9 things not to miss at the museum

There's a whole host of activities at the museum to experience, and with your annual pass you can enjoy them for free.

National Waterways Museum across the basin National Waterways Museum across the basin

Designed by the great civil engineer Thomas Telford, Ellesmere Port was the largest Inland Waterway dock complex in the UK. Look out across the River Mersey to Liverpool, and that’s where goods were moved from ocean going ships onto narrow boats and barges so they could move relatively swiftly along the canal network.

Here's a list of the things not to miss at the museum this summer.

Time Travel

Windows on the world at National Waterways Museum

With the help of 21st century technology we’re bringing Ellesmere Port’s 19th century history to life. Through this augmented reality, the people that lived and worked in the port return to tell their stories. Download the app search National Waterways Museum in either the App Store or Play Store.

Illustrations and photographs

Explore two exhibitions. There’s From Grave to Cradle where you can see how we successfully lifted 11 boats out of the water in October 2017 - the largest ever movement of historic vessels in the UK and also Canal Art... not what you might expect which looks at the many media and styles across the waterways.

Boats of Every Description

Interactive at the museum

Voyage into the virtual past, present and future of the waterways on the huge interactive wall located in the Island Warehouse Exhibition Hall.

Take the icebreaker challenge

Find out what an icebreaker did and test your skill as a boater by having a go on the digital icebreaker. See how much ice you can break before time runs out.

Wellbeing on our doorstep

Photo of National Waterways Museum at Ellesmere Port

Find somewhere beautiful to relax, think, exercise, picnic, and more whilst you’re here.

Realising the past

archive of Ellesmere Port

Step inside the Waterways Archive and meet the people behind all the knowledge of the network. These are also the people who could work out your very own waterway family history.

Where History Comes Alive

Photo of Porters Row Cottages, Ellesmere Port

Our customer research tells us that Porters Row is the most popular part of the entire site. This is in fact, the oldest row of cottages in the town of Ellesmere Port. Don’t go home without a quick peep.


We’re proud that one of our objects, the Starvationer has been selected as one of 100 objects in a website based digital exhibition ‘A History of the North in 100 Objects’. You can find it inside the Island Warehouse www.100objectsnorth.co.uk

Take home a momento of your day

National Waterways Museum gift shop

Our shop sells a unique selection of classic waterway gifts plus beautiful presents, books and souvenirs for all ages. Every purchase supports the work of the museum and the Canal & River Trust.

Last date edited: 19 September 2018