To provide you with the best experience, cookies are used on this site. Find out more here.

Allow cookies

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 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.|


  • Certificate of Excellence 2018

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Average
  • Poor
  • Terrible

Recent Reviews:

  • NatalieC23
    Eastbourne, England
    Trip Type:
    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:
    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:
    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)
Saturday - Sunday11:00 - 16:00
West Hill (1 Mar 2017 - 30 Sept 2017)
Monday - Sunday10:00 - 17:30
East Hill (1 Mar 2017 - 30 Sept 2017)
Monday - Sunday10:00 - 17:30
West Hill - Winter (1 Oct 2017 - 28 Feb 2018)
Monday - Sunday11:00 - 16:00
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

What's Nearby

  1. Hastings Adventure and Crazy Golf

    Hastings Adventure Golf is the UK home of Miniature Golf and features no less than 3,...

    0.01 miles away
  2. Hastings Castle & 1066 Story

    Images and views of the remains of Norman Castle built after William the Conqueror's...

    0.11 miles away
  3. Pelham Beach

    Hastings' main beach backs right onto the seafront of this established seaside resort...

    0.19 miles away
  1. Smugglers Adventure at St Clements Caves

    These acres of caverns conceal Hastings' exhilarating history of smugglers, bootleggers...

    0.21 miles away
  2. The Flamingo Family Fun Park

    A family amusement park and entertainment centre offering rides for children, a...

    0.26 miles away
  3. Fishermen's Museum

    A former fishermen's church by the old net shops, now a museum on local fishing with ship...

    0.38 miles away
  4. Shipwreck Museum

    Maritime museum with 3000 years of historic treasures from local shipwrecks. Audiovisual...

    0.39 miles away
  5. Blue Reef Aquarium, Hastings

    Display of marine life with hundreds of marine creatures including sharks, rays, crabs...

    0.42 miles away
  6. Alexandra Park

    This 109 acre park was originally laid out by Robert Marnock, a renowned landscape...

    0.52 miles away
  7. Clambers Play Centre

    A children's activity centre for children up to 12 years. There is also an outdoor play...

    0.53 miles away
  8. The True CRIME Museum

    “A SHOCKING new attraction for everyone fascinated by the dark world of CRIME”

    0.55 miles away
  9. White Rock Theatre

    The White Rock Theatre offers the very best in entertainment, from headlining comedians...

    0.66 miles away
  10. Hastings Museum and Art Gallery

    Displays of dinosaurs, wildlife, Native Americans, paintings, ceramics, features on John...

    0.81 miles away
  11. Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve

    Please note Ecclesbourne Glen is not accessible from the East Hill because of serious,...

    1.08 miles away
  12. Marina St Leonards Beach

    Marina St Leonards Beach

    1.59 miles away
Previous Next