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The charity making life better by water

Access at Anderton Boat Lift

Everyone deserves to get the best possible experience at Anderton. So here's how we're making it more accessible.

Visitors looking at Anderton Boat Lift

Main entrance reception and ticketing area

  • Automatic sliding door at entrance, railings and handrails either side
  • Welcome desk is open plan, with the height suitable to allow wheelchair users to access
  • Lighting is a combination of natural light and electric light
  • Coffee shop, gift shop, toilets and welcome desk are all located on this level
  • Lower floor houses the exhibition area
  • There are 24 metal stairs leading down to the exhibition area with yellow and white edging
  • There is a public passenger lift between these two levels that can hold up to eight persons or one wheelchair and typically two people. The lift is equipped with an emergency link to a call centre
  • There are no corridors or internal doors to manoeuvre inside the main visitor centre except those leading into the toilets
  • All indoor public areas are no smoking
  • There is a wheelchair that you can hire for free, however, we'll need a deposit of £10, which is refundable on return

Driving and parking

  • The boat lift is clearly signed with brown tourist signs from all major routes including the M6, M56 and Northwich Town Centre
  • The car park is owned by Cheshire West & Chester Council and is a 'Pay & Display' car park. You can pay by cash or card. Blue badge holders and coaches may park for free - five spaces are widened spaces for disabled parking
  • The surface of the driveway and car park is tarmac
  • It's about 100 meters along a tarmac path, which does have a gradient, from the car park to the main visitor entrance. Or you can come along the gravel path that's about three feet wide with a lesser gradient of this route also includes a section of the towpath beside the canal
  • There are no steps from the car park to the main entrance
  • There's a 'Drop Off Zone' 40m from the main entrance for less able-bodied people. The drop off zone is also accessible to large vehicles such as coaches
  • A large sign next to the canal directs visitors from the car park to the visitor centre


You’ll find toilets in three areas: 

  • The main entrance – ladies and gent’s toilets each with a disabled cubicle. The ladies also has baby changing facilities and three further cubicles. The gents has one further cubicle and two urinals
  • Lower exhibition floor – unisex disabled and baby changing facilities
  • The grounds

There is also one unisex toilet on board the trip boat. Hand washing facilities are in each of the toilet areas. Separate hand wash basins are provided in the disabled cubicles along with hand rails.

Coffee shop

  • Our coffee shop seats a maximum of 60 people in one sitting and is on a first come, first served basis
  • Tables vary in size from small two-person to larger four-person tables
  • All tables are at a wheelchair accessible height and you can move chairs to make more space if you need to
  • Our team is always on hand to help wheelchair users where needed
  • We cater for vegetarians and gluten free diets. If you have other dietary requirements please do talk to a member of our team for help
  • The service counter is self-service, with sandwiches and cold drinks in a refrigerator, hot drinks and food is served from the till by our team
  • Dogs are welcome

Gift shop

  • The shop, coffee shop and welcome desk are all on the upper floor with an open plan layout
  • Wheelchairs have easy access around the shop
  • Dogs are welcome
  • Many items are at a low level but if you find it difficult to reach, one of our team will be happy to help, all items are clearly labelled

Boat trip

  • Our glass topped trip boat, Edwin Clark, seats up to 56 passengers (none standing)
  • The boat takes a maximum of two wheelchairs with a hydraulic lift to transport these into the trip boat
  • There is one step onto the boat, then a further three steps into the boat. there are handrails either side of the steps
  • All the windows are emergency exits that slide to open
  • Dogs are welcome (Our boatmasters reserve the right the refuse any dog that may pose a nuisance to other guests on the trip)

Exhibition area

  • On the lower level of the main visitor centre  
  • Is open plan with interpretation boards along the walls and free-standing interactives
  • Interpretation boards are designed with different sizes of lettering to suit different abilities and sights
  • Our audio video presentation has seating and an induction loop 
  • Free standing interactives are positioned at an accessible height for wheelchairs 
  • Dogs are welcome

Maze and children's play area

  • The maze is within our gardens on a hard, level surface but it is sadly difficult for wheelchairs to access
  • Our children’s play area is also in the gardens and has fully accessible areas suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs

Grounds and gardens

  • Our landscaped grounds and gardens are on a gradient
  • There is a graded pathway 350 meters long with a tarmac surface leading customers through the grounds
  • Along the pathway there is seating and rest points at various intervals ranging from 20 to 80 meters apart
  • At the lower trip boat moorings there are 14 steps with a non-slip edging strip however, an alternative route is available for the less-able bodied and wheelchairs
  • Wheelchair accessible picnic benches are on the upper and lower ground areas
  • Between pathways there are grass verges, which may be uneven under foot. You may want to stick to the pathways. At the upper trip boat moorings there is a ramp onto the trip boat or three steps. The surface is tarmac with four mooring rods located next to the water’s edge. The waterside is open with no fencing

Viewing platform

  • 45 meters from the visitor centre
  • It's a decked platform looking out onto the lift itself, with a wooden bench as a rest point

Additional information

  • Dogs are welcome in our grounds, coffee shop and visitor centre and we can provide them with water when you ask
  • There is a no smoking policy across the site
  • First aid facilities are at the welcome desk or just ask a member of our team


We need you to let us know how we're doing, so if you have any comments please call: 01606 786777 or email [email protected]

Last Edited: 10 August 2023

photo of a location on the canals
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