Carry spare knickers if visiting Britain
Over the years, as Sterling devalued and austerity gripped tighter, many councils stopped providing public conveniences. The same happened at many train stations. They simply closed their doors. The result is a daily challenge in getting from A to B without social embarrassment. London is always the foremost attraction in Britain, tourists ascend in their droves to visit the royal palaces and famous landmarks. One of the best ways to travel around London is the underground train system.
The London Underground is an extensive network that makes travelling from one point to another across London relatively easy, but that is as long as nature does not suddenly call. There are no WCs on underground trains and few stations with public lavatories unless they are also mainline stations. It is perfectly fine to be caught short in Liverpool Street but woe betide any tourist travelling on the Edgware Line or Docklands Light Railway because conveniences are few and far between. Transport for London publishes a map of stations with toilets that is worth downloading in preparation for a visit but do not treat it as gospel. Many a visitor has been caught out; there was almost a protest wee by a group of ladies on the platform of Earls Court Station, outside the locked doors of the public convenience which the map claimed were open. 'Carry spare knickers' is good advice if visiting London.
It is almost worth planning comfort stops along a route for a day out. There are various apps that claim to find the nearest loo but most do not have sufficient accurate data to be more than a frustrating time waster, especially the free ones which show advert after advert when all you want is the nearest WC. Desperate travellers can always stop at a café and use their facilities. Most will expect that a purchase is made. Again, it is prudent to enquire about the existence of said services prior to ordering a latte or you could find that that you make a desperate situation critical. A similar pattern is repeated outside the capital and the best places to find relief are in supermarkets, public and government buildings.
Big crowds arriving for events stretch any existing resources to their limits and the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in Windsor Castle on the 19th of May 2018 will prove a challenge for organisers. The public lavatories at the two Windsor Stations can currently only be used by people with a radar key; essentially the disabled. Where are all the hundreds or thousands of people who are expected to arrive expected to go? Local eateries might compete in terms of toilet facilities instead of menus, advertising the cleanest toilets in Windsor or a free refill.
May is one of the best times to holiday in England when the countryside bursts into life. Stay near Windsor or within a couple of hours of London in a country cottage and immerse yourself in the full English experience. Carry a toilet map and paper – just in case and remember the two-door trick when travelling in a car; opening two doors creates a private cubicle if not facing traffic.