Cheshire’s iconic Anderton Boat Lift is holding a series of free events to celebrate Heritage Open Days weekend on Saturday and Sunday (September 9-10).

The nationwide event offers everyone the chance to celebrate history, culture and visit hidden places.

Visitors to the attraction near Northwich will be able to go to the top of the giant lift – booking is required – and enjoy seeing a fully-steamed up half-size steam wagon, live music and drama performances and an engaging one-man band.

Events during the weekend will take place on the magnificent terraced slopes overlooking the River Weaver and the giant lift.

Duty manager at Anderton Boat Lift Graham Wood 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 - with something for everyone. There is no charge to visit the site or look at the hands-on exhibition. In addition, our new £50,000 play area, opened less than a month ago, is providing a tremendous hit with our youngest visitors. We warmly welcome visitors for this great weekend of history and fun.”

There will be three free Top of the World Tours on Saturday and Sunday at 10.30am, noon and 2.15pm.

Manchester Metropolitan University contemporary performing arts students will use music and drama to interpret the theme of ‘Stories by the River’ in two 20-minute performances at noon and 2.15pm on Saturday (September 9).

Typhoon and the Pedal Players’, using the Steam Punk Time machine

On Sunday (September 10), Paperwork Theatre will perform Typhoon and the Pedal Players, using the Steam Punk Time machine to imaginatively re-tell local heritage tales. The three 30 minute performances will take place at 11am, 12 noon and 2.15pm.

With over 15 instruments tied to him, Laurence Marshall is a highly energetic and versatile performer who will dazzle with his large musical repertoire and his sense of fun when he performs at 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 3pm and 4pm on Sunday.

The Anderton Boat Lift has a tree-top coffee shop selling fresh, affordable food and a shop selling a wide variety of gifts, games, books and canal-related merchandise.

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.

The Anderton Boat Lift is owned by the Canal and River Trust and was restored in 2002 after a £7million restoration made possible due to a substantial grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

It is the world’s first successful boat lift and a masterpiece of Victorian engineering.

For more information about this weekend’s events and to book one of the tours call 01606 786777.