The River Weaver is just over 50 miles (80 km) long. It begins in west Cheshire near Peckforton Castle and flows past Wrenbury and Audlem before turning northwards across the Cheshire Plain. The first major town on the river is the market town of Nantwich. Continuing northwards, it passes under the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal near the village of Church Minshull before arriving at the flashes near Winsford, the current head of navigation. It then flows through Northwich and past the Anderton Boat Lift which links the Weaver with the Trent and Mersey Canal some 50 feet (15 m) above. It was rebuilt and reopened in 2002 and is now the normal route for leisure boats to reach the river. The river continues northwards before flowing into the Manchester Ship Canal below Frodsham and any surplus water is released into the River Mersey through the Weaver sluices upstream of the junction. A ship lock at Weston Marsh provides a route to the ship canal.