Toby jugs

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.

Visit Café Bowes for an array of delicious light bites, or refuel the troops with hearty main meals, heavenly puds and drinks. Seasonal menus change regularly and incorporate locally-sourced produce and sumptuous dishes created by Head Chef, Davey, complemented by a great selection of fine wines and beer. Round off your trip with a treat from the Museum shop, which stocks a myriad of gifts, cards and art history books and is continually stocked with fresh and innovative items to complement the Museum's exhibition programme, including exhibition catalogues, postcards and toys.

The Bowes Museum is also available as a corporate venue for meetings and conferences, and is a magnificent and memorable setting for weddings and other special occasions. It has also been used as a glamorous film location and venue for fashion shoots.

Our Education team has created a wealth of workshops for schools and a great offer for families, including creative hands-on activities inspired by the collections and exploring themes in the exhibitions, a regular toddler group and after school club, trails and resources to engage young children.