Christmas market at The Bowes Museum
Christmas market at The Bowes Museum

Christmas market at The Bowes Museum



It’s just over a week until the sights, smells and sounds of Christmas will fill the air around The Bowes Museum as our wonderful Christmas Market returns to Barnard Castle.

A firm family favourite, it takes place in the Museum grounds on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 14th, 15th and 16th December.


The annual event is in its 14th year and now boasts over 70 handpicked stallholders offering delicious locally sourced food and unique crafts from some of the finest suppliers in the area as well as traditional fairground rides.


You can take a break from leisurely strolling around the stalls, while looking for that something special or last minute gift, by enjoying some hot mulled wine and food while you listen to the bands and choirs who’ll be bringing festive cheer to the Marquee.


You can soak up the seasonal atmosphere as stallholders tempt your tastebuds with Belgian waffles, chocolates, local gin, hot sandwiches, succulent sausages, homemade pies, artisan breads and cheeses, plus sensational sauces and dressings.


For the gift hunters there are handmade decorations and presents including jewellery, stained glass, leather goods, clothing, scented soaps, beautiful candles and ceramics.


While you’re visiting why not take the opportunity to pop into the Museum and see our fabulous ‘Catwalking: Fashion through the Lens of Chris Moore’ exhibition which brings together 230 of the photographer’s original images alongside 40 original catwalk outfits from some of the world’s leading fashion houses including Alexander McQueen, Chanel, Dior, Giles Deacon, Jean Paul Gaultier, Prada, Versace, Vivienne Westwood and Yves Saint Laurent.


On Saturday 15th you can also find out more about the work of Ceramicist Charlotte Hodes who’ll be giving a short gallery talk about her creative techniques and processes at 2.15pm.


You can browse the shop for more sparkling decorations and bespoke gifts or have a warming drink or snacks in Café Bowes before taking part in our fun and family friendly Christmas trail?


Children booked to see Santa between 14th and 16th December (£10 including gift) will be admitted free of charge to the Christmas market, while adults will pay just £5 which also includes admission to the Museum.


The market takes place from noon – 7pm on Friday 14th, 10am – 5pm on Saturday 15th and 10am – 4pm on Sunday 16th December.  Complimentary park and ride Santa buses will run on the latter two days and there will be an onsite parking charge of £5 per vehicle on those days.


Admission is £5 for adults and £2.50 for children, which includes entry to The Museum and all the fairground rides.


Please note there will be no access to the market via the rear gate in Crook Lane.


For more information please see our website





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.