The Boat Museum: 0151 355 5017
Once the hub of Ellesmere Port's industrial activity, the canal port was the focus of the town's changing fortunes, operating as a transhipment centre initially from the Shropshire Union Canal to the Mersey and later Manchester Ship Canal.
This trail takes in the attractive Waterways development, craft workshops and other specialist shops, and reveals some of Ellesmere Port's heritage along the way.
Standing alongside the Manchester Ship Canal it seems difficult to imagine that this was once a shoreline with a beach where bathers gathered. Today, it is dominated by the industrial activity which emerged in a second era of prosperity following the opening of the canal in 1894.
The lighthouse at the entrance to the canal was used to guide vessels from across the estuary to the canal port entrance. To the right beyond the ship canal is Mount Manesty, a man made hill formed from material dug out of the channel when the canal was built. It is named after the engineer in charge.
The Centre Island was once the site of the main four storey warehouses used for storing pottery and grain. These were destroyed by fire in 1970 including, tragically, the main transhipment warehouse designed by Telford. This dramatic structure was built on a series of arches which enabled goods to be moved between the upper and lower basins. The bases of these arches can still be seen.
This route requires entry to the Boat Museum, which is open every day between 10am & 5pm from April to October and between 11am & 4pm from November to March. There is an admission charge.
From the Boat Museum car park, cross the road to the reception building, purchase admission and exit out the other side.
Turn right then cross the footbridge on your left.
Turn right and walk around the basin until you come to the steps and ramp on your right. Descend one of them.
Turn left and pass through the turnstile gate to leave the museum.
Turn right and walk along Raddle Wharf.
Turn right on the road.
Cross the swing bridge which is a short distance along on your right.
Turn left and cross the bridge or lock off Centre Island.
Turn left and walk around South Pier and along Telford's Quay.
Continue along the waterfront when you reach the road.
Follow the road round to the right.
Arrive back at the car park.