I don’t often go into train station waiting rooms. Probably a mass generalization but I often find there’s just one other faintly creepy dude in there who stares at you really intently, and most of the time I’d rather just be a bit chilly outside.
Chichester station is one of those stations that has a ‘ladies only’ waiting room attached to the ladies toilets, and despite a general day-to-day desire for less gender segregation, I quite like coming and sitting in here, mostly because they’ve semi-recently done it up and it has just the LOVELIEST benches.
They’re clean (although as inevitable with high traffic areas like train stations, may not stay that way), well designed, and just the right kind of comfortable (i.e. not so comfortable that you’ll fall asleep and miss your train). The wood slats are a rich, warm colour, and I’ve always been a big fan of Southern’s complimentary minty green colour scheme.
Another weirdness more related to the bench environment than the bench itself: Southern Rail use a very specific disinfectant in their station and train toilets which, for some reason, invokes an intense feeling of nostalgia, comfort and reassurance in me. This is possibly strange. But anyway, my point is, being right next to the toilets, this room is always filled with that very specific, quite strong smell, and it makes me feel like everything is okay.
And in the winter months they’re pretty generous with the heating, so it’s a super toasty and cosy place to wait for your train.
This photo is taken on the Brighton bound side, but I’m sure they have a similar set up over on the other side too.
Comfort of bench: 5/10
Capacity of bench: very specifically 3 (but room for 6 in the whole waiting room)
View from bench: I mean, if you like public transport hubs as much as I do, probably about 7/10. But realistically more like 3/10.
Accessibility of bench: The whole station is nicely accessible (as they rightly have to be) and there’s no step to get into this room. 10/10
Adventure level: Low. 1/10