At Your Convenience: A Lavatorial Walking Tour
Toilets (or not!) in the Underground
Head down into the underground.
Now you’re at the bottom of the stairs turn left. You’re in Charring Cross station. There are 30p toilets upstairs in the mainline station, but nothing in the Underground.
In fact, less than half of the 270 stations served by the London Underground have toilets. In Central London that drops to less than a quarter.
Turn right and start heading upwards. Past the paddle gates on your left.
Station toilets are overseen by the various train operating companies. They decide whether to charge you or not and how pleasant of an experience to make it.
There was much toilet controversy over the new Crossrail, who declared that they had no intention of adding toilets to their stations. Local campaigners painted a horrific vision of the major transport hubs flooded with stranded customers having to depend on street corners and bushes.
On your right is Mad World Fancy Dress. Stop by the Window. It’s not a toilet, it’s just kind of interesting. I think that this is the most bizzarely placed costume shop in London… in case you just happen to step off the tube at Charring Cross and realize you forgot your fancy dress…?
Turn around. Across the hall is a fitness equipment shop. Again rather bizarre
… you know, in case you need to pick up a treadmill on your way home or anything like that.
Continue walking down the passage. On some days ahead of you you’ll see street dancers practicing in the corridor. Speaking as a former drama student, I know how precious London space can be.
Take Exit 7 on your left… back up to ground level. I’ll meet you again at the top.