A trip from the Anderton Boat Lift to Winsford Bottom Flash and back is 2 x 11,5 km = 23 km.
Two portages: At Hunt's Locks (you have to carry the kayak across the lock), and at Vale Royal Locks (50 meters).
No kayak rentals. Paid parking at the Anderton Boatlift (dayticket available)
There is a walking route along the river
The Weaver runs from the lake Winsford Bottom Flash towards the Manchester Ship Canal near Runcorn. It has a total length of 80 km and it is navigatable upstream for 34 km as far as Winsford Bottom Flash. It used to be a tidal river. It was used for carrying salt away from the mines in Cheshire. Sailing barges used to sail upstream at high water and depart at the ebbing tide. Later the canal was canalized and from 1732 barges could navigate till Winsford. In the late 18th century the Trent and Mersey Canal was built. At Anderton it came very close to the Weaver. In 1875 the Anderton Boat Lift was built so boats could navigate between the waterways. Since 1982 it was no longer in use, but now it is restored and boats can be lifted to and from the river.
Across the river is a chemical plant, but the view on it has been taken away by trees. Also no longer you can see the river from the car park. At the far left side of the car park there is a path to the left that leads toward the river. A park ranger told me they don't encourage people to take their kayak to the river, but he could not explain why. Any way it's not prohibited. The Anderton Boat Lift is just right of the starting point. From here you turn left and paddle upstream. The current usually is very slow. Beware of high water level after periods of severe rain! Normally it is no problem to paddle upstream. Follow the bends upstream and pass the town Northwich. After 2 miles you reach Hunt's Lock. They are built for big ships. At the lock there is a floating pier on the left. Here you can take the kayak out. On the other side the floating pier is not connected to the land, so it is of no use. There used to be a footbridge to the left, but is no longer there. You have to carry the kayak across the locks and you can can get in on the other side. Two miles further upstream you pass Dutton Park and after a railroad bridge you come at the Vale Royal Locks. There are floating piers on both sides that are connected to the side of the river. From here it is 4.5 km towards Winsford Bottom Flash. This is a nice lake with a camp-site and many recreational homes on the sides. The lake is very shallow on the east side. Signs warn for "deep mud".
GPS Anderton Boat Lift: Lat. 53.2743 Lon. -2.5283.
Starting point with the Anderton Boat Lift in the back-ground.
Anderton Boat Lift.
Turnbridge at Northwich.
Old shipyard at Northwich.
Hartford Bridge (A556).