Even More Of London's Crappiest Benches

M@
By M@
Even More Of London's Crappiest Benches
A bench saying the dedicatee would have enjoyed the view, if it wasn't for the tree
A bench in Richmond that acknowledges its own poor view. Image: Matt Brown

Our continuing mission: to seek out the poorest bench views across the capital.

A few years back, we made a compilation of benches with really quite terrible views. There was the ringside seat to a Tilbury logistics yard, the unrestricted view of the A219 gyratory system, and more than one resting position where you'd get a face full of bush. So to speak.

That article proved so popular that it spawned a second wave. Four years on, and it's time we ran a threequel.

We should note, up top, that all benches are Good Things. They provide much-needed rest spots for many people. But still, you've got to laugh at some of these placements...

A bench staring at a brick wall and hedge

☝️ Reader Andrew sends us this photogenic delight, appropriately enough from the Kodak estate in North Harrow. He tells us that there's a "lovely view" at 90 degrees to the bench, which suggests it was perhaps installed at the wrong angle. That said, if you've got young kids, the bench serves as a handy "see if you can count all the bricks!" platform, which should keep them busy for 20 minutes or so.

A bench staring straight at a hedge
© PJ Bryant

PJ Bryant alerts us to this ivy-fancier's hotspot near Little Venice. The bench originally had pleasing views of the Regent's Canal but has since been blinkered by a superabundance of foliage.

A person consumed by a bush, sitting on a bench

Still, it is possible to get even closer to nature. Reader John highlights this bench-consuming shrubbery that even the Knights who say "Ni!" would fear. Approach it, if you dare, in Beckton District Park.

Parts of the olympic rings cut into sections and placed in a park
Image: Matt Brown

After the 2012 Olympics, the giant rings that adorned St Pancras station were chopped into pieces and turned into benches: an idea I think we can all applaud. These ones to the east of the station, however, do not exactly embody the Olympic spirit. They boast a 360 degree wraparound view of brambles and bindweeds, a bottom-staining algal patina, and preside over a carpet of drinks cans, discarded plastic and condoms. (Photo taken in early 2022... we hope it's been spruced up a bit since.)

Antony Gormley bench imperial college
Image Matt Brown

We can't end without mentioning this puzzler at Imperial College. Called "Alert" by Antony Gormley, it's both a sculptural intervention and a bench. The view along Imperial College Road is neither good nor terrible. But it does look like someone got an erection in Minecraft.

Seen a bench with a truly rubbish view? Send them along to [email protected], and we might put together an increasingly desperate fourth instalment.

Last Updated 08 December 2023

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