Boating through Anderton Boat Lift

Surely one for the boater's bucket list - the thrill of taking your boat up (or down) the Anderton Boat Lift. Find out more about charges and the safety info you need.

Narrowboats in Anderton Boat Loft Boats in Anderton Boat Lift

It's truly a unique experience manoeuvring your own boat into the caissons and letting our marvellous machine lift you effortlessly as it transports you from one level to the other.

Passage times and bookings

You can find current opening times for passage in our Notices section.

Passage times vary.

Please call our bookings office for information: 01606 786 777 or download our free boaters' leaflet:

Please note: the Lift is closed for maintenance every Thursday morning so you can't make your way through until 11:30 (down) or 12:15 (up). (This may change from time to time.)

Advance booking fees and charges

Advance booking fee:
£5 single
£10 return
Usage charge:
£20 single narrow beam (<7ft wide)
£30 return narrow beam (<7ft wide)

Private boats

The charges and restrictions vary depending on your licence:

  • Canal & River Trust 'Canal & River' long term licence holders - 3, 6, or 12 month licence
  • Free of charge if taking the next available slot on the day. Advance booking fees apply to all other passage times
  • Canal & River Trust 'Rivers Only' long term licence holders - 3, 6, or 12 month licence
  • You'll need to upgrade your licence to a 'Canal & River' licence for the duration of your cruise on the canal but are entitled to a 50% discount using a short term licence. (Short term licence upgrade must be in place before passage). Free of charge if taking the next available slot on the day. Advance booking fees apply to all other passage times
  • Canal & River Trust 'Short Term Only' licence holders - 1 day, 1 week, 1 month or explorer licences. Usage charge applies 
    Non Canal & River Trust licenced vessels (ie: Bridgewater Boats) usage charge applies

Hire boats

You will need permission from your hire boat company before you are allowed to use the Anderton Boat Lift. Please be aware that the boat will also need to be licensed. Check our terms and conditions for details.

Passage safety rules

To make sure your visit is as safe as possible, please remember to:

  • switch off your engine once your vessel is secured inside the caisson
  • turn off naked flames
  • stay off cabin roofs or gunwales
  • not lean over the side of the vessel or caisson
  • obey all instructions from the lift operator
  • sound your horn to attract the lift operator’s attention if there is an emergency

In the unlikely event of an emergency, all passengers and crew should remain in their vessels unless instructed otherwise by our lift operators.

River Weaver lock passage

Once down on the river, you need to call ahead to the lock keeper should you want to travel through one of the four manned locks. This will allow for the locks to be prepared before you arrive.

All information on lock opening times and lock keeper's telephone numbers can be found in the above boaters leaflet or via your email confirmation received upon booking lift passage.

Last date edited: 9 December 2018