We’ve all seen the red bus tours travel the busy streets of London, carrying visitors from Buckingham Palace to Westminster.
But you probably haven’t heard of London Loo Tours – a way to explore the best toilets the city has to offer.
Rachel Cole-Wilkin, tour guide and restroom fanatic from California, started the business eight years ago after a friend noticed her obsession and suggested the idea.
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The 32-year-old became interested in city toilets when trying to find free toilets in London to avoid having to pay 30p to use one.
A friend of hers jokingly suggested she take a trip to the toilet as she was becoming an expert in the matter. This joke led to the birth of London Loo Tours.
She became a tour guide following her training at the London Central School of Speech and Drama and, as an expert, gave her opinion on the best public and private toilets in London.
She said: “In terms of public toilets, I think the Jubi-loos are the best toilets in London. They are definitely the most patriotic and the decor is amazing. The staff are also very friendly.
“There’s a bar called Sketch in Mayfair, which really gives you a multi-sensory toilet experience. The best way to describe it is that there are these alien egg pods, and inside each one is a cubicle – it’s very artistic and I would definitely recommend checking them out.”
When the company started, it only offered one tour. Now, with several tours available, the first is known as “The Original Loo Tour”.
Things you’ll be able to spot along the way include a brand new sewer system being built, a cocktail garden toilet in Coven Garden, and a lamp that’s literally ‘powered by poo’.
From Waterloo Station, tourists are greeted by Rachel or one of her staff – appropriately just outside the toilets with a plunger in hand.
As she walks tourists between locations, she gives fun facts about some of London’s loos.
From Waterloo, she takes a short walk to the royally decorated ‘Jubi-loos’ public toilets on London’s South Bank, which Rachel says are probably the only pay toilets for use in London.
They consist of 11 unisex cubicles and six urinals and cost 50p to use.
After that, guests are taken for a walk through Soho while told about the history of London’s toilets and the introduction of the sewerage system.
Reviewing the tour, a British travel blogger who goes by the name of Curious Claire said: “Our tour ended with a trip to The Cellar Door. It was a good place to end the tour as this place had really cool restroom. The doors were empty until you locked them.
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“Only the brave try this toilet first, but the reason the tour ended here was not just because of the impressive toilet doors, but also because it was a gentleman’s toilet.
“It was a great place to end the visit as they make amazing cocktails. I loved having my espresso martini cocktail in a cup. I felt like I was not an alcoholic.
“It was a very enjoyable day and half the fun is seeing people’s faces when you tell them you’ve been around the Loos of London.
“Before you judge me or make fun of me, are you seriously telling me that there isn’t a little part of you that isn’t curious or intrigued by this tour?”
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