A traditional toilet overhanging the River Zaan, Zaandam, Holland (Terry Langhorn)
List 20 October

Top five loos with views

Five of the world’s most scenic cisterns and panoramic privies – from Zambia to the Antarctic

Loo lover Luke Barclay’s latest tome Good Loo Hunting takes you to the most picturesque – and bizarre – loos on the planet. 

Here are five loos worth mentioning we plucked from the book...

1. Banks of the Zambezi

Old Mondoro bush Camp
Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia

With a clear sight of the Zambezi while seated or from the sinks, today this loo is a great place for toilet-based game spotting – elephant, hippo and crocs are all said to have been seen from it.

However, had the loo existed in the nineteenth century, users might have also seen Dr Livingstone as he travelled down the river on his way to discovering Victoria Falls.

In fact, given that there’s also a loo on Livingstone Island with a view of the falls, one could technically journey on the great man’s footsteps, stopping at loos along the way.

2. Antarctica

Portable Latrine, Hovgaard Island

It feels inappropriate to interrupt the unique and personal experience of sitting alone, looking out at the edge of Earth’s last untouched wilderness. But I will anyway.

This toilet has been described as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’. However, of the original seven wonders of the ancient world it may be possible to see the only surviving member, the Great Pyramid at Gizsa, from a toilet.

I received the news from an air-hostess that first class passengers (who often have windows in their toilets) can potentially enjoy a loo-view of the pyramids shortly before landing at Cairo. My loo spies are everywhere!

3. Baños Públicos in Los Flamencos

Laguna Miñique, Los Flamencos National Reserve, Atacama Desert, Chile

In 2009, a couple from London embarked on an epic journey together, vowing before they left to find a loo with a view. Their first challenge was to cycle across America – an epic 6, 700km trip. They ‘thought of me’ in every toilet they entered. But nothing.

Next stop was South America, where they were on the verge of tracking down a loo with a view in Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina, before being thwarted at the last moment by a landslide.

Just days before they were to return home ‘empty-handed’, it happened. Some things are just meant to be.

4. Thiksey Buddhist Monastery

Leh, Ladakh, India

Dear Luke

Congratulations on the successful publication of your new book. The moment I read about it, I decided to write to you. I will wait for your book to arrive in local book store here in Bangalore, India.

I am sending you a photo taken by men and would be extremely happy if it makes a place in the next edition of your book.

The photo is taken at a peaceful and serene loo located just outside the Thiksey Buddhist Monastery in Leh, Ladakh, India.

Best regards
Sourav Basu 

5. Windmill Village

Zaanse Schans, Zaandam, Netherlands

The banks of the River Zaan were once teeming with activity. This was the heartland of early-industrial Holland – many hundreds of mills, harnessing the natural power of the wind to produce everything from corn to cloth to cocoa.

Today, Zaanse Schans – an open-air museum and conservation area – is one of Holland’s top tourist destinations. As well as windmills, historic shipyards and clog making demos, sights include this traditional toilet, which overhangs the river – taking you back to life before the flush.

Good Loo Hunting by Luke Barclay
(Virgin Books £7.99)

Lake Titticaca, Cantebury Cathedral, Elephants crossing the Zambezi, baseball, the Atacama, goats... Just some of the sights you can see from the comfort of convenience


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