The Long Bench in Littlehampton, Arguably the World’s Longest Bench

Littlehampton’s record-breaking bench

photography by: Jim Champion/ Flickr

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The seafront of Littlehampton doesn’t appear at first to be particularly record-breaking. But a closer look reveals an unsual structure unlike any other: the world’s longest bench, measuring 324 metres, winds along the promenade, curving around obstacles and offering welcome seating to visitors.

History of The Long Bench

In July 2010, as part of a nationwide endeavour to regenerate seaside resorts across Britian, the coastal town of Littlehampton was endowed with a peerless structure. At a length of 324 metres, The Long Bench, as its name implies, claims to be the world’s longest bench.


Developed by London-based architecture firm Studio Weave, the Long Bench was the result of funding by the local district council and a grant designated to revive derelict waterfronts throughout the country. Interestingly, a large donation was also made by the widower of Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, which began trading in Littlehampton.

photography by: Mike Faherty/ Geograph

Design of the Long Bench

Thomas Heatherwick, the architect behind the Long Bench, imagined it as a charm bracelet being gifted to the town. This explains the flashes of colour in many of the slats, helping the design to stand out.


In an effort to make the project sustainable, bench slats were made from reclaimed timber, some of which was taken from dismantled sea defences in Littlehampton itself, whilst some were saved from a landfill. This diversity of timber also adds to the colour of The Long Bench, with different shades of brown interspersing the pink, yellow, red and purple slats.


The structure is capable of seating more than 300 people, despite the unorthodox nature of its shape, with twists, turns, and even loops. The majority of the seats face outwards towards the sea, offering a place for quiet reflection.

Personalizing a Slat

The Long Bench Project is a community initiative involving local schoolchildren and raising money for The Aldingbourne Trust, a charity which helps people with learning difficulties to achieve success and enjoy life with, not despite, their disability.


The Long Bench project has been helping to fund the charity by allowing patrons to purchase a bench slat and have it engraved with a message of their choosing. These are often memories of times spent in the area, or memorials to loved ones who have passed. Personalized slats are then placed onto the bench and maintained for a period of five years for all visitors to see and read.