Visitors exceed expectations at The Bowes Museum

Visitors exceed expectations at The Bowes Museum

And feel safe, confident and reassured with the COVID-19 measures introduced.

The trustees of The Bowes Museum are overjoyed to announce that visitor numbers have already surpassed those expected for the whole month, less than 3 weeks after reopening its doors on 1stAugust.


Feedback also shows that visitors feel safe, reassured and confident with the measures the Museum has introduced to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Responses to a recent questionnaire include:


“All the staff were so careful and welcoming, we felt very safe and cared for, thank you. What a wonderful place for our first post-lockdown visit, it really couldn’t have been better.”

“Felt safe during the whole visit to the exhibitions and the café.”

“Open spaces and plenty of sanitising units.”

“The museum had put in place excellent Covid secure guidelines.”

“The museum appeared to have installed all relevant covid-19 measures, well done, it was very much appreciated.”

“Excellent organisation covering the virus.  I felt safe during the whole of my visit.”


Peter Mothersill, Chairman of Trustees, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the support the Museum has received from visitors.   The resounding vote in confidence through such positive feedback is testament to the staff’s hard work in preparing the Museum to ensure everyone who comes through the doors feels safe and welcomed.”


The Museum has introduced a pre-booked admission process where visitors must buy a ticket for a timed entry slot to the collections, it has installed hand sanitising stations around the building and grounds, there are notices reminding people to adhere to social distancing and separate entrances and exits for both the Museum and café.  It’s also increased cleaning of all areas especially frequently touched points.  A one-way system has been introduced in the shop and screens have been installed at all till points, contactless payment is preferred.


Visitors to the Barnard Castle based Museum are able to enjoy extensions to the Norman Cornish: The Definitive Collection, Pre-Raphaelite Knights: Reinventing the Medieval World and blimey!Lucretia exhibitions as well as a whole host of family fun and young adult's events.


Tickets can be booked through the Museum website: or by calling 01833 690606.  


The Museum is open from 10 to 5 daily and only closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.






Notes to editors:


  • The Bowes Museum was created over 100 years ago by an extraordinary couple, John and Joséphine Bowes.  Together they built up the greatest private collection of fine and decorative arts in the North of England and constructed a magnificent building to house them in. The collection contains thousands of objects including furniture, paintings, sculpture, ceramics, textiles and many other items covering an extensive range of European styles and periods. 
  • The Bowes Museum receives a core funding grant from Durham County Council and as a Major Portfolio Museum receives support from Arts Council England. Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.
  • The Bowes Museum has undergone major redevelopment,supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, One NorthEast through the County Durham Economic Partnership, English Heritage, Northern Rock Foundation, The Monument Trust, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Foyle Foundation, The European Regional Development Fund, DCMS/Wolfson Museum and Galleries Improvement Fund, Designation Challenge Fund, The Shears Foundation, The Richard and Suzanna Tonks Family Fund at County Durham Foundation, Durham County Council, The Friends of The Bowes Museum, The Headley Trust, Sir James Knott Trust, Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust, Fenwick Ltd, Mercers Charitable Foundation, Welton Foundation. 
  • The Bowes Museum is a member of the Discover Durham partnership of attractions. Our commitment is to promote Durham as an exciting and vibrant group travel destination and to provide the travel trade with a professional and knowledgeable service: hotline number 03000 262626,











Categories: News

The Bowes Museum is closed!

Due to the government announcement on Thursday 17 December, that County Durham is to remain in COVID tier 3 restrictions, The Bowes Museum unfortunately will remain closed to all visitors.

As we have already been shut for a number of weeks and there is much uncertainty around possible further restrictions, we have decided to use this period to undertake some work in Caf� Bowes, alongside performing some much-needed structural repairs to the building, notably to the windows. January and February are usually quieter times for the Museum, often due to severe weather, so we believe that this is the best time to carry out such works with the least amount of disruption to our visitors.

We have therefore decided to remain closed for a period of four weeks following any near-future tier 2 announcement from the government, as this will allow us time to deep clean the Museum prior to reopening our doors once again. We will, of course, keep you updated as the guidelines change.

Your ongoing support during these unprecedented times is hugely appreciated and we very much look forward to welcoming you back into the building as early as possible in 2021.

Do please remember, however, that the Museum�s park and grounds remain open to visitors from 10.00 � 4.00 daily, and that we are currently hosting a woodland fairy trail, clues can be found here.

We hope to be able to offer a few COVID-safe outdoor events over the coming months, about which we shall make further announcements as soon as possible.