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Join in new Summer Fun on Cheshire’s waterways


Boat trips return at Anderton Boat Lift, historic ‘Canal Town’ re-enactments, free fishing taster sessions and walking groups for the over 55s

Join in summer fun on Cheshire’s beautiful waterways with a host of activities and events organised by the Canal & River Trust waterways and wellbeing charity.

Summer fun on Cheshire's canals

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Public boat trips at Northwich’s Anderton Boat Lift have resumed after a gap of 17 months due to the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. On summer Sundays, the National Waterways Museum in Ellesmere Port comes alive with historic Canal Town re-enactments. Adults and children are being encouraged to reel in a new hobby by signing up to free Let’s Fish taster sessions and over 55s are invited to explore the canal network in a free 12 week programme of weekly walks.

Canal re-enactments on Cheshire's canals
Anderton Boat Lift, Britain’s stunning ‘Cathedral of the Canals’, is now fully open again for covid-safe trips on Saturday and Sunday, and Tuesday to Thursday, 9.30am – 4.30pm. The coffee shop, gift shop, gardens and visitor centre are free to enter and are now also operating normally, albeit with a request for the public to wear masks indoors and on the boat trip.

There is an exciting boat-themed play area, a smart new viewing platform installed near to the visitor centre and the trip boat embarkation point at the bottom of the lift has been re-surfaced.

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And it’s not just boat trips, the waterways can be enjoyed in dozens of different ways. The National Waterways Museum and café is now open seven days a week and on Sundays is bursting with working heritage, including on 15 August, horse-harnessing demonstrations and horse-drawn boats along the Shropshire Union Canal.

Let's fish on Cheshire's canals
Let’s Fish angling taster sessions are so popular across the ages, there are just a few local places left. Young angling enthusiasts, aged 7 -20, also have the opportunity to register for the national celebration of young people and fishing just across the Cheshire border in Staffordshire and Market Drayton in Shropshire on the Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 September. No previous experience is necessary to try out a Let’s Fish event. And for those who attend two or three and participate in the national youth celebration, there is an automatic invitation to take part in fishing events associated with the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

And for people aged over 55, there is a chance to improve fitness and wellbeing with the launch of a new series of guided Active Waterways walks around Chester, Ellesmere Port, Nantwich, Northwich and Macclesfield.

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People are invited to sign up now for a free 12 week programme of weekly one hour walks, starting in early August, enabling people to explore new places, get fit and meet new friends. There is also an online, digital version too for people who are not able or ready to venture outside their homes for group activities.

Daniel Greenhalgh, regional director for Canal & River Trust, said: “As Britain enjoys a staycation this summer, there’s something on offer for everyone across the region’s wonderful waterways. Many people discovered their local towpath and canal during the pandemic as green and blue spaces to enjoy being outside.

“This summer, come and take part in an organised Canal & River Trust event or boat trip, explore the canal as a place to walk, cycle, canoe or paddle board, or simply appreciate nature and experience the wildlife that makes its home along the waterways.”

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Boat trips: For more information about visiting the Anderton Boat Lift, please go to the Canal & River Trust website: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/places-to-visit/anderton-boat-lift-visitor-centre or book a boat trip by ringing 01606 787777.

National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port: Canal Town historic re-enactment information. https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/places-to-visit/national-waterways-museum/canal-town

Fishing: Adults and children, aged 7 and over, can book free Let’s Fish taster sessions here: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/fishing/lets-fish/find-a-free-fishing-event. And young people (aged 7-20) can register for the National Youth Angling Championship in September here: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/fishing/matches-and-competitions/the-national-celebration-of-young-people-and-fishing-2021.

Walking: Over 55s can sign up for free 12 week Active Waterways walks programmes, starting early August at locations across Cheshire here: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/about-us/where-we-work/north-west/active-waterways-cheshire.

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