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Cliff Railways - West Hill

Hastings

Type:Railway

West Hill, George Street, Hastings, East Sussex

Tel: +44 01424 451111

West Hill

About

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 return£9.00 per ticket
Return - Adult£3.00 per ticket
Return - Child£2.00 per ticket
Senior Citizen/Student Return£2.00 per ticket

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

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor
  • Certificate of Excellence 2018

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

  • Excellent
    442
  • Very Good
    238
  • Average
    72
  • Poor
    4
  • Terrible
    4

Recent Reviews:

  • NatalieC23
    Eastbourne, England
    Trip Type:
    Family
    Is what it is
    4 of 5 stars
    Wednesday, 21st November 2018
    It does what it says on the tin basically. You go up and can come back down. Only £3 for a return. The view at the top is amazing. Staff were polite and you can take dogs on it. Safe and steardy. Read full review
  • Hollie B
    London, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Family
    Very Helpful Staff
    5 of 5 stars
    Saturday, 24th November 2018
    Took my 12 year old daughter and 74 year old Grandmother who is in a wheelchair today and can not thank the staff enough for getting the ramps ready for us to get on. Beautiful views too. Read full review
  • angieoconnor1970
    Littlehampton, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Couples
    Not bad
    3 of 5 stars
    Tuesday, 27th November 2018
    The castle and caves to our disappointment were closed in Nov. So we only went up east hill lift. £3 per adult and as far as we could see this didnt give you access to both lifts. If you're feeling... Read full review

Map & Directions

Opening Times

East Hill - Winter (1 Oct 2016 - 26 Feb 2017)
DayTimes
Saturday - Sunday11:00 - 16:00
West Hill (1 Mar 2017 - 30 Sept 2017)
DayTimes
Monday - Sunday10:00 - 17:30
East Hill (1 Mar 2017 - 30 Sept 2017)
DayTimes
Monday - Sunday10:00 - 17:30
West Hill - Winter (1 Oct 2017 - 28 Feb 2018)
DayTimes
Monday - Sunday11:00 - 16:00
West Hill - Summer (1 Mar 2018 - 30 Sept 2018)
DayTimes
Monday - Sunday10:00 - 17:30

*


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

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