The loo-down: UK's best (and worst) public toilets are revealed

·5 min read
The UK's best and worst public loos have been revealed. (Getty Images)
The UK's best and worst public loos have been revealed. (Getty Images)

When you've got to go, you've got to go. At home that isn't usually a problem, but if you get caught short when you're out and about, a public toilet could be your only option. 

The trouble is going for a wee in a public loo isn't always the most pleasant of experiences, so much so that a third of Brits are willing to pay for a drink in a cafe just to avoid them. 

From permanently closed public toilets to those that ought to be closed for health and safety reasons, it isn’t always easy to find somewhere you feel safe and comfortable enough to use.

And of course not all public toilets are created equal.

New research, by Victorian Plumbing, has revealed that only 40% of toilets across the UK are actually accessible and only 41% have baby changing facilities, provng that the UK's public toilets are far from being available for all. 

Read more: Lack of public toilets means anxiety for a third of women

The UK's best and worst public loos have been revealed. (Getty Images)
The UK's best and worst public loos have been revealed. (Getty Images)

Where are the best (and worst) public toilets in Britain?

Turns out Edinburgh is the best place to get caught short, receiving the highest scores of all the public toilets in the UK, and ranking highly on the fact that most of the toilets throughout the city are free to use, meaning you won't need to spend a penny to, well, spend a penny. 

Compared to the average of only 40% of public toilets in the UK being accessible, 72% of Edinburgh public toilets are accessible to all. 

However, loos in the Scottish city were let down by the fact only 48% of are available to use for families as they have no changing facilities available.

While Edinburgh toilets were ranked best overall, Leeds' loos took the top spot for cleanliness with their 55 public toilets scoring an average of 4.66 stars for hygiene.

Dundee (4.57) dunnies were also pretty impressive in the clean and tidy stakes clocking up an impressive 4.57 stars, while Liverpool (4.57) and Lichfield (4.5) loos also ranked highly. 

Read more: Two thirds of women experience bladder leaks in the UK - here's how to help prevent them

Sparkly clean toilets aren't to be found everywhere, however, and if you might want to hold your nose if you need a wee in Peterborough, where their toilets only manage 2.15 stars, or Winchester where it’s not much better at 2.18.

When it comes to being able to seek out a public loo, it probably won't come as a surprise that London has the most places to pee, with 1,463 public toilets available for use in the capital. 

Dropping (or should we say plopping) into second spot is York which is home to 451 public loos. 

The UK's worst and best public loos. (Getty Images)
The UK's worst and best public loos. (Getty Images)

Chester is another historic city keeping up to date with modern bodily requirements, with 397 public toilets on offer, but you don't want to get caught short in Southampton or Peterborough where you'll only find 10 public toilets. 

It may have scored highly in the cleanliness stakes but Dundee facilities actually rank as the worst public toilets in the UK.

Watch: Experts bust the children should be exposed to dirt to avoid allergy myth.

Despite having 150,000 inhabitants the coastal city only has 13 public toilets, none of which are accessible to all. 

Only 15% of Dundee loos have baby changing facilities available and only 77% of them are free to use - meaning this city has been dumped (no pun intended) to the bottom of the list. 

The UK's most hygienic public loos. (Victorian Plumbing)
The UK's most hygienic public loos. (Victorian Plumbing)

Wherever your home ranks in the public toilet ratings, Victorian Plumbing have put together some tips to help you navigate a public pee safely and hygienically. 

Go armed with wipes

You’ll need to touch all kinds of surfaces in public toilets, which could all feature some potentially dangerous germs. Take hand wipes out with you so you never have to touch the taps, flush or doors directly.

Don’t hang around

Get in, do your thing, wash your hands and get out. The longer you’re in the loo, the more at risk you are of picking up something nasty.

Mask up

Did you know particles from the toilet can spray up to three feet in the air when you flush? Keep your face mask on at all times to stop you from breathing them in.

Read more: 'Gross' workplace habits UK employees want banned

Some loos ranked highly in terms of cleanliness. (Getty Images)
Some loos ranked highly in terms of cleanliness. (Getty Images)

Wash your hands.

Only 65% of women and 31% of men wash their hands after using the toilet. Don’t be one of those who don’t. Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds to rid them of any bacteria.

Stay off your phone.

Weeing doesn’t take long. Don’t be tempted to go on your phone while you do it. Any germs present will just end up on your screen.

Watch: UK government urged to tackle post-pandemic loneliness. 

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