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Bowes Museum

Newgate Category Museums & Galleries, Historic Sites
Bowes Museum image

A magnificent French château created in the late 19th century by John and Joséphine Bowes, housing internationally renowned collections of European fine and decorative arts spanning five centuries. The permanent collections comprise works by artists such as Canaletto, El Greco, Courbet and Turner, and contain one of Britain’s most extensive collections of ceramics, including Italian maiolica and Sèvres Porcelain. Its iconic Silver Swan, an 18th century musical automaton, plays every day at 2.00pm.

The permanent collections, and the Museum’s impressive refurbishments, are complemented by an eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary exhibitions, as diverse as Goya, Boudin, Monet, Damien Hirst, Vivienne Westwood and Tim Walker.

The Bowes Museum is a great day out for all visitors, including families, couples, the young and old, and special interest groups. Whether you’re looking for a fun and inspiring day out for the whole family, a quiet cultural sojourn for two or a group excursion with a difference, a visit to the Museum has it all. Its world-class temporary exhibition programme complements its eclectic collections of fine art, textiles, period furniture, ceramics, silver and local history artefacts, and there's a great love story told in the John & Joséphine galleries about our founders and their amazing history.

There are acres of beautiful parkland to explore before you’ve even set foot inside, with woodland walks that are easily navigable and accessible for wheelchairs and buggies, perfect for a tranquil picnic or burning off energy in the children's playground. A vibrant and varied outdoor programme of events are held in the grounds, including seasonal markets, car rallies and outdoor theatre productions.

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