The Anderton Boat Lift is one of those marvels of Victorian Engineering that makes the modern visitor wonder whether we haven't lost our vision in the years since then.
Opened in 1875, the lift was the first of its kind: an elevator to carry boats between the Weaven Navigation and the Trent and Mersey Canal, a rise of some fifty feet.
After some teething troubles the lift operated until 1983 when it was declared unsafe. After restoration it re-opened in 2002, and is now in full working order. There is now a busy visitor's centre with a cafeteria, a gift shop, and a permanent exhibition (there is a small fee to visit the exhibition.) In addition regular boat trips are available to take visitors through the lift, or alternatively along the waterway to nearby Northwich.
The trip through the lift is accompanied by a high quality commentary that answered all the engineering questions I had in my mind before I needed to ask them.
The boat trip took about half an hour, and the boat was large, modern and comfortable with proper seating and a transparent roof.
All in all it was a very enjoyable visit: entertaining and informative. This is one not to be missed if you are anywhere nearby.
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