The industrial town of Ellesmere Port developed around Britain's first and largest canal port. The National Waterways Museum, located in Thomas Telford's canal basin, alongside the Manchester Ship Canal, tells the story of the town's development as a major canal port. The seven acre dock complex contains a series of locks that drop the level of the canal between the old offices and warehouses, while one of Europe's largest collection of narrow boats floats in its wide canal basin.
Kinsey Road, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, CH65 9JJ - Tel: 0151 356 5562
Britain's largest undercover aquarium. 70 metre long underwater glass tunnel, where you can get up close to colourful fish, giant rays and one of the largest collection of sharks in the world. Attractions include: Underwater coral reef, freshwater fish aquariums, amphibians and vertebrates, an underwater aqua-theatre where divers take part in the action, several fish petting pools and 'Pirate Playground' children's play area.
Opening times: all year, weekdays 10am to 6pm, weekends 10am to 5pm (Closed Xmas)
Location: Cheshire Oaks, Ellesmere Port, CH65 9LF - Tel: 0151 357 8800 Website
Facilities: parking (charged), restaurant, gift shop, lifts to each floor and wheelchair friendly access throughout the attraction.
Discover the history of Britain's canal network in this 200-year old dock complex, which links the Shropshire Union Canal with the Manchester Ship Canal. Some of the warehouses, workshops and canal locks on the site date from the 1790s and were still in use after the end of WWII. Learn about the use of the working boats, horses, machinery, workers cottages and local industries, including the mighty steam pumping engines once used to power the hydraulic cranes and capstans in the dockyard. A large exhibition hall contains a full-size narrow boat, artifacts and memorabilia of canal life, and exhibitions of local industrial heritage.
Large collection of colourful narrow-boats and other working boats to see in the canal basin, some of which are open for visitors to climb aboard. Regular boat trips along the Shropshire Union Canal available during the summer.
Opening times: Summer daily 10-5. Winter Thu-Sun 10-4 (closed Xmas) Admission Charge
Location: South Pier Road, Ellesmere Port, CH65 4FW - Tel: 0151 355 5017 Website
Facilities: parking, restaurant, gift shop
Attractions & Days Out:
| Catalyst Science Centre
| Hack Green Nuclear Bunker
| Jodrell Bank
| Weaver Hall
Gardens & Historic Houses: Adlington Hall | Arley Hall | Capesthorne Hall | Gawsworth Hall | Hare Hill | Little Moreton Hall | Lyme Park | Ness Gardens | Tatton Park | Tabley House
Castles, Monuments & Heritage Sites: Beeston Castle | Cholmondeley Castle | Nether Alderley Mill | Norton Priory | Quarry Bank Mill