The UK is one of the best places to be gay thanks not only to laws protecting and promoting equality, but a fairly liberal-minded population. Saying that, there are definitely some cities that offer more for the gay traveler than others – here are five of them.
While "Queer As Folk" (UK, edition) may be over a decade old, there’s no denying that Manchester’s Canal Street is considered one of the finest places in the country for a gay night out. There really is something for everyone, with lesbian bars such as Vanilla and Coyotes, the all-male Eagle Manchester, or the very mixed and cheap as chips G-A-Y Bar. With many places to stay near the Gay Village you can party for as long as you want without having to worry about making it back to bed.
The capital is famed for its diverse populations and welcoming attitude, and that’s why for many people there’s just no place like London. Soho and Vauxhall are the main areas for drinking and clubbing in London, although as a major tourist destination you can be confident of feeling comfortable and welcome wherever you go. While here don’t miss out on visiting Gay’s The Word, the UK’s only gay and lesbian specialist book shop.
Considered the gay capital of the UK by many, Brighton’s Gay Pride in the height of summer is a particular highlight, although a visit to Brighton at any time of year isfantastic. There are loads of gay friendly hotels situated right on the coast allowing you to enjoy the sun and sea before getting ready for the city’s famous nightlife – stepping out for a quick breather and being able to smell the sea breeze is something you just can’t get anywhere else.
While the capital of Wales can’t compete with the sheer number of gay venues of some bigger English cities, it more than makes up for it with its unique brand of Welsh friendliness and charm – visit while the national rugby team are playing for a weekend you’ll never forget. Pulses is the city’s biggest gay nightclub, but nearby venues like Buffalo Bar on Windsor Place offer a great spot for an early round of drinks, attracting a casual and chilled out crowd.
Venture north of the English border and you’ll discover a city that has the power to delight anybody, gay or straight. When you’re not taking in majestic sights such as Edinburgh Castle or browsing the interesting shops on the Royal Mile you can enjoy a pint in Edinburgh’s oldest gay bar, Frenchies Bar or a late night at CC Blooms.
(This post originally appeared HERE on GayTravel.com, a media partner of SDGLN.)
Top left: Bear Scots march at Pride in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Middle left: Gay Pride in Manchester, England.
Bottom left: Kings Cross in Cardiff, Wales.