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“A beautiful Chateau en Angleterre”
Review of The Bowes Museum

The Bowes Museum
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: It’s been delighting visitors for more than 100 years, and now a £12m revamp has transformed The Bowes Museum into a must see 21st Century place to visit.A romantic history, stunning galleries, great location, fine dining, top class exhibitions, family fun events, a thriving toddler group – all these can be discovered inside this fabulous listed building which resembles a French chateau.And that’s not all. It’s surrounded by parkland, woodland walks, formal gardens and a newly opened children’s play area.No visit is complete without a browse in our shop, or a delicious snack in Café Bowes.If you’re looking for a great day out, make The Bowes Museum your destination of choice. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for up to the minute info on what’s on when.
Essex, England
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“A beautiful Chateau en Angleterre”
Reviewed October 20, 2013

We knew the swan automata was sited at Bowes Museum, but wanted to do Pennine walking too. Barnard Castle is the perfect place to start from but don't forget this museum. Actually Museum might be the right label but it's also an exhibition gallery too. Toys, textiles, history, family stories, and Josephine Bowes artwork! Large open spaces, none of the crush I associate with London galleries and museums. Beautiful grounds - even when pouring with rain! A great place to spend a few hours especially as everything is labelled so you can see what you're looking at! It's a simple thing but missing from some places. Lastly while we were there there was a very interesting exhibition about the local man Jeremiah Dixon (Cockfield is nearby) who surveyed the Mason-Dixon line in the USA. FANTASTIC PLACE to visit

BTW you should know that just the swan is 'played' every day for 32 seconds at 2pm and it's guaranteed to make you smile

Visited September 2013
1 Thank MarcoPolomint
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Christchurch, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Certainly worth a visit”
Reviewed October 14, 2013

We had been to Barbard Castle on our previous trip and were determinede to pay a visit to Bowes this time around.

Certainly a magnificent building from the outside and the inside did not disappoint at all. So much to see and enjoy. Not just the paintings but the porcelain/china/silver dispalys were wonderful.

A reasonable price with helpful people around. Handy parking a bonus.

We could not stay long enough to see the Silver Swan strut its stuff at 2pm but they did have a video playing of it in action.

Good shop and tearooms.

Visited August 2013
Thank Robert A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Great museum in a tranquil setting”
Reviewed October 13, 2013

An impressive building in a quiet setting and fronted by a lovely parterre garden. Inside the rooms are laid out in traditional museum style. We particularly liked all the old toys and games. Fashion and textile displays were interesting and the Laura Ashley exhibition was superb. The picture galleries on the second floor have a fine selection of paintings and it is worth waiting to see the musical Silver Swan automaton. Good toilet and eating facilities on the ground floor.

Visited October 2013
Thank Rogrita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
73 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Not brilliant but worth a visit”
Reviewed October 12, 2013

Have been before but when very busy so took the opportunity to pop in again mid week when it was quieter.
Enjoyed the paintings gallery although the selection was not so good as when we last visited.I agree with some other reviewers that the lighting is not good in places especially high up.Also enjoyed looking at the porclean and ceramics from many different parts of the world.Went to see the gold and silver collection but again lighting is very poor so did not linger.Worth seeing the silver swan in action as very old and beautifully crafted -as reported by others the actual demonsrtation of the swan working takes about 37 seconds !! But still worth seeing.
The cafe is Ok but be warned they have no idea on how to make hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshallows !
Entrance prices are reasonable especially for children and seniors.Do not think it worth travelling a long way just to see Bowea Museum but if in area then worth the visit -the grounds are also quite attractive and the main street of Barnard Castle is just a short walk down the road with all its small and interesting shops.

Visited October 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
156 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
“Found by accident...”
Reviewed October 8, 2013

Travelling from the North East back to Lancashire, we decided to travel via Barnard Castle. Drove through the town, didn't see too much to interest us and headed for the road out of town when I saw the sign "Museum" and followed it. Turned a corner and on our left WOW !, what an impressive and magnificent sight - The Bowes Museum.

Obviously drove into the large grounds, parked with ease and in fact spent the day there. What a wonderful building, purpose built by the original owners as a museum. We paid the reasonable fee and followed the one-way system through the building and it's treasures. Without exception, the volunteer guides which were every room and the main open areas were superb with a wealth of knowledge and only too happy to impart their knowledge to anyone who requested it. Part way through we had a break and went for a light lunch in the cafe, following which we continued with our viewing.

We had an excellent day and visit to the Bowes Museum which, although found by "accident" proved to be one of the highlights of our weekend break. Well done to Museum and all of it's staff, you're doing a great job and I can strongly recommend a visit to anybody, either by "accident" or on a planned visit..............

Visited October 2013
1 Thank RobboLancashire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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