National Waterways Museum, Gloucester

National Waterways Museum, Gloucester

National Waterways Museum Gloucester, Llanthony Warehouse, Gloucester Docks, Gloucester, GL1 2EH.

The National Waterways Museum and docks is a fantastic day out. It gives schools a great first-hand experience of Victorian docks. It also provides an excellent location to study the local area, wildlife and learn more about the history of the waterways.

The National Waterways Museum Gloucester is part of Llanthony Warehouse, Gloucester, built in 1873. The warehouse would have been used for timber, grain and alcohol. The building was converted to become the National Waterways Museum in 1987. The museum now tells the story of Gloucester Docks and the historic trade routes from Birmingham to the sea.


KS1 Local History: Build a Canal

This workshop looks at how and why the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal was built over 200 years ago and the main cargoes that were carried by boat. Helping children to understand why new engineered transport links were demanded by the Industrial Revolution.

KS1 STEM: Floating and Sinking

Children discover properties in objects that help them to float and what causes something to sink. Plus, whose boat can hold the most cargo?

KS2 STEM: Canal Maintenance and Water Quality Testing

A canal demonstration showing what causes banks to erode and investigate protection and maintenance methods.

Children investigate water quality using pH testing and why it is important for our environment.

KS2 STEM: Build a Crane

Understand how mechanical advantage helped dock workers move heavy cargo. Combining maths and physics in a hands-on, interactive activity for small teams

Self-led visits with your school or group

A self-led visit to the museum is good value and allows you more freedom and choice. It is still important that you book your visit and discuss your requirements with our Education Coordinator, who will be able to advise you about the most suitable activities for your group.


Free facilities for teachers include pre-visits, entry for teachers (and carers), lesson planning, risk assessments and outreach visits to schools when children get an introduction to life on the waterways.

Practicalities include: indoor or outdoor picnic area, toilets including disabled access, shop, café, bag/coat storage, coach parking, goodie bags available to book in advance.

Don't forget a boat trip!

Get out on to the water and board the Queen Boadicea II. Our 45-minute cruise is the perfect way to make your school visit truly memorable. See lift and swing bridges in action and hear fascinating facts about the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal. Children can even eat their sandwiches on board – a great treat! 

April to November inclusive.


Virtual learning in free. Please book a virtual workshop through our online form.

A volunteer-led visit is £8 per child including the boat trip.

A self-led visit is £6 per child including the boat trip.

Accompanying adults are included in the price.