I recently had a short holiday on a canal boat through Hebden Bridge and the surrounding area. There are no shortage of great benches, but this one was always going to be worthy of mention. Me and Alex stumbled across it again (having sat on it for the first time about a year ago), and Alex was like ‘get some pictures for the blog, then!’
I mean, just look at it. It’s got a view of a waterfall. A waterfall into a CANAL. And a forest. So you can sit on this bench and see wildlife (LOADS of geese and ducks), canal boats and canoeists chugging by, and just behind you (but not so close as to be unsettling) is the tow path, and a beautiful little row of cottages. Any direction you turn is basically LOVELY.
The bench, despite being by the towpath and the canal, feels unexpectedly cosy (if that’s the right word), greatly helped by the bush blocking off the left end of the bench, and the fact that it faces away from the path, towards the canal… that means once you’re sitting on it, it’s sort of yours.
And the whole section of towpath around the houses and by this bench is planted as though an extension of the people who live there’s gardens, so in the summer months it’s surrounded by buzzing bees and the scent of flowers.
As to the bench itself, well it’s fairly standard visually, although entirely made out of wood (no metal, concrete or plastic), which is nice. It is comfortable enough for a reasonably long sit, and, as described, you’d totally want to, because the surroundings are just SO NICE.
Comfort of bench: Reasonable. 7/10
Capacity of bench: 3 comfortably, 4 if someone trimmed the bush back a bit (but they really shouldn’t)
View from bench: Pretty outstanding, if relatively short-range. 8/10.
Accessibility of bench: It’s just off the towpath which is totally flat and accessible… There is access from the road about 20 metres away, but you’d have to climb over a low wall (approx 1ft) to get to it. But still, reasonable. 5/10.
Adventure level: As mentioned, it is fairly close to a road. By public transport you could get a bus along there, or by train it’s probably 30 – 45 minutes walk along the canal from Hebden Bridge station. 3/10