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Cliff Railways - West Hill



West Hill, George Street, Hastings, East Sussex

Tel: +44 01424 451111

West Hill


East Hill Cliff Railway

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.

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.

The lift's charming lower station is in traffic-free George Street which is full of continental-style cafés, artshops and bookshops.

The West Hill itself offers some of the town's most remarkable views, stretching round to Beachy Head in the west and out across the Channel, the busiest sea lane on the world. It was on this hilltop that Hastings resident John Logie Baird, the inventor of television, made his first radar experiments.

Better still, you can enjoy these sights from inside the West Hill Café which is open throughout the Summer and offers a wide range of drinks and meals.

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Family 2+3£8.00 per ticket
Return - Adult£2.70 per ticket
Return - Child£1.70 per ticket
Senior Citizen/Student Return£1.70 per ticket

Discounts are available for people with disabilities.
Weekly tickets available.|


  • Certificate of Excellence 2017

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Recent Reviews:

  • Rogerakimou
    Hastings, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Regular User
    4 of 5 stars
    Monday, 19th March 2018
    I usually take the cliff railway up to the West Hill (where I live) at least once per week. It's OK to walk down the hill but I prefer to let the train take the strain for coming back!! The short... Read full review
  • Phil P
    Fareham, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Great views
    4 of 5 stars
    Sunday, 18th March 2018
    A vertiginous cliff railway that is an impressive piece of engineering that is well worth the trip for the experience and the great views. Read full review
  • 18ShoreRoad
    Jackson Heights, New York
    Trip Type:
    A great view at the top!
    4 of 5 stars
    Saturday, 10th March 2018
    We frequently ride the Cliff Railways. It is a fun trip for my daughter and we enjoyed the walk down. The ticket brings you up and back if you don't want to walk. The views from the top of the hill... Read full review

Map & Directions

Opening Times

West Hill - Summer (1 Mar 2018 - 30 Sept 2018)
Monday - Sunday10:00 - 17:30


East Hill lift closed December 24th & 25th 2016. Lift closed for maintenance Jan 2017

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