Cliff Railways - East Hill

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

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Cliff Railways - East Hill



The East Hill Lift will be closed from Monday 16th - Friday 20th May due to staff shortages. It will reopen Saturday 21st May.


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.

Currently the lifts are only accepting payment by card.

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.



TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

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    Recent Reviews:

    • nicolahZ9241KV
      Trip Type:
      Cliff lift
      5 of 5 stars
      Monday, 2nd May 2022
      Card payment only. Great staff on the Westhill cliff rail way lift. Busy with people every where, due to May bank holiday. Read full review
    • Garry H
      Kent, United Kingdom
      Trip Type:
      Westhill tram
      5 of 5 stars
      Tuesday, 10th May 2022
      Me and my wife decided to take a trip up in the tram I haven't been on it since I was young myself it was very worth the money we even got a concession as my wife is disabled I'd like to thank the... Read full review
    • pauld267
      Bath, United Kingdom
      Trip Type:
      Cliff top ride
      4 of 5 stars
      Thursday, 12th May 2022
      This is a well looked after railway. Very friendly staff and very clean and well maintained. It's £4 return which is a far price. Great views from the top Read full review

    Map & Directions

    Opening Times

    Open New Year
    East Hill Lift (1 Apr 2022 - 30 Sept 2022)
    Monday - Sunday10:00 - 17:30
    Bank Holiday10:00 - 17:30

    * Closed for lunch from 13:00 - 13:30.


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    Special Offers

    • 10% off tickets. Full details here:

      1066 Discount Card - redeem this special offer immediately

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    Picture of the Victorian coaches still used today on West Hill Cliff Railway, HastingsCliff Railways - West Hill, HastingsThe West Hill Lift retains its original wooden Victorian coaches, and also runs through a tunnel, very unusual for a funicular. Currently the lifts are only accepting payment by card.

    1066 Country of Origin Original by nature
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