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Bathroom availability in Highlands

This topic was brought up 4 years ago. The forum mentioned bathrooms are available in TIs, attractions, gas stations, pubs, eateries, behind trees/heather. I am wondering if more facilities along the routes have been set up since then, now that Scotland has become one of the most travel-to places.
Thank you for your input in advance.

Posted by
5654 posts

In cities and towns, Scotland is a civilized environment with the usual facilities.

I'm assuming that your query regarding the Highlands is about faclilites in the bush. Our walking holiday trips may or may not be puncuated with a mid-day pub stop. In those cases, the answer is coverd by answering the question "where do bears go?"

Posted by
940 posts

Hi, sc,

In a word, no.

Add supermarkets, most ferry terminals, hotels with attached bars, etc., to that list. Also department stores in most cities (but never on the ground floor!). If you're in Scotland in warmer weather, you may find a port-a-loo at construction/roadworks sites. Hostels are another good option, as are distilleries (Thank you, Talisker!).

You have to take in to consideration that out in the hinterlands, there are no sewer mains, so it's expensive to create a septic field.

Skye, in particular, is becoming overwhelmed by the lack of public toilet facilities, but there are currently no plans in the works to build more.

I've never seen heather tall enough to hide behind, unless you squat really really low!

If you're bothered by frequent need for the loo, it's best to plan your trip around the Highlands and Islands very carefully. It can be done. Generally, if you're driving, you're never more than an hour away from some sort of facility. If you're hiking, it's a whole other situation. I've been there!

Mike (auchterless)

p.s.: For anyone familiar with the long running comic strip "The Broons," as seen in the "Sunday Post" and countless annuals, please note that they have no toilet facilities in either their flat on Glebe Street, or at the but 'n' ben. So we have Maw, Paw, Granpaw, Daphne, Maggie, Joe, Hen, Horace, the twins, and the bairn all living in one flat with apparently no toilet. Perhaps there's a cludgie on the landing, but it's never mentioned. Also, no toilet at the but 'n' ben, either. Ouch!!

p.p.s.: For politeness sake, best not to ask for the "cludgie" in Scotland if you're seeking toilet facilities.. :)

Posted by
4758 posts

With government cutbacks, you are more likely to find fewer facilities than existed 4 years ago, as some councils can’t afford to maintain public facilities.

There are many tea rooms etc that have WCs, so unless you are planning to spend an entire day hiking some remote mountain, you shouldn’t find it difficult to find somewhere.

Posted by
59 posts

Thanks everyone for your valuable input!
It’s handy to know beforehand what the situation will be like and prepare for it.
I am surprised to hear about the government cutbacks on the essential for tourists who bring revenue to their economy.

Posted by
25771 posts

We have been under austerity conditions - with central government removing huge chunks of funding for local councils - for a very long time now and those councils have been closing "non essential" services such as public conveniences, Tourist Information Centres, bus subsidies, elderly care and so on. If it isn't deemed urgent these days (or politically important) it goes.

Sorry.

Posted by
940 posts

Hi, JG,

Ebay has a nice selection of folding entrenching tools on their website.

Mike (auchterless)

Posted by
4368 posts

I am surprised to hear about the government cutbacks on the essential for tourists who bring revenue to their economy.

If they're prepared to cut services for tax paying residents why would they give preference to tourists!

Posted by
1044 posts

I'll purchase toilet paper and a small shovel

I support buying toilet paper, but don't expect to use a shovel. Bring small plastic bags (the same dog owners use - or at least should use) and bring everything to the next bin. Sorry if this is getting a bit too "natural", but the environment is fragile and doesn't need any more fertilizer.

Posted by
1586 posts

On the newly popular NC 500, there are almost no toilet facilities. Best to give up any morning coffee.

Posted by
59 posts

It makes sense that we all do our part in keeping the natural environment to be as we find it so our next generation can enjoy it as well.
Happy travels everyone!

Posted by
4666 posts

If anyone is really interested in this issue, there's an excellent and scientifically-based book on the subject that is called, I kid you not, "How to [EXPLETIVE DELETED] in the Woods".