Canal Town

Step back in time with us to when Ellesmere Port was a canal town.

3 volunteers in traditional canal town costume at Ellesmere Port Canal Town 2022 at National Waterways Museum Ellesmere Port

Every Sunday from 29 May - 18 September 2022

Experience what it was like to live and work in the docks with sights and sounds of the late 19th century when Ellesmere Port was a canal town.

Stroll across our stunning seven-acre site through a landscape of Victorian buildings, docks, locks, stables and cottages ... and meet some interesting characters on the way.

Watch the museum burst into life every Sunday with pop-up themed events, live music and traditional games that will keep the whole family entertained!

July 2022

Sunday 10 July - Canal Life

  • Find out about Canal Life - in the past and today.
  • All Hands on Deck - join in and make a special piece of artwork for the museum. 
  • Origami crafts.
  • #Find Your Happy Place at the museum.
  • Music and activities around the site.

Sunday 17 July - Canal Life

  • Find out about Canal Life - in the past and today.
  • LEGO Workshop with the Brick Man - Fisherman and creative play - 11am, 1pm and 2pm - please book at Reception (places limited).
  • Face Painting
  • Visit our exhibition - Waterways by Award Winning artist Diana Bernice Tackley - some artwork available for sale.
  • #Find Your Happy Place at the museum.

Sunday 24 July - Steampunk (with Cogwarts)

  • Discover an alternative history of steam.
  • View an airship, trike, steampunk van and the rocket car alongside the steampunk “aerial platform”.
  • Tea duelling, parasol duelling.
  • Newspaper Stixx Bridges (Skill Supply) - 11am, 1pm and 2pm - please book at reception (places limited).

Sunday 31 July - World War 1

  • A local Re-enactor's Group will give us a flavour of what life was like during WW1.  
  • Wartime style singer Lilli Moore will be returning to sing some more wartime style songs.
  • Craft activity to make your own Horse Mask.

And much more to see around the site...

Family enjoying a great day out at Canal Town

Power Hall

Man and woman looking at an engine in the Power Hall

See the glory of steam in action as our volunteers fire up some of the magnificent engines once used to move or drive things or join one of our special guided tours of the Power Hall. Spaces are currently limited. Please ask at the information point for details. 

Porters Row

Costumed volunteer in a Porters Row cottage

Step back in time to the 1830s, 1900s, 1930s and 1950s and check out the decor of its time. Meet some interesting characters and get to play with the old fashioned street games.

Family Friendly Guided Tours 

National Waterways Museum at Ellesmere Port, with the canal in the foreground

Short introduction tours are available throughout the day. Please ask at the information point for more details or you can try out our new audio trail...  

QR Audio Trail 

Man wearing headphones sitting on a bench

As you explore the museum you can scan the QR codes at various locations to find out more. The QR codes can be read on your phone using one of the many free QR reader apps available. iPhones will read the codes automatically from the camera app. The locations can be accessed in any order or you can follow the directions between points if you want to use them as a guided tour of the museum.

Lock Demonstrations

Birds eye view of locks at National Waterways Museum Ellesmere Port

Join us on at one of our demonstrations to see a boat travel through the lock and find out how it works from our wonderful costumed volunteers. 

Canal Town Themes:

  • 29 May - Village fete
  • 5 June - The Queen's Platinum Jubilee Street Party
  • 12 June - 1920s - Peaky Blinders
  • 19 June - 1930s - Teddy Bear's Picnic
  • 26 June - World War II
  • 3 July - Liverpool - A Window on the World
  • 10 July - Canal Life 
  • 17 July - Canal Life
  • 24 July - Steampunk Sunday (with Cogwarts)
  • 31 July - World War I
  • 7 August - 1950s theme
  • 14 August - 1920s - Afternoon Tea
  • 21 August - 1930s- Poetry and Photographs
  • 28 August - Village Fete and Peaky Pooches Dog Show
  • 4 September - International Canals
  • 11 September - Astounding Inventions
  • 18 September - Astounding Inventions

Canal Town is supported by players of People's Postcode Lottery.

People's Postcode Lottery - Earth Trust

Last date edited: 4 July 2022