We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.

Anderton Boat Lift

The Anderton Boat Lift is an incredible edifice, perched on the banks of the River Weaver Navigation like a giant three-storey-high iron spider.

Designed by Edwin Clark, the Anderton Boat Lift was opened officially in July 1875 to raise narrowboats and barges 50 feet between the Weaver Navigation and the Trent & Mersey Canal.

Explore the history of the local area, learn about the origins of the saying "any man worth his salt" and experience the wonders of the Anderton Boat Lift itself by taking a trip on our glass topped trip boat, Edwin Clark.

Like all great things, the concept is simple: two huge water tanks (caissons), each with watertight sealable doors, carry boats up and down. The original counter-balanced system was replaced in 1908 by electric operation, but the lift now works hydraulically again.

No description can adequately convey the sheer scale of this engineering feat. The lift worked until 1983 when serious deterioration of the structure was discovered. Some £7m was raised to fund the restoration, which was completed in 2002.

VisitEngland accolade for AndertonThe completion of the restoration was followed by the opening of the Visitor Centre in 2003. The building houses the exhibition 'The Story of The Anderton Boat Lift', a gift shop and a coffee shop.


Anderton Boat Lift

Anderton Boat Lift
Lift Lane
01606 786 777

Opening times

2 January - 17 March 2017

Weekends only: 9.30am - 4pm

Visitor Centre and Coffee Shop open. Boat trips are not running.

18 - 31 March 2017

Daily: 9.30am - 4.00pm

Visitor Centre and Coffee Shop open. Boat trips running daily.

1 April - 31 July 2017

Weekdays: 9.30am - 4.00pm

Weekends & Bank Holidays: 9.30am - 5.30pm

Visitor Centre and Coffee Shop open. Boat trips running daily.

Latest News and Events

at Anderton Boat Lift


How heavy?

Just ONE of the two caissons on the Anderton Boat Lift weighs 252 tonnes - that's the equivalent of TWO & a half empty Boeing 757-200 commercial aeroplanes (before fuelling, passengers & cargo). Each caisson is balanced on a single hydraulic ram that lifts & lowers the tank 50 feet in the air - that's a lot of weight!

Not the biggest in the world...

That title belongs to the Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift, on the Yangtze River in China. Also the youngest boat lift, completed in 2016, this enormous structure takes only 30-40 minutes to lift ships over 370 feet in the air!