London is perfect for gays and lesbians craving the ultimate European experience. One of the gayest cities in Europe, the only thing that stays underground in this mostly tolerant city is its famous subway system. Ride it to reach many of the cool new gayborhoods that have popped up around the city over the past few years: Dalston, Shoreditch, Vauxhall, to name just three.
However, the origins of traditional gay scene in London lies in its center, in Soho. While recent gentrification has recently cleaned up some of the sleaze and neon lights out of this rough diamond, it’s still a major hub for the LGBT community. Soho's main thoroughfare and gay meeting point is Old Compton Street and its surrounding streets, full of gay bars, lifestyle stores, cafés and restaurants (and more than a little cruising). Nearby, long-running gay club Heaven still packs in the crowds all week.
London’s new gayborhoods
At one time no-go areas, Dalston and Shoreditch in east London are now buzzing with life, queer communities, and the bars, clubs and cafés that cater to them. If you’re more into the alternative/arty gay scene, this part of London will be right up your alley.
At the other end of the spectrum - and city - Vauxhall in south London come alive after dark. This nightlife paradise has plenty of gay bars such as Horse Meat Disco and the Royal Vauxhall Tavern. The biggest gay sauna in London, Chariots, is also here.
Gay events in London
Being a capital for culture, London hosts a number of gay events throughout the year, including Gay Pride London, Fetish Week and BFI Flare: the London LGBT Film Festival. Plan a trip for Easter weekend and you’ll enjoy the busiest and craziest gay club scene of the year!
But whenever you stay in London, you’re going to be spoilt for choice! With its shopping, art, gay scene, saunas, and fine dining, this city really is one of the best in the world.