The Long Bench – West Sussex, England - Atlas Obscura

The Long Bench

This multicolored meandering masterpiece is Britain's longest bench. 

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The Long Bench along Littlehampton’s seafront, is the longest bench in Britain. At 1,000 feet long and being able to seat over 300 people, it’s also believed to be one of the longest in the world.

Unlike many seaside towns, Littlehampton’s beach is level with its seafront path, allowing those sitting on the bench to have an unobstructed view of the sea. This seafront path is also influential in the Long Bench’s design, for the sinuous seat flows along the path not only in a straight line, but also weaves around lamp posts and bins. 

The bench itself is equally, if not more, naturally varied in its tone. Composed of several thousand slats formed from salvaged tropical hardwood, the slats display a multitude of different species. In addition to the various wood shades, stainless steel bars of many colors are incorporated into the areas where the bench weaves, plunges, and bends.

Enriched not only by its colors and crazy contours, the Long Bench’s creators imagined it much like a charm bracelet that evolved and grew over time. The charms added to The Long Bench come in the form of various messages from supporters engraved into the slats.

As an ever-evolving project, the bench’s personalized slats remain in place for five years before being replaced by others engraved with new memories and messages. The slats are personally engraved, fitted, and maintained by the Aldingbourne Country Centre. 

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