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National Waterways Museum

Sitting on the banks of the Shropshire Union Canal and Manchester Ship Canal, the National Waterways Museum at Ellesmere Port offers a terrific day out for families. The museum has the largest collection of canal boats in the world, and many exciting interactive exhibits and events throughout the year.


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Certificate of Excellence 2017Certificate of Excellence 2017

General information

Address: National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port, South Pier Road, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, CH65 4FW

Visit time: half day plus

Price: Check our main museums & attractions webpages for latest details

Accessibility: All of our featured museums and attractions have accessibility information

Parking: Free parking on site

Toilets: In our café and in the Island Warehouse

Free visitor guide

Great for

Unlock the wonders of the waterways at the National Waterways Museum. With its delightful waterside setting, flotillas of historic boats and fascinating displays housed in fine Victorian buildings, the museum is a great day out whatever the weather. Visitors can take a boat trip through the industrial landscape, visit the museum blacksmith and explore the traditional narrowboats and homes through the ages.

  • Cycling
  • Walking
  • Family activities
  • Play area


The mueum overlooks the Manchester Ship Canal and out over the Mersey esturary.

Spot a boat

Good place to see boats year round


Boat trips

  • Climb aboard our canal boat Centaur for a 30 min boat trip on the Shropshire Union Canal

Picnic spot

It’s a great picnic spot – seven acres of green space and historic buildings. Lots of places to settle down with your picnic and watch the waterways world float by. We’ve also got a picnic area and outdoor playboat.


You may see:

  • Swans
  • Ducks
  • Coots/Moorhens
  • Herons

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