Short
Breaks

Beeston or Nantwich and return from Anderton Marina

3 or 4 Nights
TOTAL LOCKS: 16
CRUISING TIME PER DAY: 8.5 HOURS (25 HOURS IN TOTAL)

This route is a tranquil taste of Cheshire's stress-free countryside and in a seamless twist of the water it leads you to an encounter with one of the most spectacular manmade marvels of engineering along Britain's waterways.

One of the Seven Wonders of the Waterways, Anderton Boat Lift is a masterpiece of engineering and the world's oldest operational boat lift. It was built in 1875 to lift boats over the 50ft cliff edge from the Trent & Mersey Canal to the River Weaver below.

Over 110,000 visitors flock from across the world to see this canal marvel every year, and you will want to allow enough time to explore this unforgettable experience before you set off. After leaving Anderton Marina, follow the Trent & Mersey Canal southwards. 

The story of salt wraps round the canal here, and the mining of salt has defined much of the scenery around it. Salt has always been vital for human survival, and even language has evolved from the importance of it – Roman workers' 'salary' was paid in salt, and the term 'worth one's salt' is still used today. Just north of Northwich, Lion Salt Works is a restored industrial heritage site, the UK’s last open-pan salt making site.

Northwich bears its motto 'Sal est vita' (salt is life), and the story of a town built on the site of brine springs is told in its Salt Museum. Buildings often disappeared without warning, with houses, pubs and even salt works lunging into giant craters formed by the collapse of underground salt mines!

Middlewich has produced salt since Roman times (its Roman name was ‘Salinea’) and there’s an interesting town trail you can follow to discover more about the saltworks settlement that dates back to 150-250 AD. At Middlewich, turn west onto the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal (the first few yards used to belong to the Trent & Mersey Canal, and is known as the Wardle Canal, the shortest canal in the country!).

Canal boating through Cheshire's remote rural landscape is a stress-free zone, with wildlife and nature to help refocus on the important things in life. 

The peace and calm follows you over a short aqueduct, under bridges, through a couple of locks and along a few country-miles until you reach the junction at Barbridge, where you meet the Shropshire Union Canal main line. Heading south, you’ll soon pass Hurleston Junction, where the Llangollen Canal meets the Shropshire Union Canal. Then the canal crosses the stunning Grade II*-listed cast-iron aqueduct, designed by Thomas Telford in 1826, just outside Nantwich. Take time to moor up and explore this historic market town, a short walk to the east of the aqueduct. Nantwich was first established in Roman times, but was mostly rebuilt after a brewer accidentally started the ‘great fire of Nantwich’ in 1583, which destroyed over 150 buildings. Such was the uproar that Queen Elizabeth I and her privy council ordered a national fundraising appeal and even donated £1,000 herself (approximately £150,000 today) to help rebuild the town, resulting in the many beautiful black and white beamed Elizabethan buildings throughout the town. 

The Queen’s generosity is marked by a plaque on a building now called ‘Queen’s Aid House’ in Nantwich Square. Once you have soaked up the delights of Nantwich, it’s time to turn and retrace your journey to Barbridge Junction then along the Middlewich Branch to the Trent & Mersey Canal to return to the marina at Anderton. 

Featured Boats

Featured Boats from Anderton Marina, Cheshire

Two to Five berth Boats

Alvechurch Heron

Max: 5 People

Length: 58ft

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Alvechurch Bunting

Max: 5 People

Length: 47ft

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Six to eight berth Boats

Alvechurch Eagle

Max: 7 People

Length: 66ft

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Alvechurch Gull

Max: 6 People

Length: 66ft

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Alvechurch Lark

Max: 6 People

Length: 66ft (63ft from Falkirk)

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Alvechurch Thrush

Max: 6 People

Length: 66ft

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Alvechurch Warbler

Max: 8 People

Length: 69ft

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Up to twelve berth Boats

Alvechurch Owl

Max: 10 People

Length: 70ft

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Alvechurch Swan

Max: 12 People

Length: 70ft

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