I seem to be taking a lot more photos of pub toilets recently.  What you can read into that, I wouldn’t like to say. Perhaps it’s just than loos are often one of the architectural and artistic highlights of a pub visit.

As part of my irregular spring cleans of my photos I’m putting together a series of posts on the subject, focusing on decoration, design, signage and humour.  I’ll let others debate the ethical issues around taking photos in loos.

My personal favourite is the Cuban example above.  It takes real guts, or perhaps a repressed record collection, to decorate your loos with Paul & Michael’s “Say,Say,Say” 7 inch.

If the Free Trade stuck a few copies of Agadoo and some Panini World Cup’78 stickers to the wall it might be a contender, though obviously there are restrictions on alterations to this World Heritage Site. The “Birdman of Milton Keynes” line pre-dates Milton Keynes.


In Stourbridge last year it was good to see a homage to the most famous toilet graffiti of all;


Of course there’s a whole branch of “Seaside humour” that I’m not getting into, but if you need to research for yourself I recommend rural Lincolnshire’s GBG pubs.  This relatively tame one is from the incomparable Never Turn Back in Caister-on-Sea.


Stickers on the plumbing is the latest trend, with Stroud and Dulwich at the cutting edge.


The specialist craft places like Beer Rebellion have their own in-house teams of course, like the one at Gipsy Hill who here mix graffiti with ’70s surrealism to classic effect;

Surrealism and philosophy in Gipsy Hill

We’re still some way behind the Poles though, who run degrees in toilet art at Mikolow University.


And finally, the wooden spoon goes to all pubs with a sign like this, the loo equivalent of those “Man Creche” boards outside dull pubs.



  1. Have you visited the Gunton Arms in Norfolk? Surely the only pub where the toilets display original pieces from Damien Hirst alongside photos of masturbating women and gay action figures.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, the decor throughout is not for the faint-hearted – like Mike from Bungay, who writes on Tripadvisor:
        “Revolting images of vomiting – defecating ladies and that is just the dining rooms. Elsewhere there are images of spread legged femails (sic) and porographic (sic) fornication. Photographs of masturbating ladies hang in the gents toilet. It is all too much – we shall not return”. At least not without a camera, eh.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This series promises greatness. I have been waiting for this one. Just the fact you pee on the wall separates the English pub toilet from anything we have over here. We take at least one picture each trip of the favored wall. I believe the Minster in York is the all time favorite.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am a firm believer that a pubs toilets are the key to the entire establishment Martin. I mean, what price the cellar, or the kitchen, and other facilities, if the public facing toilets are a stinking shit hole (if you pardon the pun). In some areas I am very much a traditionalist, and in others not so, yet compare the hostelry with pristine toilets – gleaming exposed pipe work, shiny paint work, pleasant smells (fragrant or carbolic), with those of the decrepit, graffiti emblazoned refuge of ease. I know which one will have the better beer (9 times out of 10 anyway).

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s