The Anderton Boat Lift

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The mighty Anderton Boat Lift is one of the 'Seven Wonders of the Waterways'. It makes for a great day out with its visitor centre, coffee shop, play area, and nearby Northwich Woodlands.

Often called the “Cathedral of the Canals”, the lift is a marvel where you can explore the history and workings of this magnificent structure.

The Anderton Boat Lift

The Boat Lift was built in 1875 and restored in 2002. It is an impressive engineering achievement that smoothly transports boats 50 feet between the Trent and Mersey Canal and the River Weaver Navigation. This listed Grade II monument has remarkable architecture and character that has stood the test of time.

The Engineering Marvel

Edwin Clark designed the lift, showing the impressive abilities of Victorian engineering. Two huge water tanks with sealable doors act as counterbalances to move boats up and down. The lift is efficient and impressively engineered to transfer boats between the Trent and Mersey Canal and the River Weaver Navigation.

To fully appreciate the inner workings of this magnificent structure, visitors can take a unique “Walking the Lift” tour. This behind-the-scenes journey takes you along the aqueduct, into the control room and machine deck, and culminates with a visit to the top of the lift.

The Restoration Journey

The lift was closed in 1983 due to corrosion. It underwent a renovation project that restored it to its former glory, and it reopened to the public on March 26, 2002. This engineering masterpiece now attracts visitors worldwide eager to see its impressive mechanics and learn about its rich history.

Key Facts

  • You can explore the Grade II listed lift, a Victorian engineering marvel on the Trent and Mersey Canal and River Weaver. It is one of the only workingboatlifts in the country.
  • Experience interactive exhibits and a themed outdoor play area at the Visitor Centre.<
  • Refreshments & souvenirs are available in its coffee shop & gift shop.
  • Enjoy boat trips along the River Weaver most weekends or special events throughout the year.
  • Easily accessible by car, public transport or on foot.
The Anderton Boat Lift Information

Lift Ln, Northwich CW9 6FW, UK

Opening Times

Monday: Closed

Tuesday: Closed

Wednesday: Closed

Thursday: Closed

Friday: Closed

Saturday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Sunday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

NOTE: Canalside venues often have seasonal opening hours. They can be subject to change. So, it's always advisable to check with the venue before visiting.


01606 786777

Anderton Boat Lift Visitor Centre

The Boat Lift Visitor Centre is a memorable day out. With free entry, this two-storey visitor centre offers a wealth of information, interactive exhibits, and a cinematic centrepiece that immerses visitors in the lift’s history and workings.

You can even see the lift control centre. The friendly staff are always available to assist and ensure you have a wonderful day at the lift.

The Canal and River Trust (CRT) operate the Visitor Centre.

Coffee Shop and Gift Shop

After a day of exploration, the visitor centre’s coffee shop offers a well-deserved break with a range of takeaway refreshments. These include hot beverages, hand-crafted cakes, and pizza. The outdoor deck area provides superb views of the lift and its surroundings, making it a perfect spot to relax and enjoy a treat!

The gift shop at the Boat Visitor Centre stocks a selection of souvenirs and keepsakes that showcase Anderton’s unique heritage and history. From children’s books and games to confectioneries and historical items, there’s something for everyone to remember visiting this enchanting destination.

More On & About The Trent and Mersey Canal

Children’s Play Area and Gardens

The Visitor Centre ensures a fun-filled experience for the little ones with a themed outdoor play area that resembles the lift itself. Complete with a bridge and control equipment. This playground is entertaining and educational, as it introduces children to the workings of the boat lift in an engaging manner.

The play area is fully accessible and suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs, making it enjoyable for everyone.

Surrounding the visitor centre, you’ll find pretty and beautifully maintained gardens. They offer a peaceful setting for a stroll or a family picnic.

Embark on a Memorable Boat Trip

To fully appreciate the lift and its picturesque surroundings, you can take a boat trip along the River Weaver. These extended river cruises allow you to marvel at the beauty of the local area and its attractions while cruising through the tranquil waters.

Edwin Clark Trip Boat Pricing:

As of 2023, Boat trips are available on most weekends, ensuring you have ample opportunity to enjoy this unique adventure. See the Visitor Centre website for details.

Tickets can be obtained at the Visitor Centre, and it is always worth a call to check for the latest prices and details before visiting to avoid disappointment.

You could also consider hiring a self drive day hire boat or go on a skippered boat trip. Or why not enjoy a weekend, mid week or week break on a hire boat on the Trent & Mersey Canal

The Anderton Boat Lift Directions

By Public Transport

The nearest train station is Northwich Town, located approximately 10 miles away from the visitor centre.

By Car

Brown tourist signs that guide visitors from all major routes, including the M6, M56, and Northwich Town Centre.

There is a car park at the lift. If you are planning a visit with a coach party, be sure to book in advance by contacting the Visitor Centre at 01606 872868 to guarantee parking availability.

Special Events and Seasonal Activities

The lift is a fascinating historical attraction and a hub for special events and seasonal activities held throughout the year.

The annual Open Day, usually every February, celebrates the boat lift and its history with guided tours, boat trips, stalls and entertainment. On the other hand, every autumn’s spectacular fireworks event offers an evening of dazzling fireworks and music, accompanied by various food and beverage stalls.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Anderton Boat Lift free?

The lift visitor centre and grounds have no entrance fees. Parking at the site does incur a fee, and visitors can also opt for 60-minute river cruises along the Weaver Navigation, which come with a small charge.

Are there toilets at Anderton Boat Lift?

Yes, there is one toilet available at the lift. It is a unisex toilet located on board the trip boat. It has hand washing facilities in each of the toilet areas.

When did Anderton Boat Lift reopen?

After being closed in 1983 due to corrosion, the boat lift was restored and reopened in 2002. Since then, it has been open to visitors from across the globe, offering boat trips with guided tours.

Is Anderton Boat Lift closed to Boat Traffic?

At the end of 2022, the lift was for to close to boat traffic as repairs were needed. Due to the complex nature of the lift and the need for new parts, the lift was closed to boat traffic for many months. The lift is now partially reopened, offering near-normal boat service.  It should be fully reopening shortly. The Visitor Centre is open as normal.

Read More

You can read more about boat lifts and the engineers who built them.

All materials and images © Canal Junction Ltd. Dalton House, 35 Chester St, Wrexham LL13 8AH. No unauthorised reproduction.

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