Public toilets : England / Wales

Mar 20th, 2011, 08:44 AM
Original Poster
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Public toilets : England / Wales

In April / May we will be doing a 3 week car trip around Devon, Cornwall and Wales, mostly in small towns. We are wondering about accessing public washrooms. Do gas stations offer washrooms as is common in North America ? Are there many public washrooms ? Is it really off limits to ask to use a pubs facilities ?

Any suggestions are welcome.
galiano is offline  
Mar 20th, 2011, 08:54 AM
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pubs and cafes will have washrooms, but they are usually for patrons only (although I have just run in and used them, its always better to order a beer or coffee etc).

There are lots of big rest stops on motorways with fast food places to stop at. In small towms gas stations should have washrooms as well so no problem there.
jamikins is offline  
Mar 20th, 2011, 10:07 AM
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Also most largish supermarkets have toilets too, and these are (generally) very clean.
Morgana is online now  
Mar 20th, 2011, 10:15 AM
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Your best bet is any pub or cafe - just buy a drink. That way you know they are clean (gas station toilets - ick!).
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 20th, 2011, 10:24 AM
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There are still a few towns around, especially in more touristy areas, which still have public conveniences. Some are immaculate, some too gross for words, most somewhere in between.

Motorway service loos can be pretty grim at times - especially if a coach party has just been through. Out of town supermarkets often have a cafe and loos.
Some tourist offices have them available for the public too, or can tell you where you can find one.
hetismij is offline  
Mar 20th, 2011, 11:21 AM
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Because of the budget cuts, most councils are closing down public toilets, or where they remain open, are making them paying (around 30-40p). Best place to find them are near large car parks.
Some pubs and cafes, because of numbers using them, have a notice on the door stating toilets are for customer use only. In such cases it's naughty to use without buying a drink.
It's best to rely on public toilets where they exist, or go to a large store or supermarket with customer toilets, which normally anyone can use.
Most attractions, museums etc have customer toilets. You are unlikely to be refused the use of toilets at fuel stations without being a customer, though some require a key from the counter. Those attached to motorway services are public amenity open 24 hours.
Alec is online now  
Mar 20th, 2011, 12:25 PM
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A word of advice. When in the U.K. When asking where the toilet is, do not use the words "bathroom" "washroom" or "restroom". A Bathroom (in the UK) is where you take a bath, a washroom, would also be where you would wash ,a restroom, no one would have a clue about what that was!. Best to ask for the Loo or, toilet that way you won't encounter blank looks. Sometimes it will be marked as W.C.
SueHuml is offline  
Mar 20th, 2011, 12:34 PM
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best bet - supermarkets. they get cleaned regularly, they and the car parks are free [generally] and you don't even have to make a purchase.

the ones at PETROL stations [not GAS station, again, people won't know what you mean] are VERY variable as are the ones at motorway service stations. and ones in pubs and cafes aren't always perfect. as for the "public convenience" - you may strike lucky and you may not.

it can be a good idea to take some pocket tissues incase supplies of paper have run out, and discinfectant handwipes in case there is no soap.

regards, annhig - who spent her childhood trailing round after adults using public toilets!
annhig is online now  
Mar 20th, 2011, 12:46 PM
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NOT to derail this thread, but can someone just mention how difficult or easy it is to find petrol stations throughout the Wales countryside, and whether you pump it yourself, or have to have an employee pump for you? Thanks, and then back to the thread as it was, please.
plr is offline  
Mar 20th, 2011, 01:11 PM
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plr - most reasonable sized towns will have a petrol station or two; often the easiest way to find one is to look for a supermarket.

normally they are self-service, but you pay indoors in the shop, not at the pump.
annhig is online now  
Mar 20th, 2011, 01:18 PM
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Thanks, annhig. Over & out.
plr is offline  
Mar 20th, 2011, 01:19 PM
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And normally you pay quite a bit more in rural areas for your petrol or diesel. Best to fill up in larger towns where there is competition from supermarkets, which normally offer cheaper prices.
Alec is online now  
Mar 20th, 2011, 02:27 PM
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"Best to fill up in larger towns where there is competition from supermarkets"

Best of all to fill up at a Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's or Morrision's supermarket. Usually, the BP, Exxon or Shell station "competing" is a penny or two a litre dearer.

They delude themselves they're more convenient.
flanneruk is offline  
Mar 20th, 2011, 02:43 PM
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But often better quality! If I put in Shell 'fuelsave' diesel, my car tends to do around 5% better in economy.
Alec is online now  

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