We are look forward to welcoming you to the Cowper & Newton Museum, Olney. On this page you will find everything you need to know about visiting us. If you have any questions about your visit, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Historic House & Gardens
Shop & Three Hares Gallery
Tuesday – Saturday
11.00am – 4.30pm
(last entrance 4.00pm)
Walk-ins on the day are very welcome – it is not essential to book in advance
Closed Good Friday 7th April
Closed 6th May for King and Queen Coronation
Special open day on Monday 8th May – bank holiday proclaimed in honour of the coronation of His Majesty King Charles III
(See ‘What’s On’ for special Sunday events)
Last opening day of this season is Wednesday 20th December 2023
The Shop, Courtyard and Viper Barn are accessible by wheelchair and mobility scooter users. Entrance is also available via the alleyway to the right of the main entrance from the street. Our Viper Barn has interactive AV equipment for your enjoyment. Please be aware that some paths in both gardens are very narrow and others have high, uneven concrete surfaces and sharp right-angle turning points. Unsuitable for wheelchair and mobility scooter users unless accompanied.
If you want to examine a particular item in the collection, please contact the House Manager firstname.lastname@example.org in advance to agree a date and to send you a Research Booking Form. The House Manager will ensure that a member of the Collections team can be present. You will need to bring proof of identity / a letter of recommendation. Usual admission prices apply.
House & Gardens
Includes an annual admission pass giving you unlimited returns for a year *
Children 15 years and under go free! (Must be accompanied by an adult)
Children 15 years and under go free! (Must be accompanied by an adult)
Self-guided or Guided Visits
Contact us for more information or visit the Group Visit page
Group organiser and accompanied children under 16 Free
We have a range of learning resources and tours available
Contact us for more information or visit the Learning page
MEMBERSHIP CARD OFFERS:
Please show your membership card on arrival.
National Art Pass, Gardeners’ World and Museum Association: Walk-in = 50% off usual admission price. Online booking through Art Tickets = please note that tickets already have the relevant discount applied when booking online. e.g. Gardeners’ World tickets are discounted from £10 to £5 per person for entrance to the Museum & Gardens and from £4 to £2 per person for Garden Only visits.
Historic House membership card holders = Free entry by showing your membership number on arrival
Friends of the Museum and repeat Annual Pass visits – walk-in or book in advance
* 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
- Please wear a face covering in the shop and in the rooms of the historic house at your discretion. Please refer to the latest government guidance.
- We’re carrying out more frequent cleaning.
- Protective screens are in place in the shop.
- Hand sanitiser is available for you to use on arrival and exit.
- Hand sanitiser is available nearby the children’s activities.
- In order to make visits pleasant and comfortable, we respectfully ask that visitors exercise good practice.
Do not visit if you have symptoms of COVID-19
- 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).
INSIDE THE MUSEUM
The House has limited access for wheelchair users. 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 Shop and Viper Barn.
The Courtyard and Viper Barn are accessible by wheelchair and mobility scooter users. Entrance is also available via the alleyway to the right of the main entrance from the street. Our Viper Barn has interactive AV equipment for your enjoyment. Please be aware that some paths in both gardens are very narrow and others have high, uneven concrete surfaces and sharp right-angle turning points. Unsuitable for wheelchair and mobility scooter users unless accompanied.
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. There is a dog water bowl in 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.
Do children under 16 years have to be accompanied by an adult?
Yes. That is our policy.
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.