Visit the National Waterways Museum

The National Waterways Museum is temporarily closed.

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.

We're waking up our museum collection

A few of the areas will be unavailable for a while whilst we carefully wake up our collection. This will be updated regularly. Areas you can visit at the moment include:

  • Museum grounds, locks and Shropshire Union Canal walk
  • No 11 and 12 Porters Row 
  • Volunteer Hub and the making of the museum exhibition
  • Power Hall although engines will not be running yet 
  • The stables
  • Blacksmith Forge
  • Historic Slipway plus views of historic boats, including Mossdale, the last remaining of its type, a Mersey Flat.

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

Sunday 10.00am - 4.00pm
Monday 10.00am - 4.00pm
Tuesday 10.00am - 4.00pm
Wednesday 10.00am - 4.00pm
Thursday CLOSED
Saturday 10.00am - 4.00pm

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 

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

Last date edited: 4 November 2020