Visit the National Waterways Museum

Welcome to the Canal & River Trust’s National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port. Together with our sister site in Gloucester, we are home to the nation’s designated collection of canal, river and waterways history.

Nationally important

Designated museum collection logoDesignated of national importance, most of our ‘museum collection’ is housed between the two national waterways museums. However, you can also find important, treasured items on loan at Anderton Boat Lift Visitor Centre, Standedge Tunnel Visitor Centre and the Canal Museum, Stoke Bruerne. Together it forms the most comprehensive collection of artefacts that tell the story of Britain’s canals and navigable rivers over the last 300 hundred years. The collection includes over 12,000 objects and 68 historic boats, plus the national waterways archive.

Although the locals still fondly remember us as 'The Boat Museum', you'll discover more than just boats here. We’re passionate about protecting, preserving and promoting the UK’s waterway heritage and identity. Through grants and your donations, we’re helping to redefine the concept of a museum for the 21st century, Step aboard and find out more...

Opening times and entry prices

Opening times    
Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day    

1 April 2019 – 3 November 2019

Everyday 10.00am to 5.00pm

5 November 2019 - 29 March 2020

Tuesday to Sunday 10.00am to 4.00pm

30 March 2020 - 1 November 2020


The ticket price is your annual pass. It now allows you to return as many times as you like during a 12 month period.

Adult (16 & over) £9.75
Child (6-15) £6.00
Concession £8.50
Child (5 and under) Free
Family of 4 (2 ad + 2 ch) £25.00 

This includes all events and temporary exhibitions, excluding evening ticketed performances and popular Father Christmas events.

How to get involved at the National Waterways Museum

We just couldn’t look after and bring this amazing place alive without our 200 dedicated volunteers. They help out on our reception desk and shop, aboard our boats, maintaining our internal displays and as part of our Explorers education programme for schools and families.

Whatever your interests and experience we'd love to hear from you. Get in touch by calling: 0151 355 5017 or 0151 373 4373.  

Or take a look at our current opportunities on our volunteering pages:

Last date edited: 23 August 2019