Cliff Railways - East Hill

East Hill, Rock-a-Nore Road, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 3EG

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From £2.60
photograph of the east hill from the lower station. Shows brick building at the bottom of funicular railway cut into cliff.



The East Hill lift is closed temporarily for repairs until futher notice. 


The United Kingdom's steepest funicular railway is not only a structure of national importance but also a source of immense local pride.

The East Hill Lift provides access to Hastings Country Park which overlooks the Old Town and Rock-a-Nore. It was in the country park that Hastings resident John Logie Baird, the inventor of television, got the inspiration which led to his first TV experiments.

The lift provides views over the Stade, home to the largest beach launched fishing fleet in Europe.

The East Hill Lift has step-free access and a space for wheelchair/prams but is not suitable for larger size mobility scooters.

Well behaved dogs are welcome. 


History of the Railway

Legacy of the Railway

The United Kingdom's steepest funicular railway is not only a structure of national importance but also a source of immense local pride.

It casts a welcoming shadow over Europe's largest beach launched fishing fleet and provides thousands of residents and visitors easy access to the Hastings Country Park and some of the most spectacular vantage points over the town.

It's become an enduring symbol of the unique charm and character of Hastings, a symbol powerful and true enough to withstand two world wars and the fast-changing tides of a turbulent century.

Planning of the Railway

This was fraught with unexpected pitfalls and seemingly insurmountable problems.

Although the town's council successfully bought the land, the original owner, the Reverend Sayer-Milward, had retained a covenant through which he could prevent any construction work.

This setback was quickly compounded by the submission of a major petition from people at High Wickham protesting against any proposed development.

The Council responded with a petition of its own in which 500 residents offered their support for the idea of a cliff railway. This created the impetus for a series of complex negotiations with Sayer-Milward which, after many arduous months, concluded with him granting approval in 1898.

Construction of the Railway

If the Council had found the planning process to be tough, it was nothing compared to the nightmare of the actual construction.

Deep faults in the rocks made it extremely difficult to safely evacuate the shaft and construction workers faced all manner of hidden hazards and perils.

In the Summer of 1902 the opening of the railway had to be delayed because one of the carriages (containing several Council officials) was derailed just fifteen yards from its apex.

Despite all of this, on August 10 1902, the railway finally opened and the first chapter of a one hundred year story had been written.


Book Tickets

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Adult Return£4.20 per ticket
Child Return£2.60 per ticket
Concessions£2.60 per ticket
Family - up to 2 adults 3 Children£12.00 per ticket

Currently the lifts are only accepting payment by card.
All tickets include return journeys.
Ticket are available for tours and school groups at £3.00 per adult / £2.00 per child.
Weekly and seasonal tickets are available. Weekly: £13.00 adult / £7.00 child/ £34.00 family. Season: £55.00 adult / £37 child.



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    Recent Reviews:

    • Dan_Russell_x
      Peterborough, United Kingdom
      Trip Type:
      Great attraction for the family
      5 of 5 stars
      Thursday, 25th August 2022
      A great attraction for all of us. Children 9 & 7 and they both really enjoyed it. Worth a visit for sure. This cost the railway wasn’t working. Not sure if that permanent. Hopefully just temporary... Read full review
    • billywhizzkid
      Banbury, United Kingdom
      Trip Type:
      Worth a visit, saves walk up big hill!
      4 of 5 stars
      Friday, 2nd September 2022
      Enjoyed using the West Cliff Railway to see Smugglers Cove and the great views. Still think it's slightly expensive but worth the visit. Just remember that it is shut half hour for lunch. Read full review
    • Andrew081
      St. Albans, United Kingdom
      Trip Type:
      Excellent examples of Victorian Engineering
      5 of 5 stars
      Friday, 13th January 2023
      As only return tickets (£4.20 adults, £2.60 children) are available we visited both the East and West railways twice! The walk up the cliff tops is not too arduous so for each railway we got the... Read full review

    Map & Directions


    Establishment Features

    • Dogs Accepted

    Opening Times

    Currently Closed (1 Oct 2022 - 31 Mar 2023)
    Monday - SundayClosed
    Bank HolidayClosed

    * The East Hill Lift is currently closed for repairs.

    Special Offers

    • 10% off tickets. Full details here:

      1066 Discount Card - redeem this special offer immediately

      More offers like this - 1066 Discount Card

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    Picture of the Victorian coaches still used today on West Hill Cliff Railway, HastingsCliff Railways - West Hill, HastingsA heritage funicular railway on Hastings' West Hill.

    1066 Country of Origin Original by nature
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