It may seem logical to assume that the (Koh-i-Noor) diamond in the crown of the market town of Barnard Castle is indeed a castle. The Bowes Museum defies that logic. This magnificent French château was built in the 19th Century by John and Joséphine Bowes. They envisaged a museum dedicated to European fine and decorative arts from the Middle Ages right up to the present day. And so it is that today you can wander 3 floors of world-class art collections – artefacts from the wardrobe of Empress Eugenie and other stunning pieces from the Blackborne Lace Collection; paintings by El Greco, Goya and Canaletto; the beloved silver swan automaton; and much more. Oh, and while you’re in the town, pay a visit to its 12th-Century castle.

  • Newgate, Barnard Castle, County Durham DL12 8NP
  • Distance: 3.5 mile drive (8 min) from The Morritt Country House Hotel & Spa
  • Open: Monday–Sunday 10:00–17:00
  • The Bowes Museum website:

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