So when I first saw Hammersmith Bridge, I got pretty excited. It’s a pretty awesome suspension bridge with lots of great embellishments and details. It’s super rattly in a way that’s exhilaratingly terrifying to walk over alongside the cars. And, it reminds me of the bridge in my childhood home.
Walking over it, I was delighted and entirely disconcerted to find these benches, sitting between the pedestrian walkways to the side, and the cars in the centre. The backrests of the benches back directly onto the road, and as mentioned, it’s a thoroughly unsettling road, with the whole bridge rattling and rumbling and the road surface cracking and clicking with every passing vehicle. Not the most restful sitting spot.
Not to mention the fact that if you look through the slats of the benches themselves, in lots of places you can see through to the water below. I personally am not a big fan of any bench where dropping your phone could lead to you losing your phone forever. I know some people are into that kind of risk though, in which case these might be the benches for you!
They also have a fairly great view whichever side of the bridge you sit on — this particular section of the Thames is as much greenery and wildlife as it is busy city life — we saw a lot of swans and ducks and geese and even a heron from our vantage point. Here’s a view of the bridge (and benches) from the riverside on the south bank (including swan and heron).
The benches themselves are not outstandingly comfortable, having slightly narrow seats, lumpy slats, and a very thin back rest (not to mention all the rattling/generally un-restful environment), but they serve their purpose, which I suppose is allowing pedestrians an excuse to spend a bit more time on this beautiful bridge, and enjoy the views.
I may have been particularly charmed because I visited on the most gorgeous summer day at sunset, but despite the somewhat terrifying nature of these benches, I’d definitely recommend them.
Comfort of bench: 5/10. These ones are always pretty comfortable.
Capacity of bench: Loads. Loads and Loads. I reckon maybe 30 – 40 people on each side of the bridge. What a fun bench/bridge party that would be.
View from bench: 8/10
Accessibility of bench: Reasonable. The pedestrian walkways are a bit narrow in places but should still be wide enough for most wheelchairs or walking aids.
Adventure level: Pretty central London, 5 – 10 minutes walk from Hammersmith Tube. Low adventure level. 2/10.