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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 - 836 reviews836 reviews
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From £1.70
Cliff Railways - East Hill


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 2019
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Recent Reviews:

  • MrsGemmaDavies
    Loughborough, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Best way to get to the best views
    5 of 5 stars
    Sunday, 24th November 2019
    Magnificent feat of early engineering that quickly and easily gets you to the top of the cliffs in order to experience the best views across Hastings. Feels like you are stepping back in time as you... Read full review
  • Alasdair G
    Deal, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Great little trip
    5 of 5 stars
    Wednesday, 18th December 2019
    Wasn’t sure about doing this but so glad I did. It doesn’t last long but it’s a trip back in history and takes you up to a fantastic view and a lovely nature park to walk around. Lovely operators too... Read full review
  • speks
    Great views of Hasting!
    4 of 5 stars
    Thursday, 2nd January 2020
    We could only take the East Hill Lift as the West Hill is closed for repairs. This was good enough though... a very short trip to the top - Which leads to the Hasting Nature Reserve. Great views of... Read full review

Map & Directions

Opening Times

Open New Year
East Hill - Winter Openings (1 Nov 2019 - 28 Feb 2020)
Monday - FridayClosed
Saturday - Sunday11:00 - 16:00
Bank Holiday11:00 - 16:00
East Hill - October Openings (1 Oct 2020 - 31 Oct 2020)
Monday - Sunday11:00 - 16:00

* Closed Christmas Day, open Boxing Day.


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