The Christmas Market is almost here!
The Christmas Market is almost here!

The Christmas Market is almost here!

We're ready to welcome you on 17, 18 and 19 December

Staff and volunteers at The Bowes Museum are getting ready to welcome thousands of visitors to its annual three day Christmas Market which begins tomorrow (Friday).

Almost 100 traders will be selling their wares throughout the Museum’s galleries and grounds, accompanied by dozens of entertainers, loads of family activities and free children’s fairground rides.

There are still a few slots available for youngsters to enjoy a quick meet and greet with Santa to find out if they’ve been naughty or nice, let him know what they’d like for Christmas and to receive an early present.  The Museum’s archaeology gallery will be turned into a craft room for the duration of the Market, where families can spend some quality time together creating lots of fun things or join in the snowflake workshop being held in the Museum’s vaults by artist Dave Bramston.  There’s also wand making and willow weaving as well as spinning and weaving demonstrations, face painting and the chance to meet the ponies Trigger and Amazon from Here 4 Horses.

Visitors will be able to soak up the festive atmosphere as they stroll around the multiple stalls spread throughout the galleries and grounds of the Museum, selling a wide variety of artisan, ethical and often handmade goods, ranging from candles to clothing, ceramics, skincare, jewellery, photography, artworks, stained glass, leather goods, homewares, decorations and much, much, more; not forgetting the festive table with jams, honey, cheese, brownies and other sweet treats as well as sausages, seasonal meats, dog treats and local beers, wines and spirits.

There will also be a dedicated area for the hot food vendors on the parterre ready for warm people up as they mingle or if they prefer to take a seat in an outdoor marquee.

Visitors can also complete the 12 Days of Christmas challenge with fascinating facts and tantalising tales about the festive carol linked to items from the collection that make up the different lines of the well-known song and see traditional quilting experts Aidan and Margaret Nichol in the North Country Quilts exhibition gallery working on their own stunning quilt projects.

The Christmassy feel will be enhanced by local choirs, musicians and bands providing a welcoming soundtrack to the occasion.

The Bowes Museum’s Events Coordinator, Michelle Clough, said: “We are really looking forward to this year’s Market. It promises to be a fantastic day out with a great selection of stall holders selling a superb selection of goods – there really will be the chance to find that perfect gift for even the fussiest person. We’ve also got loads of family friendly activities happening in the Museum and grounds to keep all ages entertained.  There really is something for everyone who visits to really enjoy; from the collection, to the shopping, the food, the activities, smells and atmosphere.

“We’ve reduced capacity and staggered entry numbers to allow for easier social distancing and to ensure there are no more than 450 people inside the Museum at any one time.  We’re also reminding people that they must wear masks inside the Museum in-line with the law.

“With reduced price entry at £5 for adults and £2.50 for children or free to annual pass holders and Friends of The Bowes Museum, it’s the perfect way to see the Museum, enjoy some fun time together and get lots of fabulous goodies in the run up to Christmas.”

Tickets to see Santa are £5 and must be booked separately.  Car parking on site costs £5 and must be pre-booked.

The Christmas Market is open from 10am to 4pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday the 17, 18 and 19 of December 2021.



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,





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