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  3. Anderton Boat Lift
Places to visit

Anderton Boat Lift

History of the Anderton Boat Lift

The Anderton Boat Lift is a true feat of engineering and was built in 1875 by Edwin Clark. The Boat Lift was only one of the proposals for overcoming the issue of how to transport goods from the River Weaver up to the Trent & Mersey canal and vice versa. The other one was a lock flight which would have take up too much land and also would have consumed too much water. The lift broke several times over the next 100 years, mostly due to corrosion. It was finally reopened in 2002 after a year of renovation and boats can get lifted 50 feet down onto the Weaver Navigation and vice versa again.

Why you should visit

The Anderton Boat Lift is nicknamed “Cathedral of the Canals” - its sight is truly spectacular. There are only two boatlifts in the U.K., so getting lifted down onto the Weaver Navigation and back up again is a very unique experience. Down on the Weaver are pontoons to moor up and take a walk along the path to the visitor centre and playground.

Full view of the Anderton Boat Lift from the Trent & Mersey side

Good to know

  • Passages on the Anderton Boat Lift must be booked in advance. The current booking fee is £5 per passage.
  • The Weaver Navigation is a great place to explore. Boats can go all the way to Winsford Bottom Flash in one direction or Frodsham in the other.
  • Boats should stay on the right-hand side of the navigation and sound the horn before approaching a bend as there are still big working boats operating on the river.

Things to do away from the towpath

  • The Anderton Boat Lift visitor centre is a great place to visit for free. It’s very interactive, including a dress up and colouring in area for children, an entertaining video about the history of the lift and many trinkets from the old days of canal boating.
  • The playground is perfect for kids of different ages. The best view of the Boat Lift itself is actually from this very playground.
  • Anderton Nature Park is adjacent to the Boat Lift and Visitor Centre and can be reached via a handy path from the playground. There is a big network of trails just waiting to be explored.

Photos of the Anderton Boat Lift

Photo looking up the Anderton Boat Lift and trip boat from the river weaver Aerial view of the boat lift, river weaver and trent & mersey canals Entrance and exit on the Trent & Mersey canal side.

Our hire bases that serve the Anderton Boat Lift

You can visit the Caen Hill Locks on a short-break, or tackle the flight on a week-long hire from our Partners in Bradford On Avon.