Free boat lift tours on Heritage Open days

TO CELEBRATE Heritage Open Days, a nationwide event that gives everyone a chance to celebrate history, culture and visit hidden places, Cheshire’s iconic Anderton Boat Lift is offering both free history talks and free ‘Walking the Lift’ tours on Saturday and Sunday September 21-22.

The history talks will cover subjects such as the restoration of the lift and the engineering that makes the boat lift worthy of its ‘Scheduled Ancient Monument’ status.

Due to the limited space on the talks and tours, booking is essential and can be done by ringing 01606 786777. There is no admission charge to visit the Anderton Boat Lift, enjoy its grounds or visit its hands-on exhibition area, which will be open during the weekend from 9.30am-5.30pm.

The unique guided tours of the lift will take place at 10.30am, 12.00 noon and 2.15pm on Saturday and Sunday and will give visitors the chance to learn the history of this Victorian masterpiece and see it just as lift operators have since Victorian times.

The finale of the ‘Walking the Lift’ tour is a chance to enjoy the panoramic views from the top of the world’s first successful boat lift. This tour is only suitable for people aged 16+ and for those with a head for heights. Visitors are advised to wear suitable, flat footwear.

During the weekend, talks will be given on the Lift’s engineering history (Saturday September 21 at 2pm) and the campaign that led to the renovation of the lift (Saturday at 11am and Sunday September 22 at 2pm). In addition, there will be a talk about Jabez Thompson’s Northwich Terracotta Works on Wednesday September 18 at 1pm and Friday September 20 on the lift’s engineering history. All free talks will be held in the Lift View Marquee.

Graham Wood, Duty Manager, Anderton Boat Lift, said: “Heritage Open Days is England’s largest festival of history and culture and brings together over 5000 events to celebrate heritage, community and history. We are very pleased to be part of this amazing weekend.

“This will be a great free day out and we are looking forward to telling visitors the fascinating history behind this masterpiece of Victorian engineering, which is still in operation today. For those who wish to pay and take a boat tour down the River Weaver or experience what it feels like to be transported through the Lift, boat tours will be available throughout the weekend, but booking is advised. We warmly welcome visitors for this great weekend of history and fun.”

Boat trips can be booked on 01606 786777 and there is no charge for children under 5 years old. The Anderton Boat Lift also has a Treetop Coffee Shop selling fresh, affordable food and shop selling a wide variety of gifts, games, books and canal-related merchandise. Its £50,000 themed play area is popular with the Lift’s youngest visitors.

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