Loos are a vital place for people to relieve themselves, find a quiet place to call a friend, or simply take a break.
While some of the more upmarket places like The Ivy Collection of restaurants in Harrogate, Leeds and York have stunning toilets which are an interior designer's dream, unusually its budget pub chain Wetherspoons that really wow with their loos - sometimes in juxtaposition to the bar themselves.
So much so that some of the pubs are arguably lacklustre while their facilitiess are well above standard, such as Wetherspoons’ The Six Chimneys in Wakefield. The pub itself is in much need of the makeover it is about to have, yet the toilets are huge and captivating, with large windows overlooking Kirkgate.
Sheffield’s Sheaf Wharf Wetherspoons bar is a lot more upmarket with a glass exterior, however the toilets are basic in comparison.
But arguably the best loo in the UK in 2022 according to the Loo of the Year Awards is
The Buck Inn on High Street in Northallerton.
Nowadays the toilet is not only used as a place to spend a penny but to also take a selfie. Some venues ensure the toilets are super instagrammable, such as Dollhouse in Leeds run by DJ Tom Zanetti.
As well as selfie mirrors and catchy slogans on the wall, the toilets are all luxury and the furnishings feel decadent with faux leather.
Also in Leeds, contemporary Chinese restaurant Tattu have lavatories it's worth taking a break from the delicious grub for, as does Japanese all-you-can-eat restaurant Blue Sakura.
Over in Bradford, social media site Bradford at Night recommended the City Vaults, which says it “loves the modern decor and cleanliness.” It added the newly refurbished Napoleons in Bradford “are also gorgeous.”
While public toilets are originally about function rather than frills, there are some pretty iconic toilets such as the public toilet in Hull which was named as one of UK’s top tourist sites.
Back in 2019, the public toilet on Victoria Pier in the city’s Old Town was included in the Lonely Planet’s Ultimate United Kingdom Travelist – which lists the UK’s top 500 travel experiences.
Entry number 483 in the list read “Spend a penny at Victoria Pier’s public toilets, Hull”.
The entry in its list of Hull attractions reads: “There are not too many places where a public toilet counts as a tourist attraction, but coach parties regularly stop to take photos of these Edwardian lavatories. The building is interesting but inside they’re not very special. Serviceable, but no tourist attraction, that’s for sure.”
Historic England, which bestowed a Grade II listing on the toilets, said: “This accolade was in recognition of their architectural merit and their role in illustrating the changing social status of women during the 1920s. Another of Hull’s listed loos is in the Market Place. Dating from about 1900 it was built strictly for men.”
Some public toilets however have flushed away its dreary interior and have transformed into something a little more functional such as Public in Sheffield which is now the name of a stylish cocktail bar.
While hotel review sites may focus on the rooms and service, many neglect to mention the toilet in public areas unless there is a fault with them.
Dakota Hotel in Leeds is a boutique affair with contemporary and captivating toilets with great lighting.
If you’re more bothered about the whole bathroom, take a look at the ‘surreal’ signature suite inside Malmaison Leeds. It is art deco throughout with a stunning bath as its quirky centrepiece.
Lakeside Village Outlet Shopping’s washrooms and toilets have been recognised as some of the country’s best with a top accolade at the Loo of the Year Awards.
It means the loos at the centre, just off White Rose Way in Doncaster, are among some of the best in Britain.
If you’re wanting to buy an outfit and get changed in comfort, the bogs at Meadowhall Shopping Centre in Sheffield, Junction 32 in Castleford, The Ridings Shopping Centre in Wakefield and White Rose Shopping Centre in Morley are all decent toilets as well as having a range of accessible toilets for everyone.
Art galleries are another place to try out the loos, with stylish toilets at The Hepworth Wakefield and Sheffield Millenium Galleries as well as quirky toilets inside Abbey House Museum Leeds and The Tetley also in Leeds.
While you may be on for a ‘wild wee’ while out in the countryside, there are other eco alternatives at public places such as a sawdust toilet at Appletree Allotment in Wakefield. There is no flush, just sawdust to throw over your waste.