National Waterways Museum

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 524 Reviews

Planning your visit

Address: National Waterways Museum South Pier Road, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, CH65 4FW View on Google map

Opening Times: Museum, grounds and Waterside Cafe open Thursday to Sunday from 10.00am to 4.00pm.

Price: Adult (16 & over) £9.75. Child (6-15) £6.00. Child (5 and under) Free. Family £25.00. Concession £8.50. Your ticket allows you to return as often as you like for one year.

Toilets: In our café and in the Island Warehouse, the main exhibition area. Disabled access and baby changing facilities available.

Explorers at National Waterways Museum

Welcome back. There is no need to book in advance. We're open Thursday to Sunday from 10.00am to 4.00pm. 

Sitting where the Shropshire Union Canal meets the Manchester Ship Canal and the River Mersey, this transshipment dock, once a noisy, bustling hub is now an area of calm and tranquillity. 

Come and enjoy the peacefulness of being outdoors by the canal, absorb the history from the Grade II listed buildings and learn about the lives and work of the canal people as you stroll around this seven-acre site.    

Celebrating it's 45th anniversary this year, the museum is a great place to meet family and friends for a wonderful day out. Make the most of your family pass which, for a standard admission fee, allows you to visit as many times as you like for a year. With our new QR Audio Trail and outdoor play area there are a number of reasons to return.

Our café and shop are open to all and there is nothing more relaxing than sitting with a drink and having something to eat in our Waterside Café.

Once we are able to reopen, you will see additional safety measures across the site in line with COVID-19 guidance. We have been awarded the ‘We’re Good To Go’ standard to reassure visitors that we are following public health guidance. 

Things to do and see

  • From activities to exhibitons, what's on at the museum 
  • Explore our historic site
  • Look at our display boats and find out what role they once played
  • Historic Slipway with views across the Manchester Ship Canal and River Mersey to Liverpool
  • Visit the Victoria Arm
  • Watch the blacksmith at work in the forge
  • Come and see our engines in the power hall and pump house
  • Step inside the Stables 
  • Find out more about the making of our museum in our exhibition in the Pattern Shop
  • See the Working Locks in action 
  • Visit the Island Warehouse, the main exhibiton hall
  • Look out over the Lower Basin and moored boats
  • Step back in time in Porters Row Cottages and Garden
  • Have fun in NEW outdoor play area (coming soon) and under 5's indoor play area

Places to relax:

  • Enjoy the canalside views in the Waterside café 
  • Browse the Museum Gift Shop
  • Relax in our green spaces and picnic areas

 Extra things to do on your visit:

Getting here

By boat - follow the Shropshire Union Canal all the way to Ellesmere Port. We have some visitor moorings available in the docks

By road - follow brown signs for 'The Boat Museum'. And you'll find loads of free parking for cars, coaches and bikes. The coach drop off point is outside main entrance. And we have designated disabled parking spaces

By rail - Ellesmere Port station is a 15 minute walk. The local cabs should only charge £3 to drive you to the museum

By bike - the towpath alongside the Shropshire Union Canal runs right up to the museum. Always remember to share the space

By bus - Ellesmere Port bus station is 20 minutes walk. For information on bus and train travel call Traveline on 0871 200 2233 or download the itravel smart phone app - a free journey planning app for Cheshire West and Chester with up to date travel information, interactive maps and public transport timetables

Getting about

Everyone deserves to get the best possible experience at the museum on a day out. Please refer to our access statement for more information before your visit. 

Local news and events