About Aberystwyth Cliff Railway
At the northern end of Aberystwyth promenade, Constitution Hill rises dramatically from the sea, providing spectacular and uninterrupted views of the town, Cardigan Bay, and on a clear day 26 mountain peaks spanning much of the length of Wales.
The most relaxing way to enjoy this majestic panorama is to travel by train on the longest funicular electric cliff railway in Britain, which has been transporting visitors to the summit since opening in 1896.
The recently installed summit station passenger lift now provides for wheelchair access to the top of Constitution Hill and major works have been completed to provide accessible footpaths once at the summit. These works have also included the provision of a small customer car park at the lower train station.
Once at the summit visitors can experience the views afforded by the one of the world’s largest camera obscuras, which offers a bird’s eye view of 1000 square miles of land and seascape.
ABERYSTWYTH CLIFF RAILWAY
Aberystwyth Cliff Railway is open throughout the year. There’s no need to book in advance, just pop up to the ticket office, and hop onboard. With trains running every few minutes, you can let the train take you to one of the best views in Wales.
Aside from these two technological masterpieces there are fascinating historical displays, a well-stocked gift shop, and a cafe selling delicious meals, snacks and cakes.
CLIFF TOP ATTRACTIONS
The summit of Constitution Hill also boasts a games room with bowling alleys, soft play area and pool table and 2022 will see the opening of a cliff top Crazy Golf course suitable for children and adults alike.
HISTORY OF THE CLIFF RAILWAY
The Aberystwyth Cliff Railway opened in 1896 and operated on a water balance system until electrification in 1921. The unique design of the undulating track and tilted carriages is the work of George Croydon Marks, a man who played a key role in several projects during the golden age of funicular construction, and later made his name in politics as Lord Marks the liberal peer.
The carriages are hauled to the summit at a stately 4 miles per hour, and are powered by a powerful motor and high-tensile steel cables supported by a sophisticated electronic safety system. In the mid-section of the journey the railway is in a deep cutting, where 12,000 tons of rock was excavated to allow the winding footpath to cross overhead on a series of bridges.
Constitution Hill was the Victorian predecessor of our modern-day theme parks and is still among the most popular attractions in the area. The visitors to the Victorian 'Luna Park' accessed the hilltop recreation area via the cliff railway and a century later it is still possible to retrace the steps of our ancestors on this funicular steeped in history.