Cliff Railways - East Hill

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

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From £1.85
Cliff Railways - East Hill


The East Hill Cliff Railway is currently operating at weekends only.


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 Group£2.75 per ticket
Adult Return£4.00 per ticket
Adult Season£51.60 per ticket
Child Group£1.85 per ticket
Child Return£2.50 per ticket
Child Season£35.10 per ticket
Concessions£2.50 per ticket
Family - up to 2 adults 3 Children£11.00 per ticket
Weekly ticket adult£12.10 per ticket
Weekly ticket child£6.60 per ticket

Currently the lifts are only accepting payment by card.
All tickets are for inward and outward journeys as standard
– No single ticket available

Students must show a valid student ID card at time of purchase to qualify for student fee

Family tickets allow travel for a maximum of 2 Adult and 3 Child passengers

Season ticket holders must display their tickets before travel



TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

4.5 of 5 stars
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Recent Reviews:

  • SueT163
    misleading website detail
    2 of 5 stars
    Friday, 10th September 2021
    Telephone number provided on the official website for the lift is incorrect. Advertising ticket cost from £1.85 is misleading and needs to be clearer. Also there is only a return ticket option. On... Read full review
  • Jma61
    Warlingham, United Kingdom
    East Hill cliff Railway
    5 of 5 stars
    Friday, 17th September 2021
    Great views going both up and down Lovely open countryside at the top £4 return fare is worth it to keep this fascinating mode of transport running Read full review
  • sarahhJ5109CT
    Wells-next-the-Sea, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Lovely little ride
    3 of 5 stars
    Sunday, 19th September 2021
    Whilst the experience was great it did not feel covid secure we were the only people masked despite there being signs stating you must wear one! I do hope all these people remember when we’re locked... Read full review

Map & Directions

Opening Times

Open New Year
East Hill - Summer Openings (1 Mar 2021 - 31 Oct 2021)
Monday - FridayClosed
Saturday - Sunday10:00 - 17:30
East Hill - Winter Openings (1 Nov 2021 - 28 Feb 2022)
Monday - FridayClosed
Saturday - Sunday11:00 - 16:00

* Closed for lunch 1-1.30pm. Closed Christmas Day, open Boxing Day.


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Special Offers

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