Contrary to what some very misguided people may think, our fab red telephone boxes are not public urinals. Happily, there are now more places than ever in London where you can pee for free (or pay a small charge).
Restrooms, bathrooms, toilets, lavatories, loos – or the bog, as it is also charmingly called in London. Public conveniences are important to London visitors and finding one while you’re out on the town far from your short let London apartment needn’t be stressful. “Spending a penny” is what it would have cost to use a public facility not so very long ago. Either way, it’s good to know where you can go (literally!)
FREE TOILETS IN CENTRAL LONDON
Galleries & Museums: Many of London’s famous museums and galleries such as The British Museum, The Science & Natural History Museums and The National & Portrait Galleries are free to visit and they have several restrooms for public use. This is also applicable to many of the fabulous, lesser known museums around town well worth a visit. See our guide to Free Museums & Galleries of London
Department Stores & Shopping Centres: London’s famous departments stores in The West End and central London have bathrooms on several floors for public use. Oxford Street’s stores are Selfridges, John Lewis, House of Frasier and Debenham’s. Harrod’s is in Knightsbridge and Peter Jones is in Chelsea by Sloane Square. London’s biggest shopping mall is Westfield in Shepherd’s Bush and newcomer One New Change is near St Paul’s Cathedral.
Supermarkets: Most of the larger supermarkets now provide free WC’s, also for non-customers. This is worth remembering if you are passing any in London or if you’re in there getting a few supplies for your self catering London apartment. These include Asda, Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer and Tesco.
Pubs & Coffee Shops: Some pubs may allow free use of their toilets if you’re lucky and it’s worth asking. Same goes for coffee shops but in some of these you require a bathroom code given only to paying customer, so combining a coffee break with a bathroom break may be the only solution.
By the famous sights & attractions: You will find toilets which may or may not be free by many of the capital’s main sights and attractions, such as The London Eye, The Tower of London, Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s and the like. Look out for signs or ask a local, most Londoners are friendly and helpful.
THE GOOD NEWS ABOUT RAILWAY STATION BATHROOMS
All mainline stations run by Network Rail across London will have free access to their bathrooms from 1 April 2019. This is excellent news for travellers and anyone else nearby who needs a bathroom. Main stations included are Cannon Street, Charing Cross, Euston, Clapham Junction, Liverpool St, Paddington, St Pancras, Victoria, Waterloo, King’s Cross and London Bridge. Water fountains will be another new addition to these stations; we think that water fountains and free loos are a good combination!
LINKS, APPS & MAPS
WALKING TOURS & MORE
Visitors to our short term accommodation in London love a good walking tour. Find all about the messy history of London’s loos which includes interesting info about the present day. This is further proof that there is a walking tour on just about any subject in London. London Loos Tours
For a visit to a Victorian urinal exactly like Sherlock Holmes and Dr Waston might have nipped in to use while out sleuthing, visit The Princess Louise Pub in Holborn. (It’s restored, we hasten to add.)
In case you’re wondering, “the bog” was what they called the cess pit connected to the privy (an outside toilets, in a shed) way back when.