Cliff Railways - East Hill

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

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

About


​​​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.


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 excavate 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£5.50 per ticket
Child, Student or Concession Return£4.00 per ticket
Family - up to 2 adults 3 Children£17.80 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 £4.50 per adult / £3.00 per child, student or concession. Minimum group size is 10 people.
Weekly and seasonal tickets are available. Weekly: £16.00 adult / £10.00 child, student, concession / £50.50 family. Season: £70.00 adult / £50.02 child.

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TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

4.5 of 5 stars
    • Excellent
      515
    • Very Good
      280
    • Average
      85
    • Poor
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    Recent Reviews:

    • Hollieeee
      Ramsgate, United Kingdom
      Trip Type:
      Couples
      Fascinating
      4 of 5 stars
      Sunday, 22nd October 2023
      Took my husband on these lifts while on holiday in Hastings as he did not know they existed. We had no idea that the West Hill lift was open as the east one wasn't! It was a lovely journey up and... Read full review
    • Stephanie S
      Ealing, United Kingdom
      Wonderful
      5 of 5 stars
      Saturday, 4th November 2023
      My absolute favourite thing to do in Hastings have been going for many years lovely cafe at the top and fantastic views over Hastings Read full review
    • Lawrence M
      My battle with Hastings Hill i Conquered 💯👍🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🇬🇧😎
      4 of 5 stars
      Tuesday, 19th March 2024
      I remember when me and 2 friends were taken on a day trip to Hastings must have been 1971/72 it was a brilliant sunny afternoon we saw the railway up the hill and it was steep but me and my pals said... Read full review

    Map & Directions

    Facilities

    Establishment Features

    • Dogs Accepted

    Opening Times

    Closed for maintenance (30 Oct 2023 - 31 Mar 2024)
    Monday - SundayClosed
    Bank HolidayClosed

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