The Visitor Centre and the Bowles Museum
The Visitor Centre houses the Bowles Museum where you can bring your visit alive and learn more about the history of the Bowles family, the house and the gardens Edward Augustus Bowles created.
Here you will also find the two recently restored 290 year old lead ostriches that once guarded the Wisteria Bridge. Mr Bowles was a collector of various unusual objects, many of which he acquired from the local area. The Heritage Lottery Fund has meant the Garden Team were able to restore a number of Mr Bowles' treasured stoneworks and artefacts.
Interpretation boards throughout the museum and gardens cater for both adults and children. Ossie the ostrich is on most interpretation boards to help younger visitors learn about special plants, tress and features.
New temporary exhibition of water colours painted by E A Bowles
On display in the Bowles Museum are four previously unseen original watercolours painted by E A Bowles between 1914 and 1930. These four paintings have kindly been loaned to the museum by Mrs Carole Hayden, daughter of Charlie Smith who worked for Mr Bowles and was given the paintings as gift by the Bowles family following E A Bowles’ death in 1954. Charlie Smith worked at the gardens from 1946 until he retired in 2000 at the age of 78.
Relax in the courtyard
Bowles Tea Room
Our Tea Room is perfect for a spot of lunch or an indulgent cream tea. During the winter months, we've cosy indoor seating to help you warm up after your walk. When the sun is shining, the patio is the place to be with relaxing seating surrounded by sweet smelling plant stalls that display seasonal flora for you to buy.
There is a small shop full of souvenirs, books, heritage seeds as well as E.A.Bowles memorabilia.
You can also pick up leaflets and more information on what to do in the Lee Valley.
Bowles Tea Room and Museum