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National Waterways Museum
Gloucester's award-winning National Waterways Museum, housed in its splendid refurbished Victorian warehouse on Gloucester's Docks, gives a hands-on history of Britain's canal system.
One of the glories of the Industrial Revolution, the canals, after a century of neglect, are now coming back into their own in the 21st century as leisure areas. As part of the Waterways Trust, the National Waterways Museum has been designated as a museum with a collection of national importance.
The museum's collection includes narrowboats, river barges, canal and river tugs and a steam-powered dredger. In the setting of a canal repair yard there is a steam crane and a heavy oil engine, complete with working machine shop, forge and weighbridge. Entry is through a replica lock chamber, complete with running water.
The museum's Water Lives exhibition delves into what it was like to grow up living and working on the Gloucester canals. Other displays include the Ecology Gallery, a comprehensive study of canal wildlife, and Move It, which explains the technical engineering behind constructing waterways. Alongside the absorbing exhibits, there is the chance to take a boat trip on either Queen Boadicea II or King Arthur, as well as taking part in various courses throughout the year. A shop and the Waterways Café complete the facilities.
National Waterways Museum Information
Cost: £3.95; concessions £3.50; children £2.75; under 5s free; family ticket £12
Address: Llanthony Wharehouse, Gloucester Docks, Gloucester, GL1 2EH
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