Gay Scene Guide for London
Lesbian, gay and trans London
London is the UK’s capital city. With a very diverse and cosmopolitan population of over 7 million people there is a thriving and exciting LGBT social and commercial scene. Whatever you want, you can find it in London. There are over 230 LGBT bars, clubs, restaurants, saunas, shops and hotels in London but the gay scene is quite widely spread throughout the city (in fact, London is made up of two cities, the City of London and the City of Westminster, plus another 30 boroughs that all combine to form Greater London). There are two gay villages where many of the clubs and bars are concentrated: one is Old Compton Street in Soho in the City of Westminster where you can get anything from a drag show to a sleazy leather bar. The other gay village is Vauxhall, just south of the river in the Borough of Lambeth where there are several very busy late night dance clubs, a leather bar, a gay gym, a famous old drag pub that guarantees a good laugh, and some saunas. There are also a lot of gay venues in other parts of London too. With a very comprehensive underground railway – the ‘tube’, and plenty of well-regulated taxis, it’s very easy to get around London.
Where to stay:
If you want to be close to the gay scene, it’s best to stay near the Soho gay village, from where all the major tourist attractions are within easy reach and it’s only a few miles to the Vauxhall gay village. But there are lots of other interesting parts of London where you can stay – try Covent Garden with its famous theatres, street performances, markets and art; Kensington with its stylish shops; Hampstead with the famous Hampstead Heath which is a great place for a walk or some outdoor cruising at night; Camden Town with its huge and eclectic market; the edges of south west London with historic attractions like Richmond Park, Hampton Court and Kew Gardens; the fascinating docklands area in east London; or Greenwich in south east London – full of Britain’s seafaring history and home of the Greenwich Meridian from where all the world’s time is measured.
Law and safety:
In the UK lesbians and gay men have at last achieved equality in terms of the law concerning same sex relationships: the age of consent is 16 for heterosexual and homosexual relationships. Mostly London is a fairly safe and welcoming place for LGBT visitors and it you'll probably have a great time there. Don't forget to check out all the gay-friendly London hotels on Gaygetter!