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“Went especially to see David Hockney exhibition”
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.
County Durham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
93 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Went especially to see David Hockney exhibition”
Reviewed August 3, 2014

Visitors must use central revolving door so difficult to access with a buggy. Fortunately there were 2 adults and 1 infant in buggy so 1 adult had to ask for side door to be unlocked . Done but no smile or pleasantries exchanged from staff. 2 Staff in shop were having a heated dispute over a parcel to be posted, it was rather protracted so did not stay too long or purchase anything.
Staff were disappointingly unfriendly ( last gallery / museum visit was to The Walker art gallery in Liverpool and they were VERY friendly indeed) .
Had to ask for door to be unlocked again on exit not sure why these are kept locked?
Building and grounds are beautiful and there are some lovely items inside ( ceramics/ clothing / art ) . But staff awareness of visitors maybe needs a review.

Visited July 2014
1 Thank RioSriOz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,201 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Polish first
  • Any
English first
Monmouth, Wales, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
61 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Very informative collection by the Bowes family”
Reviewed August 1, 2014

This collection of items from the Bowes family is very extensive and housed in a beautiful manor house that was built specifically for the collections and I believe never actually lived in. Everything was immaculately displayed, the art collections are wonderful and "The Silver Swan" is exquisite; my sister and I were fortunate enough to be able to see the Swan in action. This is a must visit for those who like this sort of thing and are in the area. The galleries are: A The Streatlam Galleries exhibiting archeology, toys and curiosities, B Learning vaults with wet and messy areas for arts and crafts fun, plus teaching and preparation space for staff. C European decorative art showing luxurious materials and the best craftmanship of the 18th century including the Lady Ludlow porcelain collection; D John and Josephine Story gallery all about this amazing couple and their fascinating life in Paris and what led them to embark upon their spectacular museum project. E Fashion and Textile gallery this is an award winning gallery of fashion and textiles from 1550 to 1970 with a rolling exhibition programme; F Decoration & Ornamantation of English Interiors 1500 - 1900 showing English furniture and decorative styles from Tudor to Victorian times; G Exhibitions gallery is where there are ever changing exhibitions on show; H the Ceramics Gallery featuring one of the most important collections of European ceramics in Britain with a special strength in French pottery and porcelain; I The Silver and Metals Gallery fine silver and metal ware including an introduction to the famous Silver Swan; J Picture galleries featuring some of the Museum's outstanding works of art, spanning the Renaissance to the late 19th century; K Music Room musical instruments from the collection of artworks based on classical themes; L Jubilee room which is available for private hire.

Visited July 2014
Thank Claire W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenock, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“A gem!”
Reviewed July 31, 2014

Spent four hours exploring this wonderful museum and there is still more to see for another time. Don't miss the silver swan automaton which plays at 2pm.

Visited July 2014
Thank Calinda_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Top museum”
Reviewed July 28, 2014

This museum is just brilliant with friendly staff, a wonderful building and setting and an interesting history as well as exhibits.

Visited July 2014
Thank Laura C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
105 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Beautiful Building”
Reviewed July 25, 2014

Lovely building & grounds. Fantastic paintings & lots of other things to see. The mechanical swan was a bit of a let down. Nice café.

Visited July 2014
Thank Paul P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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