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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
Adult group ticket (10+)£2.30 per ticket
Concessions group ticket (10+)£1.50 per ticket
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

Adult group ticket (groups 10+) £2.30 per person. Concessions group ticket (groups 10+) £1.50 per person.
Discounts are available for people with disabilities.
Weekly tickets available.

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor
  • Certificate of Excellence 2018

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

  • Excellent
    445
  • Very Good
    240
  • Average
    72
  • Poor
    5
  • Terrible
    4

Recent Reviews:

  • B C
    Greater London, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Couples
    Gorgeous Views
    4 of 5 stars
    Sunday, 10th March 2019
    There are 2 funiculars in Hastings, East and West. The West track takes you to see old ruins of a castle and the East track gives you access to walk a country track across the cliffs (it's very safe... Read full review
  • Gary W
    Trip Type:
    Family
    east hill funicular
    2 of 5 stars
    Sunday, 17th March 2019
    today we visited the least hill funicular purchasing a family return ticket.only for it to breakdown just shy of the top. at least we were able to get to the top via a ramp and the helpful chap... Read full review
  • RitaWelling
    Welling, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Couples
    Cliff Railways
    5 of 5 stars
    Wednesday, 20th March 2019
    We enjoyed going up Cliff Railway in Hastings. Once at the top there were lovely views all around. Worth going up Read full review

Map & Directions

Opening Times

Open New Year
West Hill - Summer (1 Mar 2019 - 30 Sept 2019)
DayTimes
Monday - Sunday10:00 - 17:30

* Closed Christmas Day but open again on Boxing Day. Open New Year's Day.


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

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