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Swan Automaton

Recently the Daily Telegraph published a list of the “50 hidden Gems to seek out this summer” and in number 3 spot was the wonderful Swan Automaton at the Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle.

It really is worth taking the time to visit this gem – in a gem of a building. The Bowes Museum was build by John Bowes (of the coal family) and his wife to house their growing collection of art and artefacts from their travels.

The collection includes works by Canaletto, El Greco and Goya as well as porcelain from Sevres and other decorative arts obects and fashions from across Europe.

you can read a little more and link through to the Museum website on our Bowes Museum page.

Apollo Pavilion

Also in the list was something else in the North that I’d never come across despite living in the region for well over 30 years, the Apollo Pavilion in Peterlee, County Durham. It was named after the first Apollo moon landing in 1969 and opened as a community centre.

Apollo Pavilion

Designed by Victor Pasmore in the 1960s, the building has recently been restored to repair years of neglect and vandalism. Well worth stopping off to see – if you like 60s brutalist architecture!

Chris Tradgett