London is an international gay locale of epic proportions. It boasts the largest LGBT population in all of Europe so there are plenty of single Big Bens up for grabs. There are countless clubs, pubs, and hangouts for lads, ladies, and everyone inbetween. It does rain a hell of a lot, but who doesn’t mind getting wet?
LGBT life in London can be found throughout the city, but it’s predominantly in SoHo, Vauxhall, and East London. G-A-Y
is London’s most famous gay bar, but it really isn’t even a bar at this point, but rather a brand because there’s three bars and clubs under the G-A-Y name in the city. The Old Compton Street location serves as a pre-club bar with a mix of baby queers just starting out in the scene. If you remember watching good cartoons on Nickelodeon in the ‘90s you might be one of the older folks there. The basement of the club serves as “Girls Go Down” a lesbian bar within a bar. G-A-Y in recent years teamed up with Heaven
the world’s most famous gay bar. When you think of gay club culture in London, you picture Heaven. The club has been around since the ‘70s (not in the original location though) and it boasts some of the most diverse crowds in the city and the best dance music. G-A-Y Late is an afterhours bar near Vauxhall that opens at 11 PM and stays open until 5 am. Even if you’ve been partying all night, don’t show up looking too much like a hot mess. London is a city known for drinking, but the bouncers at G-A-Y Late are known to turn away those who’ve had a little bit more than they should have.
London is a fetish-friendly city with a strong leather and bathhouse scene. You know what you’re getting into when you go to an “Eagle” bar, and Eagle London
is no different. Chariots
(all 4 locations) and the Pleasuredome
are the most popular gay saunas in the city.
Lesbians mourned the death of Candy Bar in 2013, but SoHo got a new all-chick hangout when She opened up in 2014 which is the sister club of the popular Ku Bar
. You’ll spot Ruby Rose wannabes and chic lesbians who know how to properly rock an alt haircut. If you’re looking for a less traditional scene, East London has been popular with artsy lesbians, queer, and trans folks. Clam Jam on Thursday nights at Dalston Superstore
and Unskinny Bop
; a queer party group that provides “dancing opportunities for girls, gays, and misfits” are just two of the countless clubs and basement pop up parties that happen in London.
Pride in London
happens on the third week in June and it’s one of the biggest Pride events in Europe. People come from all over the world to partake in the events, but if you’re a queer traveler outside of the city, you don’t have to visit London during Pride to have a gay ol’ time.