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Cliff Railways - East Hill

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

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TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 849 reviews849 reviews
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From £1.70
Cliff Railways - East Hill


The East Hill Lift is currently closed.

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.


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.

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Adult Group£2.50 per ticket
Adult Return£3.50 per ticket
Adult Season£46.00 per ticket
Child Group£1.70 per ticket
Child Return£2.20 per ticket
Child Season£31.00 per ticket
Concessions£2.20 per ticket
Family - up to 2 adults 3 Children£10.00 per ticket
Weekly ticket adult£11.00 per ticket
Weekly ticket child£6.00 per ticket

Note: Prices are a guide only and may change on a daily basis.



TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

4.5 of 5 stars
  • Certificate of Excellence 2020
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Recent Reviews:

  • juliaandadam123
    Ashford, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Social distancing?
    4 of 5 stars
    Friday, 21st August 2020
    We queued for just under 30 mins to use the lift. Staff were friendly and polite and prices ok. I wouldn’t expect them to be any cheaper as they have staff to pay and overhead costs! Only annoying... Read full review
  • TheNatster75
    Birmingham, United Kingdom
    Funicular Railway
    5 of 5 stars
    Tuesday, 1st September 2020
    West Hill was the only cliff railways that was open when we visited but that wasn't a problem, they had a really good COVID-19 queuing system in place as well. The railway is great fun for everyone... Read full review
  • mariarP9767FS
    Kenilworth, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Friends getaway
    Go on a week day
    4 of 5 stars
    Friday, 18th September 2020
    We went on a Friday in September. We had carriage to ourselves. Not to expensive and a quick easy way to get to top Polite helpful staff Small cost have to pay by card. Read full review

Map & Directions

Opening Times

Open New Year
East Hill - Summer Openings (1 Mar 2020 - 30 Sept 2020)
Monday - Sunday10:00 - 17:30
East Hill - Winter Openings (1 Oct 2020 - 28 Feb 2021)
Monday - Sunday11:00 - 16:00

* Closed Christmas Day, open Boxing Day.
The East Hill Cliff Railway is currently closed until further notice due to Covid-19 restrictions.


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