Loos in Greenwich


I have a notoriously poor bladder – so I always like to know the location of the nearest “house of easement,” as HRH Henry VIII used to call them back in the days when his chapel wasn’t under 10 feet of car park …

I avoid on principle those nasty “superloos” (of which there is one just outside Greenwich Pier next to the foot tunnel.) The only time I went in one it played “Thriller” as the rounded door slid open, revealing the innards of the bog to all and sundry around, still dripping from its routine slooshing with disinfectant. I sat there terrified for the short time I was in there, that the magic door would slide majestically open again revealing me sitting there with my knickers down.

If you’re caught short during office hours, make straight for the Visitors Centre just next to the Cutty Sark. The loos are free, clean and there are enough of them, even on a busy day, to ensure a not-too long wait.

The National Maritime Museum is free – so you could nip in there – though remember to factor-in enough time to obtain the obligatory free ticket. When you’ve got past the ticket desk turn immediately left and the loos are pretty much in front of you. There are some more at the back, for the more advanced or less desperate.

The toilets near the car park in Greenwich Park are pretty ok, and the ones inside the Observatory are positively nice. Both are free. Round the back of the Observatory in the park, on the side of the road there are some perfectly adequate loos – again with a proper attendant.

Underneath the Painted Hall there are some lavatories in the undercroft near King William Restaurant (a Leiths restaurant which keeps singularly peculiar opening hours) and there are some loos downstairs in the Chapel – though they won’t always tell you about them.

The best public toilets in Greenwich are on King William Walk. Works of municipal architectural art in themselves, these splendid mid 20th C toilets are some of the few remaining downstairs conveniences which used to populate London’s streets that are still open. Kept immaculately clean by proper real live attendants and with their original (1930s? I’m not sure – any ideas, anyone?) tiling and furniture, they are a joy to use. I am not aware of any “other” uses for the Gents – but maybe someone can enlighten me (not too many details, pleaseā€¦)

The new picturehouse, though exemplary in practically every respect, is woefully short on loos – especially if they time the films to end at the same time. Your best bet if you’re stuck at the back of a mile-long queue is to nip down the road to Cafe Rouge and sneak through to the loos there – from the entrance head right – they’re at the back.

East Greenwich is rubbish for accessible public loos. If the Forum is open, the loos are open to the public, ditto Maze Hill Station. I always assumed that the public bogs behind Discount Cycles were closed but someone on this blog has told me they are unlocked from time to time – they are rank, but do the job at a pinch. Otherwise, cross your legs and nip into the teletubby Sainsburys or B&Q (at the back, near the mirrors) on the Peninsula

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