The Bowes Museum


"The Bowes Museum is a hidden treasure, a jewel in the heart of beautiful Teesdale. The magnificent building stands proud in the historic market town of Barnard Castle housing internationally significant collections of fine and decorative arts. Purpose built in the 19th century by John and Joséphine Bowes, the Museum has a wonderful story to tell."
  • Creadble provider: NO
  • Creadble access: NO
  • Creadble employer: NO

Access Card Notes

*Named & Famed! This venue has been highlighted by feedback from a current Access Card Holder who used their card to gain access or a discount. Information provided in this listing comes from the card holder and also is sourced directly from for the venues publicly available information. This is not a guarantee of any set service or policy this organisation might have.*

Contact details

The Bowes Museum Barnard Castle, County Durham, North East, DL12 8NP
Phone: 01833 690606

Standing and Queueing

There is seating provided throughout the public galleries. There are park benches at regular intervals throughout most of the grounds.

Wheelchair Access

Wheelchair access
An alternative accessible entrance is located at the East end of the building for those with mobility issues, fitted with an intercom system that links to reception. Once reception is aware, a member of staff will direct you into the building and the front desk.

On the ground floor, there is level access to the Reception Desk, The Streatlam Galleries, Shop and Café Bowes.

The Museum has two different sized wheelchairs available for use. They can be found in the main entrance area. It is recommended that you book in advance to ensure availability. A lift to both public gallery levels is available to those who require it.

The floors of most of the galleries are constructed of wood, laid in a herringbone pattern, and are part of the Museum’s heritage listing. Due to the age of the building, the floors do move a little when walked upon. For more information, please visit our website.

The Museum is set in beautiful grounds. In some areas there are gravel pathways and steps which may present an access issue. The Museum has tried to make alternative access where possible. There are park benches at regular intervals throughout most of the grounds.

Short Distances

Short distance
4 accessible parking bays are located directly behind the museum building towards the eastern rear corner of the building and within 15 metres of the accessible entrance.

Access To Toilets

Access To Toilets
The Museum has fully accessible public toilets on the ground and first floors. Pictograms are used to identify the toilets.

Assistance Dogs

Assistance Dogs
Guide and assistance dogs are welcome to the Museum. A water bowl can be made available from Reception. Dogs on leads are welcome in the grounds.

Accessing Visual Information

Accessing Visual Information
Large Print information (18 point) is available from the Reception desk.

Lighting levels can vary in different parts of the building and at different times of the year. Due to the sensitive nature of some objects in the collection they must only be displayed in very low levels of light, which can be an issue for visually impaired visitors. Some rooms allow daylight to enter, the strength of which can vary depending on the month of the year (the Museum is South-facing).

There is an audible fire alarm system throughout the building, and audio and visual fire alarms in The Streatlam Galleries on the Ground Floor.

Glass doors are marked with indicator strips to increase their visibility.

Large Print labels are made available in the Painting Galleries.

Accessing Audible Information

Accessing Audible Information
There are visual fire alarms in The Streatlam Galleries on the Ground Floor.

Other Notes

Other Notes
Gallery plans (free) and Museum guidebooks (£4.99) can be obtained from the Reception desk.