National Waterways Museum

With its stunning location on the banks of the Mersey and the Manchester Ship Canal, extensive in-door displays, boat trips and historic buildings, the museum makes a great family day out in Cheshire, where time slows down and history comes to life.

National Waterways Museum, Shropshire Union Canal
National Waterways Museum, Shropshire Union Canal

With its dramatic location on the banks of the Mersey and the Manchester Ship Canal in Cheshire, extensive in-door displays, boat trips and historic buildings, the museum offers a great day out where time slows down and history comes to life.

There's so much to explore from the handsome Victorian buildings, which house the museum's Quality Assured Visitor Attraction Logodisplays, to the locks and moorings vibrant with historic and visiting narrow boats. With a year-round events calendar featuring everything from beer festivals to historic boat rallies, there's always a reason to visit.

Designed by Thomas Telford under the direction of William Jessop, the docks at Ellesmere Port were still in use as late as the 1950s. They were a marvellously self-contained world and when you visit the museum today you can still walk round its locks, docks and warehouses and visit its forge, stables and workers cottages.

Canals are havens for wildlife. Look and listen out for the many birds that live here or travel through - pied wagtails, swans, coots, ducks, cormorants, moor hens - you may even catch sight of a kingfisher or even hear a sky lark!

Please note that due to current essential building works both the Porters Row Cottages and the Pump House are CLOSED. Our new Ellesmere Port History exhibition opened on 4th April 2014.

Filming in 2014

The National Waterways Museum will be closed for a filming event from 5pm on Saturday 26th April until 10am on Monday 28th April. Please note that no visitors will be admitted to the museum on Sunday 27th April.  The navigation through the museum will also be closed to boaters. 

The museum and navigation will open fully as normal at 10am on Monday 28th April but there may be some final clearance until 12pm.                                                                 

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience.  All fees which come in to the Trust from filming and photography shoots go straight back into caring for our canals.

To contact the Museum either call 0151 355 5017 or email nationalwaterwaysmuseum@canalrivertrust.org.uk

Passionate about heritage?Ferret

The Heritage Boat Yard in Ellesmere Port is home to many valuable historic boats and our volunteers and trainees work tirelessly to restore them to their former glory. They need your help in order to buy urgently needed materials.

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