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.

It was built by Edwin Clark in 1875 to lift cargo boats the 50 feet from the Weaver Navigation to the Trent & Mersey Canal.

The canal was engineered by James Brindley, who is celebrating his 300th birthday this year.


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.

The 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.

Download our 2016 Visitor Information Leaflet


Anderton Boat Lift

Anderton Boat Lift
Lift Lane

Opening times

November 2016

Thursday - Sunday: 9.30am - 4pm

Visitor Centre & Coffee Shop open. Trip Boat not operational.

December 2016

Weekends only: 9.30am - 4pm

Visitor Centre & Coffee Shop open. Santa Cruises available (pre-booking necessary)