I imagine most Brighton/Hove residents will probably be familiar with these benches on Hove seafront. I referred to them in a previous post as ‘inferior in almost every way’ to the benches across the other side of the prom, and while I still believe that to be true, I feel it worthy of including them here, as Brighton council have obviously just spent a sizable chunk of money on making them actually nice to sit on again…
I don’t have a ‘before’ picture, but suffice to say these benches were in very poor repair: some of them had even been fenced/taped off as the wood was rotten and broken on a lot of them, rendering them too dangerous to sit on.
The benches mentioned in my previous post (the ones closer to the sea), are more resilient to the sea’s brutal mood-swings, being made of metal and some kind of weird sturdy black plastic. These benches are mostly wood, and they had really taken a beating in the winter storms of the last few years. Although far enough back from the sea to (mostly) avoid ever being showered with stones in giant waves, they’re still totally open to the incredibly strong winds and damaging salt water that comes in off the sea.
I’m glad the council have stuck with this approach though. They’ve fitted brand new, beautiful wood slats, and sanded, repaired and repainted the surrounding frames. The high ends of these benches mean they’re great for getting a bit of shelter on the days when the wind is coming very strongly from east or west, and having seats on both sides means you can choose your view: sea, or Hove’s beautiful Regency town houses fronted by the Hove lawns.
They’re not my benches of choice if I’m down on the seafront, but they’re well used and I’m really glad they’ve been refurbished.
Comfort of bench: Pretty good. As mentioned, if it’s windy, the shelter is much appreciated. 7/10
Capacity of bench: I reckon as many as 8 on each side!
View from bench: 9/10 on the sea side, 7/10 on the inland side.
Accessibility of bench: Easy to get to along the prom, which is smooth and flat.
Adventure level: About 25 mins walk from either Brighton or Hove train station, and 5-10 minutes walk from any bus route, but still, pretty easy. 2/10