Read the story of how the Canal & River Trust came to be
Work for us
We have vacancies across all of our waterways and in the offices, museums and attractions that support them. We're one of the UK's biggest charities and we take pride in everything we do
If you're thinking of getting in touch then please take a moment to look through these pages as we probably have the answer on our website
Planning & design
All you need to know about planning and design on our canals and rivers
Find a winter mooring
Find a cosy section of canal to hunker down in this winter
10 reasons to take up canoeing
It's a great way to get fit and explore our waterways at the same time
Share the Space
Take a look at our common sense guide to sharing the towpath
Find a place to fish
From reservoirs to club-managed canals and river stretches - find your nearest place to fish
Get your free guide
Download your free guide today and start exploring the waterway nature near you
Download your free guides
You've nine free days out guides to choose from - where will you go first?
Find a walk near you
Are you ready to ramble? Find a waterside stroll or a satisfying hike along our beautiful canals and rivers
Take a look at our upcoming events here.
Find your favourite waterway
With over 95 canals, rivers, reservoirs, docks and navigations, find out more about your favourite waterway
Something for everyone
Help us make a difference and have fun along the way. Find your perfect volunteer role today
Join our team
Could you join your local Towpath Taskforce team and help us to keep our canals looking lovely?
Desmond Family Canoe Trail
If you're aged 16-25 and would like to get involved with this exciting project, please get in touch
Could you be a volunteer lock keeper?
Find out what's involved with this popular volunteering opportunity
We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.
A moving experience. Using the latest technology, interactive displays, games and a little bit of magic, transport yourself back over 100 years to when this was the third busiest port in Britain.
Designed by the great civil engineer Thomas Telford, Ellesmere Port was the largest Inland Waterway dock complex in the UK. Just across the River Mersey from Liverpool, goods were moved from ocean going ships onto narrow boats and barges so they could move relatively swiftly along the canal network.
So important was this link, that the docks were still working right up until the 1950s.
Now a conservation area with 19 Grade II listed buildings, when you visit today you can still walk around the locks, docks and warehouses and visit our forge, stables and workers’ cottages.
Set aside from the rest of the docks, Porters Row is a passionately recreated picture of domestic life through the ages here in Ellesmere Port.
Originally built in 1833, the four cottages of Porters Row were over the years home to: shipwrights, blacksmiths, railway workers and, of course, porters and their families.
Today the cottages are real-life homes from the 1830s, 1900s, 1930s and 1950s.
We love dressing up. If you time your visit for a Sunday you're lucky run into one of our characters from the cut. Full costume, full of stories and in character all day - they're a favourite with visitors.
This is where the canal company’s ironwork used to be made. Today, resident blacksmith Alex Price is around most days, Monday to Friday (plus some event days) to answer your questions. And if you want to get hands on, Alex runs ‘smithing’ classes - contact him on 0151 355 7267.
Walking the seven-acre site takes you through a dynamic landscape of Victorian listed buildings, docks, locks, stables, historic boats, cottages and canal basins.
Ellesmere Port's docks played an important role in the North West's development into an industrial powerhouse. Visit our 'viewing point' by the car park to fully take in the site's remarkable location on the Manchester Ship Canal and the River Mersey.
The Island Warehouse was built in 1871 as a store for grain. Walk aross the floating pontoon bridge today to find our two largest display areas. Alongside historic boats and re-creations of workshops there are:
Did we mention interactive? Brand new for 2017 is a huge interactive wall. Voyage into the virtual past, present and future of the waterways and test your skill as a boater.
Packed full of gleaming, beautifully maintained engines, all themed around water, the Power Hall is looked after by museum volunteers. If they're on duty when you visit (look for the men in the overalls!), they'll be happy to talk to you about their work.
We recommend you visit on bank holidays and the first Sunday of every month during the summer - our volunteers fire up some of these magnificent machines and things get all steamed up!
The Pump House contains the mighty steam driven pumping engines that once supplied the power for hydraulic cranes and capstans throughout the dock at Ellesmere Port.
The giant boilers had trouble with limescale, just like your kettle at home. But to clean these monsters a small person had to climb inside with a hammer and tap the limescale away by hand!
The Yarwood steam engine, which used to power the weaver packet boat Davenham carrying soda ash from Winnington Works to the ICI chemical company, is the star of the show. Today you can power her up - though she won't be going anywhere!
Last date edited: 29 September 2017