The Canal Museum
The Canal Museum
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Historic Sites • History Museums
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Visit the Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne to follow the story of Britain's canals, from the great engineers and navvies who created them to the boat families, leggers and lock keepers who lived and worked on them. You'll find models of working boats, traditional clothing, canal crafts, a boat-builder's workshop, beautiful historical signs and much more. You will also receive a warm welcome in the museums waterside cafe and gift shop. The museum cafe and gift shop is open 10am - 17.00pm seven days a week.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.0
227 reviews
Excellent
90
Very good
99
Average
24
Poor
7
Terrible
8

Howard A
London, UK16 contributions
Mar 2023 • Family
Visited for breakfast and tea in the cafe. Pleasant surroundings and staff but limited menu.

Cafe is expensive, advertises breakfast served all day, but this means tea cakes , toast and baked beans,. No sign of an English breakfast on the menu.
Written March 12, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Vicki
Leighton Buzzard, UK288 contributions
Jul 2021 • Family
Visited here back in the summer of 2021, restrictions had been lifted of sorts and thought as it was mainly outside, it would be a bit of a safer Covid option. There is ample parking and it is well sign posted from the A5. For an extra few pounds, we went on a canal ride up towards the Blissworth Tunnel which was really enjoyable. There was a wedding taking place at one of the venues opposite which was great entertainment as there was Morris Dancing which I'd never seen before. The museum is set over 2 floors and gives a real insight into how important they were post railway England. Great little cafe and ice cream stall too, all in all, a pleasant day.
Written February 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Felicia J
1 contribution
Mar 2023
This is such a beautiful and unique venue on the edge of the canal. Inside the cafe has exposed beams and historical artefacts lining the walls, in addition to a used book library with books starting from £1 and local maps and some nice things for gifts.

The seating is comfortable and well spaced out and the room light and airy. It's a great place to meet up with friends. We had drinks, but there were also snacks available. The staff were all really friendly, one introducing the museum upstairs.

Despite the toilets being outside and downstairs, they were clean and well set.

I'd definitely visit the cafe again.
Written March 26, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Greenpen
Banbury, UK108 contributions
Jun 2022 • Solo
The museum no longer offers any sort of canal history experience. It’s been reduced to a second hand book shop serving coffee from the cafe with very few interesting things on the upper floors. Many exhibits have been removed. Told all the material has been removed and some may be at the other canal museums in Gloucester and Ellesmere Port. Told concentrating on Stoke Bruerne local area but it was an important site relevant to the whole canal system. Nothing like it was; give it a miss.
Written June 8, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

jasowl
Sheffield, UK751 contributions
Mar 2023 • Couples
My wife and I stopped off in this small village on our way back up the M1 from a weekend in London. It was only about 7 miles from the motorway, near Northampton, and we found a canal with several locks, two lovely pubs (one thatched), and a small interesting museum , with a cafe serving hot drinks and cake. We wandered up and down the tow path, and watched a few travelers navigate through the locks. A lovely diversion from the joys of motorway driving.
Written March 25, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jannerbloke
Plymouth, UK12,409 contributions
Jul 2022
Regrettably only had limited time at the end of this afternoon but will probably come back soon to take a more detailed look. BUT this canalside modern building seems to be run by volunteers, entry is free (but they welcome donations) and the exhibits are generally well labelled. There is a cafe occupying half the ground floor but the museum occupies two and half floors with many different types of equipment, kit, maps, scale models and much more. There are many books, some geared to children and a second hand collection of canal books. Sadly I couldn’t find any comprehensive or thorough books on the British system but it has triggered my intention to research further. Don’t be discouraged by the shelves of mixed donated books which are part of the fund raising efforts. There are some little scale models of barges intended as souvenirs and would suit children as well as some fridge magnets. When I left I was spoken to by a woman from her barge waiting for the lock who said that this museum used to be much better but that a proportion of its exhibite had been disposed of or relocated in two or three other regional canal museums.
Written July 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Chris L
London, UK466 contributions
Mar 2022
The museum is relatively small but gives a very good idea of what canal life was like. Good history of the Grand Union canal and the boats that used it in its heyday. Nice cafe on site too. Very pleasant place to watch canal life.
Written March 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

SparkLeicestershire
Loughborough, UK352 contributions
Jun 2022
A great free museum, informative on the canal in general, but particularly here at Stoke Bruerne. Attached gift shop and coffee shop all good value and clean public toilets below. Around the eaves House martens are nesting and swooping over the canal to feed.
Written June 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Gary Skelton
Towcester, UK82 contributions
Aug 2022 • Couples
We walk regularly to Stoke Bruerne from Towcester and back, stopping for a bite to eat at the Boat Inn. On Sunday with a 40 minute Waite for food we headed off round the lock and had a look in the cafe at the Museum, coffee, pannis, scones and cream, hmmm worth a stop. Very well laid out cafe with plenty of seating in two areas.

If on a hike and only looking for a quick bite to eat this is certainly a place to stop.
Written August 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Beardyben
Crick, UK36 contributions
May 2022
My wife and I met my dad at Stoke Bruerne because we were in the area and fancied a quick coffee. This was our first visit to the cafe and we were all pleasantly surprised, we only had coffees and some crisps but it was a lovely location, the coffee was really nice, the views are lovely and the staff were so friendly. It's definitely a place we'll pop into again when we're in the area and might have some food next time too.
Written May 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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The Canal Museum (Stoke Bruerne) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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