National Waterways Museum

A window on 2000 miles of waterways heritage... From building a coracle to canal crafts, the National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port offers a wide range of hands-on learning opportunities. We specialise in supporting Key stages 1, 2 and 3 and offer a learning environment that children find stimulating and enjoyable.


“One of the highlights for school groups is the thirty minute narrow boat trip on the Shropshire Union Canal. Passing under Victorian bridges and motorways and past old quaysides and warehouses - the trip is a journey through time and our guides really help bring this to life for children”. Christine Cuncliffe, Duty Manager


Based in Ellesmere Port’s Victorian canal docks the site is Museum rich with historic boats, working locks, traditional cottages and examples of the steam engines and other technologies that drove the industrial revolution. There are many wild birds on the seven-acre site and the viewing point beside the car park is ideal for taking in the Museum’s stunning location beside the Mersey and the Manchester Ship Canal.

National Waterways Museum Learning Programmes include:


Clothes around the Cut (KS1 and KS2)19th century life explored through costumes, historic boats, homes and artefacts.

Coracle Workshop (KS2 and KS3 Design & Technology)Design, construct, test and evaluate a model coracle.

Narrowboat Decoration (KS1 and KS2)Hands-on exploration of the crafts, customs and social history of the boat people.

Roses and Castles (KS2 and KS3)Learn the basic techniques of traditional canal art.

Time Detectives (KS2 History and Geography)Work in teams to discover more about artefacts in the Museum’s collection.

World War II Children (KS1 and KS2)Engaging sessions featuring rations, make do and mend, evacuees and more.


Our courses can be tailored to meet your requirements and we are also happy to welcome groups who have planned their own activities. In addition to the above menu we offer boat trips and 45 minute guided tours for infants, junior or seniors.

Plus, bring your classroom lessons to life with one of our loan boxes. Themes include World War II, Victorians, Boat Building and Canal Life.

For further information and inspiration visit our website at or go to where you will find many useful resources and ideas for activities.

Unlock the wonders of our waterways…


Key Information

  • Rich collections and fascinating displays
  • Curriculum-related support materials
  • Guided tours and boat trips
  • Free teachers’ visits to help plan your trip
  • Cafe and wet-weather picnic area
  • Help with risk assessments
  • Ample free parking for cars and coaches

Additional Information

The area/s in which this provider is available are:North West

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