When is a bench not a bench?
When it’s a curiosity, a work of art, a window to a stunning view, a much welcome resting spot or a fitting tribute.
We sent you, our local explorers, out on a mission to seek out the most brilliant or bizarre bench in your local area. Here are our top picks for Brilliant Benches across the UK!
Our No. 1 Brilliant Bench
Location: Sculpture by the Lakes near Dorchester, Dorset
Submitted by: Jacqui Fogg
Bench Notes: This bench is the perfect spot to take some time out, reflect, and come up with new ideas!
Congratulations to Jacqui – your box of Cornish Pasties is on its way!
The Best of the Rest
LEFT – Location: Cockington nr. Torquay Submitted by: Jon Cornish Details: Some great history of past residents on these heads!
RIGHT – Location: Alderbrook viewpoint, Surrey Hills Submitted by: Liz Grant Details: It is called Xylem Voices and was designed by sculptor Walter Bailey. Made from oak, it represents six xylem vessels which are the way trees transport water up their trunks.
LEFT – Location: Chepstow Castle Submitted by: Gareth Jenkins Details: A stunningly carved castle bench!
RIGHT – Location: Lifeboat Station, Whitstable, Kent Submitted by: Diane Berry Details: If you sit where the diving helmet is, you can sit with your head in it! FUN FACT: Whitstable harbour was the first place to develop an underwater breathing apparatus.
LEFT – Location: Perivale Park, West London Submitted by: Allen Tsui Details: Fantastic keyboard bench in memory of English pianist Nikky Hopkins.
RIGHT – Location: Treorchy, Rhondda Valley, South Wales Submitted by: Claire Williams Details: It represents the musical heritage of Treorchy Male Voice Choir, singing throughout the mountains of the valley.
LEFT – Location: Loch Venachar, Scotland Submitted by: Vivian Viljoen Details: Just a bench with a stunning view!
RIGHT – Location: Alresford Creek, River Colne, nr Wivenhoe, Essex Submitted by: Richard Martin & Sarah Sherratt Details: The colours on this bench change depending on which way it’s viewed and are amazing in the sunlight.
LEFT – Location: Outside Barbican Tube Station, London Submitted by: Sonia Field Details: We set off on a rather wet Saturday afternoon to search out the five new City benches in Cheapside. But as soon as we emerged from the Barbican tube station we stumbled upon a quirky bench that grabbed our attention. The information displayed on the seat itself explained that the installation is part of ‘Around the Corner’ – a commission inspired by a quote from the novel ‘Jacob’s Room’ by Virginia Woolf. We followed the route – backwards as it happened! – to collect all the pieces of the quote in the Culture mile, exploring the area more thoroughly than we might otherwise have done, and creating our very own Brilliant Benches Treasure Trail!
RIGHT – Location: Aberchirder, Aberdeenshire Submitted by: Susan Middler Details: Time for tea and cake on this fab bench. The perfect ending to any adventure!
Our Trail Writers’ Top Picks
A selection of our favourite brilliant benches spotted by our Trails Writers and TT Towers Team on our explorations!
TOP L-R – A great view in Falmouth, an amusing rhyme in Scarborough, a colourful welcome in Stone
BOTTOM L-R – A bracing view of South Bay, Scarborough, and a bench perfect for social distancing at Stourhead, National Trust.
Your Next Assignment!
Your second MISSION is now live! You have until 11:59pm on Wednesday 11th November to shout loud and proud about your local… sayings!
From quirky words and curious sayings to full-blown phrases, we want to know what gets said around your way that might baffle the rest of the UK!
rachelfoxton 5th November 2020
Posted In: Challenges