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National Waterways Museum Gloucester
Open today: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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Review Highlights
Interesting place to visit

Gives you a chance to learn about the history of the canal and how it developed. Combine it with a... read more

Reviewed 5 weeks ago
Paul A
Lovely informative little museum

Situated on the edge of the canals, this museum is a lovely laid back collection of engineering and... read more

Reviewed October 12, 2018
AndyE402
,
Colchester, United Kingdom
via mobile
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All reviews boat trip waterways museum the ground floor several floors well worth a visit narrow boat all ages interesting information great insight on display sharpness canal interesting visit dock area boats dredge history barge
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Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I was visiting with my parents and we were overcharged as one of our Art Fund discounts didn't get deducted and we didn’t notice until later. At the time we decided not to fiddle about trying to sort out what was only a couple of quid which I'm sure the museum needs, but I think if we'd been round the collection at that point we'd have felt differently.
The major problem is that there is hardly any collection. The museum is located in a very nicely converted old warehouse and has quite generously proportioned galleries spread over half the ground floor and the whole first floor (the remainder is a nice little coffee bar and a shop).
The "National" part of the waterways story is barely told at all, which is a shame since given men, women and children lived and worked around the canals it should possible to come-up with exhibits that appeal to all ages.
The local history story (covering the area around Gloucester and Sharpness) is much better told, but even this section is very lacking in actual exhibits given the space available. The organisation of the collection is also pretty difficult to follow.
I can’t in all honestly recommend this museum, even if you are interested in the subject matter.

Thank Phil S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We couldn't locate this Museum and phoned twice for the location of the nearest car park. The phone was not answered but we left a voicemail message as the answerphone promised that they would phone back. When we arrived there was no-one on reception and when a member of staff arrived I mentioned that we had phoned and was told "Oh we don't answer the phone if there is someone at the desk!"
After paying £8.50p entrance fee which is far more than some of the other BETTER Museums in the area we were very disappointed to find a very sparse premises with very few exhibits and very few descriptions of what you were looking at: However there are plenty of childrens activities and areas available. This Museum is definitely NOT for Adults who have an interest in history and want to learn more about Britains waterways etc.
There was a chap doing a survey on the way out and to summarise I told him that I found the whole experience to be a total rip-off and not one I would recommend apart from to Nursery Schools.

Thank Bluewatch352
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 5 weeks ago

Gives you a chance to learn about the history of the canal and how it developed. Combine it with a trip on the boat that takes you up and down the canal where you can listen to the history of the canal and see many features including the swing bridges.

Thank Paul A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2018 via mobile

Situated on the edge of the canals, this museum is a lovely laid back collection of engineering and social history, with lots of verbal and video commentaries from those that worked and lived on the canals. Lots of hands on exhibits for kids to try out. The museum is over two floors with a small cafe and shop on the ground floor. £8.50 per person entry fee. Kept us occupied about an hour without staying for any refreshments.

1  Thank AndyE402
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 6, 2018

The Gloucester waterways museum of Gloucester is worth the visit. Explains the importance of the waterways to the development of Gloucester, providing employment in the area.
The staff were very helpful and friendly.

Thank kojvl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michelle K, Public Relations Manager at National Waterways Museum Gloucester, responded to this reviewResponded October 12, 2018

Thank you for your feedback and great to hear you enjoyed your visit.

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Reviewed October 5, 2018

Delighted! You 'must' be joking! Kept waiting and ignored for ages while a young lady simply gossipped to a fiend about something on the 'only' computer screen to grant entry, Finally we were afforded the courtesy of entry...what a TOTAL INSULT ...This museum is possibly the most vacuous, badly laid out , uninteresting museum I have ever visited. I last visited many years ago and Much of the content now is almost irrelevent, the models are banal, the steam engines almost irrelevent, as is a barge converted into a school room, The content and layout of the old museum was far superior and gave interesting continuity ...this 'new' layout seems as banal and empty as a ships hull shape made of rope! who's wonderful idea was that? The handrail for any boring irrelevent or lack of content is 'always' short films...the two small screens here loop some exagerated excitement of old boys talking about yesteryear, and it is uneventfull, badly told, film...the sort of thing you would change channel from in a second if it was shown on a national broadcast. Two levels of displays that only a ten year old would find of interest..and that is my point...THIS MUSEUM IS REALLY JUST A DAY VISIT FOR SCHOOL KIDS...hence the play area / bouncy matts, schoolroom on a barge, desks with laminated maps on them, and generally childish portrayal of SHOULD BE a museum of interest. as to value for money? I could walk around hundreds of free entry museums, which are hundreds of square yards larger, and gladly donate £10...I would seriously preferred to have thrown the money into the river rather than paying the £7 entry fee. I am IN EARNEST WHEN I TELL YOU...THIS MUSEUM NEEDS ONLY TEN MINUTES TO VISIT....AND IT WILL BE MORE INSULTING THAN WAITING FOR A BUS!

