We are so excited to welcome you on your visit to the Cowper & Newton Museum, Olney. The Museum is near Milton Keynes, Bedford and Northampton making it easy to travel to, whether you are visiting the area or coming from further afield with many transport links to London. On this page you will find everything you need to know about visiting us. If you have any questions about your visit to the Cowper & Newton Museum, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Historic House, Gardens & Shop
incl Three Hares Art Gallery
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday.
Advance online booking is NOT required. (Social distancing rules apply).
We’re looking forward to welcoming you soon!
Current season runs from 19th May – 22nd December 2021
11am-4.30pm (last entry 3.30pm)
Watch our short video or read below to find out about our safety measures.
Walk-ins available on the day or if you would prefer to book online via this website see ‘Book Ticket’ on the top bar.
House & Gardens
Historic House opening 19th May
Includes an annual admission pass giving you unlimited returns for a year *
Children 15 years and under go free! Please book their place too
Children 15 years and under go free! Please book their place too
House and Gardens available for private hire
Virtual 'Zoom' introductions available
Contact us for more information or visit the groups page
We have a range of learning resources and tours for different school levels available
Contact us for more information or visit the learning page
For National Art Pass, Gardeners’ World and Museum Association offers also book your visit time slot and pay through House & Gardens Book Now
Please note that tickets already have the relevant discount applied. eg Gardeners’ World tickets are discounted to £3.75 per person for entrance to the House & Gardens and £1.75 per person for Garden Only visits. Please book for the number of people who are visiting.
Friends of the Museum and repeat Annual Pass visits also book your visit time slot through House & Gardens Book Now
* Please note: the Annual Pass may not be valid for all areas of the Museum and Gardens on some Special Event Days (e.g. National Garden Scheme weekend in June)
Your support is vital and helps the Cowper & Newton Museum share its collection.
Staying Safe on your Visit
If you would like to visit, please read on for all guidance and what to expect on your visit.
Your safety and the safety of our staff and volunteers is our prime concern. Therefore if you have visited before, things may look a little different as we have put a number of Covid 19 safety measures in place.
- Before you come, please check the current government guidance
- Wear a face covering when in indoor spaces. For the list of exemptions, please refer to the latest government guidance.
- We have one way systems in some areas
- We’re carrying out more frequent cleaning
- Protective screens are in place in the shop
- Hand sanitiser is available for you to use
- To support NHS Test and Trace, we encourage you to continue to sign in with the NHS QR code on arrival.
Do not visit if you have symptoms of COVID-19
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:
- recent onset of a new continuous cough
- a high temperature (over 38°C)
- a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia).
If you have any of these symptoms. You should stay at home and follow the government guidance.
- The number of people inside the Museum is restricted to help social distancing.
- Unfortunately we have had to remove the children’s activity boxes. However the rest of the collection is available to view and the free Poetry and Hare Trails are also available.
- Please have your name and ticket ready. To minimise contact, our staff will not take these from you so please show them at a distance.
- There will be a one-way signed route around parts of the garden where there are narrow paths and around the historic house itself.
- DOGS: Only medical and assistance dogs in the gardens.
We hope you have an enjoyable visit and thank you for supporting the Cowper & Newton Museum
Our address is: The Cowper & Newton Museum, Market Place, Olney, Buckinghamshire, MK46 4AJ.
We are located in the historic hub of Olney, facing the Market Place, and the Museum is near Milton Keynes, Bedford and Northampton.
Olney is on the A509, 5 miles North of Newport Pagnell and 7 miles from Junction 14 of the M1.
It is easily accessible by car from Bedford, Northampton, Wellingborough, Milton Keynes and the M1 motorway.
There is ample free parking in Olney but make sure you check the time limit on your location. Follow this link to take you to a map showing parking in Olney on the Olney Town Council website. The closest car parks are the Market Place (3hrs) and Silver End car park (also known as the Old Cattle Market car park – unlimited time).
Please note: there is no parking at the Market Place car park on Thursdays and the first Sunday of each month as markets are held there on these days.
There are bus links between us, Milton Keynes, Northampton, and Bedford.
The bus number to reach us from Milton Keynes is the 21 towards Lavendon. This route takes around 30 mins. Alight at the Bull Inn. Click here for the timetable.
The bus number to reach us from Bedford is the 41 towards Northampton. This route takes around 50 minutes. Alight at the Market Place. Click here for the timetable.
The bus number to reach us from Northampton is the 41 towards Bedford. This route takes around 30 minutes. Alight at the Bull Inn. Click here for the timetable.
To get here by coach, take a coach to Bedford or Northampton, and then a bus to Olney (see the bus tab for more information).
Whilst Milton Keynes also has a coach station, there isn’t a direct bus from there to Olney.
Private coaches can park for free at the East Street recreational ground car park.
To find us look for a large red brick building on the south-east corner of Olney’s historic Market Place.
A short walk around the corner will take you to Church Street where you can view the Vicarage – here William Cowper’s friend John Newton preached and wrote ‘Amazing Grace’ (please note this is a private residence and can only be viewed from outside).
The House has limited access for wheelchair users but the Viper Barn & Courtyard are accessible. Three rooms in Cowper’s house (Orchard Side) are accessible via two or three steps, thereafter the museum is over 3 floors and 6 flights of stairs. A portfolio of photographs of the exhibits in the upper rooms is available & videos about the museum are available to watch in the Reception area & Viper Barn.
Some paths in the gardens are narrow or uneven underfoot.
Guide dogs, hearing dogs and medical detection dogs are allowed in the museum and gardens. No other dogs are permitted inside the building or beyond the Courtyard.
Did you know we are the sole stockists of The Olney Hymns?*
Make sure to put some time aside to visit our shop, full of unique giftware and specially commissioned items!
From hare memorabilia and Amazing Grace tea towels to handmade treasures and postcards, there’s something for everyone at every price point.
Not sure what you are looking for? Our friendly shop volunteers are here to help.
Can’t visit the shop? Visit our online shop and get your products delivered straight to your door.
Groups are able to reserve items in advance – call us on 01234 711516 to place your order.
*hardback reproduction of the first edition.
Olney is a beautiful, historic market town just 20 minutes from Milton Keynes. With beautiful churches, a multitude of eateries and glorious park lands, there is so much to do whatever the weather!
Interested in the history of the town? Visit the Olney & District Historical Society’s (ODHS) website.
Can I bring my dog?
Only guide dogs, hearing dogs, and medical detection dogs are allowed in the museum and gardens. No other dogs are permitted inside the building or beyond the Courtyard.
What toilet facilities do you offer?
We have a single disabled toilet available on the ground floor behind the shop. It does not have baby changing facilities.
Can I take photographs?
Photos and videos are encouraged. Please share them with us on social media, by tagging us @cowpnewtmuseum and using the hashtag #cowperandnewtonmuseum
Photos can only be used for personal use, or for publishing on personal social media accounts. Please contact us if you want to use your videos and images for commercial use.
Do you have any catering facilities?
We do not have a cafe on site. However, a variety of eateries are just a just a few steps away from us!
We do offer light refreshments to groups if requested in advance, and during some events.