Santa returns to The Bowes Museum

Santa returns to The Bowes Museum

The countdown to Christmas has officially started in Barnard Castle as Santa finds time in his busy schedule to see children in the magnificent setting of The Bowes Museum.


Santa Claus will take up residence in his enchanting woodland grotto on 1st December.


His friendly elves will welcome visitors to his wonderful workshop where they can gaze at the marvellous objects in the captivating toy shop windows, have fun making festive wooden Christmas tree decorations and embellishing a Christmas card.


Then, as the magic and mystery builds, they’ll be led down a snow covered corridor with trees glistening in the candle light before meeting Santa himself in his cosy sitting room.


There they can tell Santa what they’d like for Christmas, whether they’ve been naughty or nice and what their plans are, before being given an early present.


Spaces to experience this magical family moment are filling up fast as Santa is only at the Museum from 10.30am – 1pm and 2pm – 5pm at weekends and 3.30pm – 6pm during weekdays.


Admission to Santa’s grotto is £10 per child, with no charge for accompanying adults.  This includes a gift and admission to the Museum.  Children who are booked to see Santa between 14 – 16 December will be admitted free of charge to our popular annual Christmas Market, while adults will pay just £5, which also includes admission to the Museum.


The Bowes Museum is open daily from 10am. Details of exhibitions and events can be found on the website at

Categories: News

The Bowes Museum grounds are open!

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. However, the grounds remain open to visitors from 10.00 - 4.00 daily, and we are currently hosting a woodland fairy trail, two spring trails and outdoor guided tours are available from 29 March 2021.

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 Café 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.

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.