Thank cornelious35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michelle K, Public Relations Manager at National Waterways Museum Gloucester, responded to this reviewResponded October 12, 2018

Thank you for feedback and we are sorry to hear you didn't enjoy your time at the museum. Thank you also for your email which our head of museums is replying to.

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Reviewed October 5, 2018

Hello - this is an excellent museum - highly recommended.
The staff are very friendly and helpful - I think some are volunteers - they treat you very individually and it is like they are taking you into their own home.
Lots to see - you really get immersed into the lives of the people that worked on the canals in the 19th Century.
I felt a great connection with my great grandad - who was a navvy in Birmingham in the late 1900's.
It's great to see English culture and life from this era.
It's very interactive.
There is an inside and an outside.
They are going to do up another old barge boat soon - which is exciting - donate to that if you can.
Highly highly recommended.
There is also a really nice coffee shop and the loos are nice.
Concessions get in free.

Thank zumba q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michelle K, Public Relations Manager at National Waterways Museum Gloucester, responded to this reviewResponded October 12, 2018

Thank you for your feedback and great to hear you enjoyed your visit.
For anyone else reading this, the tea room and shop plus toilets are free but admissions do apply to the museum. Its a 12 month ticket and a great opportunity to support the work of the Canal & River Trust.

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Reviewed October 3, 2018

So first off, they were charging on Heritage Open Days, despite showing the banner outside. But whatever I was from out of town and so I decided to pay anyway. Wish I hadn't...I think that's about the least amount of entertainment I've gotten out of 8.50 in Britain ever.

There is no coherent story to the museum. It's just a bunch of stuff sprawled out among two floors of an old warehouse, and a historic boat where truly nothing you see is actually historic on the interior -- it's all been gutted to make display space for an even less coherent bunch off stuff spread out about the room.

I am actually really interested in waterways. I will seriously stand and watch a canal being worked any time I have a chance. I was assuming there would be some tale told about the waterways and how they were developed but this really was just full of miscellany about the waterways.

And yes, I'm miffed about the HODs bait and switch. I don't mind paying to see a museum at all, but it's frankly dishonest.

Thank cag2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michelle K, Public Relations Manager at National Waterways Museum Gloucester, responded to this reviewResponded October 12, 2018

I am sorry to hear you didn't have the most enjoyable experience at the museum. We offered free admission as part of the Heritage Open Days and I would be happy to discuss further if you would like to email me michelle.kozomara@canalrivertrust.org.uk

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Reviewed October 2, 2018

Only on two floors now, good audio visuals if you like old men talking about there days on board tankers going up and down the canal. And why they spent half a million pounds on sticking a cafe in a metal box on the front beats me. The place is surrounded by poubs and cafe bars. Ohhh its the EU money - lets spend it quick before its too late. And its LA grant money. Lets waste that too instead of funding essential services.

Thank alanthompsonuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michelle K, Public Relations Manager at National Waterways Museum Gloucester, responded to this reviewResponded October 12, 2018

I was sorry to read you didn't have the most enjoyable time at the museum.
The newly refurbished tea room helps support the work of the Canal & River Trust and we hope to be able to expand the offer in the future.

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Reviewed September 28, 2018 via mobile

The staff are friendly and welcoming and the exhibits personal, the histories are intimate and thus worth so much more. They run boat trips along the ship canal with an entertaining and knowledgeable talk.
The coffee shop is excellent and the volunteers warm and helpful. This can provide a deeply personal perspective on canal life.

Thank ebonylynton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michelle K, Public Relations Manager at National Waterways Museum Gloucester, responded to this reviewResponded October 12, 2018

Thank you for your feedback and great to hear you enjoyed your visit.
.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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