Radisson Blu Hotel, Durham

Durham Museums

When it comes to museums in the North East, one of the highlights is Beamish – The living Museum of the North. However, there are more to choose from. In fact, there are several exciting museums in Durham and the surrounding area, each one with a unique twist. Here are two of our favourites:

The Oriental Museum

Travel from Northern England to the Orient in mere minutes. Durham’s Oriental Museum is dedicated to art and archaeology in China, Ancient Egypt, Korea, Japan, India, Tibet, the Islamic World and South East Asia. The Chinese and Egyptian collections are known as the best in the country. They have a large permanent collection displayed, as well as an exciting programme of visiting exhibitions.

The Oriental Museum has a lot going on throughout the whole week, including events for families. Learn about anything from origami and calligraphy to making your very own miniature Japanese Zen garden.

The Bowes Museum

In the historic market town of Barnard Castle, you will find the Bowes Museum. This French-style château houses an outstanding and nationally renowned collection of European fine and decorative art. In addition to its diverse range of rare and wonderful art objects, the museum also hosts international exhibitions. There has been work displayed by Monet, Raphael, Turner, Sisley and Gallé, to name a few.

This unique museum was purpose-built as a public art gallery, ordered by John Bowes and his wife, Joséphine Chevalier, the countess of Montalbo. In 2005, the Bowes went through major improvements, with an update on visitor facilities as well as several of the art galleries and the study areas.