National Waterways Museum

National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port: Hours, Address, National Waterways Museum Reviews: 4.5/5

National Waterways Museum
4.5
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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About
Enjoy a day out by the canal in Cheshire, where time slows down and history comes to life. Designed by the great civil engineer Thomas Telford, the docks at Ellesmere Port were still in use as late as the 1950s. They were a marvellously self-contained world and when you visit the museum today you can still walk around its locks, docks and warehouses and visit its forge, stables and workers cottages. There's so much to explore from the handsome Victorian buildings, which house the museum's fascinating displays, to the locks and moorings, home to colourful historic and visiting narrow boats. With world-class attractions and a year-round events calendar featuring everything from beer festivals to historic boat rallies, there's always a reason to visit. Dog friendly throughout and recently awarded Dog Friendly Business of the Year in the Marketing Cheshire Awards 2018. Entry allows you to return for 12 months.
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4.5
550 reviews
Excellent
285
Very good
191
Average
48
Poor
15
Terrible
12

Bargeegirl
West Sussex, UK626 contributions
Jun 2022
The museum has been in our tick list for many years and was worth the wait. Lots of interesting insights into boat life,through buildings, boats and both interactive and static displays. The sad thing about the museum, is that they do not seem to be investing in the welfare of the boats on display. There were many sunken boats, which is heartbreaking to see. Loved the interactive ice breaker display. Ticket lasts a year, so bargain.
Written 26 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ken N
Chipping Norton, UK208 contributions
Jun 2022 • Couples
A very interesting two or three hours around the surprisingly beautiful site and surroundings at Ellesmere Port. Some great displays some well conserved buildings but not so many historic boats which would have lifted the experience. Could do with a few live displays (like the Black Country Museum) to lift the experience.
The cafe only had a limited choice the day we visited but was very good, well prices and the staff throughout were very friendly.
Written 25 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Millie024
Llantwit Major, UK418 contributions
May 2022 • Couples
This is an interesting museum, which was a lot better than I expected. We arrived in pouring rain and sat in the car debating whether to pack it in or wait to see if it cleared up. If we had decided not to bother, we would have missed a very informative visit. First to the cafe, which was a pleasant coffee stop, adjoining the large shop. This sold a good range of canal themed books and souvenirs, and was better than the average shop at an attraction. We then walked down past the outside buildings, looking at the slipway, stables, blacksmith’s shop and a large turbine hall. Here there were working engines, but it was a pity there was no clear explanatory diagram of how a steam engine works.
We enjoyed watching a narrow boat go through one of several locks, then went to look at the restored canal workers’ cottages. These were furnished as at different dates, and we had educational chats with two of the keen volunteers, one about the harmonium, sadly not working, and potentially a great smaller fund raising restoration project for the museum. In the 1930s house a recording was playing of EdwardVIII’s abdication broadcast, very atmospheric. Another knowledgeable volunteer explained how the canal basins were used, and answered our questions. We made our way back past a Punch and Judy show, and back to the car for our lunch. Returning, we visited the upper floor of the outstanding exhibition hall, with more information about life on the canals, and a number of restored boats, including Friendship, and a recording of her owners describing canal life. Hidden away in this exhibition space was a good map which showed the canal system between Shrewsbury and Ellesmere Port, which I thought should have been larger and more prominently displayed. It was nice that some of the helpers were in semi period dress, canal sun bonnets for example.
Written 29 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

466roger
Sheffield, UK6 contributions
May 2022
Anyone who has been on a canal holiday will love this place. Lots to see, and to my mind, far better than the one at Gloucester. Plenty of space and a nice value-for-money cafe.
Written 9 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jill H
Northampton, UK8 contributions
May 2022
I visited on Bank holiday Monday with my two year old granddaughter. This was a lovely place to explore. There were bridges and walkways, a canal boat to climb inside and workers’ cottages from different eras.

The cafe was lovely with a pleasant outside area and a good and reasonably priced selection of food.

The volunteers were friendly and informative and went out of their way to make the visitor experience the best it could be.

The fact that your very reasonably priced ticket entitles you to a years’ membership is a great touch,

The childrens playground was great ( but the slide is too steep for little ones),
Written 3 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lorraine
7 contributions
Apr 2022 • Family
We visit the National Waterways Museum and the adjoining play area quite often, when we were down in March we saw the poster advertising the canal boats that would be passing through this Easter weekend. We visited on Good Friday and it wasn't too busy. A gentleman was talking the visitors through how the locks worked, I'd not seen seen it happen before and found it really interesting.

The annual pass is only £9.75 per adult but it's definately worth it as you can visit as many times as you want. The play area is fantastic, our two year old loves it and many people aren't aware that's its there!

The bacon sandwich in the cafe is also fantastic.
Written 26 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

teabag80
Staffordshire104 contributions
Apr 2022
Interesting museum which kept a 7 year old and almost 70 year olds entertained. Lots of interesting history about the area and the history of Ellesmere Port, a pleasant cafe and an exciting looking playground that unfortunately the day was too wet to try. But as the ticket lasts for a year, we can go back again for free to try it. We loved the workers' cottages done out in different styles and our daughter loved having a go with the traditional toys.
Written 17 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Howard-Liverpool
Liverpool, UK2,905 contributions
Feb 2022
A visit around the museum hasnt been done properly by me for many many years and wow what adifference. The venuse is neat, very well maintained, well sign posted, description boards are excellent tidy, loads to see and the list is endless. Good shop and very good cafe. Perfect for a really good day out. Loved it.
Written 26 February 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

GlobeTrotting828973
Manchester, UK70 contributions
Jan 2022 • Couples
On our way back home after an overnight stay on the Wirral we stopped at the Waterways Museum at Ellesmere Port. It’s very handily located off the M53. First we walked along the side of the canal, spotting all sorts of water birds. The museum was only just opened that morning so for a while we had it to ourselves. The volunteer in the Power Hall gave us lots of information about the machines. Unfortunately being out of season, some exhibits were not open or weren’t operating. But we had a lovely walk around, and your ticket is valid for a year so we’ll go back in peak season. Well worth a visit.
Written 1 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ian H
King's Lynn, UK418 contributions
Nov 2021 • Couples
Having seen this place on tv we thought that as we were in Liverpool anyway it would be worth the thirty minute drive to check it out.
Set over quite a large area there is a lot to see all of which is very interesting history. Yes times were hard then but think I’d exchange it for today’s tech driven world!
There is a nice shop and cafe also on site. The only downsides were that due to the time of year there were no boat rides, though your ticket does last a year which equates to very good value
Written 6 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about National Waterways Museum

National Waterways Museum is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:00 - 16:00


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