Many restaurants, cafés, pubs, shopping areas, hotels, museums, attractions and stations in London have accessible toilets. If you're not a customer of the business, it's up to the service provider whether they'll let you use the lavatory.
Many toilets are accessible through the National Key Scheme (NKS). The principle behind the NKS is that if local authorities and other organisations decide to lock toilets in order to prevent misuse, they should use a standard lock.
There are 1100 toilets in the NKS in Greater London. Disability Rights UK maintains a list of toilets in the scheme, which is published annually in the National Key Scheme Guide. Keys (£2.25 + £1.75 postage) and copies of the guide (£20.99) are available from their website. The guide is also available as an iPhone app (£4.99). For further information visit The Disability Rights UK Website.
Accessible Toilets at London Stations
Some mainline trains also have accessible toilets on board. Contact the operator for details.
Accessible toilets can be found in most mainline rail stations in London.
For visitors travelling around the capital by Tube, Transport for London have a comprehensive map that shows which underground stations have toilets and what facilities are available at each one. Ask for a map at any underground station or download the map from the Transport for London website.
Open London Scheme
As part of his commitment to improve the quality of life in London, the Mayor launched the Open London scheme in 2009. The scheme set out to increase access to toilets across London by asking businesses to open up their toilets for public use.
A number of major retailers – Asda, Borders, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury's and Tesco – agreed to let people use their customer toilets without having to make a purchase. Other accessible toilets can be found in places such as Tourist Information Centres, fast food restaurants, some pubs and restaurants and many of London's major tourist attractions.
Search For Accessible Toilets Online
There are several handy websites that allow you to plan your trip to London by researching nearby facilities in advance.
Inclusive London is an online nationwide access register to buildings, venues and services. Inclusive London's listings are compiled from Access Audits, guided telephone access assessments, information supplied by the businesses listed and user-contributed information. Visit the Inclusive London website or use their app for comprehensive access information on accessible toilets in London.
You can also find Changing Places toilets (which offer facilities for disabled people requiring assistance from a carer) at changing-places.org.