoy. Really good café and shop, and it's not too big. Nice touches like portable seats show they've really thought about making it a good visitor experience. Magnificent building too.
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