From Blackpool to Brighton and Beyond — 3 LGBT+ Friendly Locations for the Perfect UK Holiday

With over 50 years of celebrating gay pride from the first parade in London back in 1972, there’s no question that Britain is a welcoming and LGBTQIA+ friendly location. Whether you’re looking for historical locations to explore or the best cities for LGBTQ+ nightlife, there’s a high chance that you’ll find what you’re looking for in Britain. For Indians looking for the perfect LGBTQ+ getaway, here are just a few locations to consider that are filled with things to do and see on a UK holiday. 

The North of England

The North of England has plenty to offer for any curious LGBT+ Indian traveler. According to KAYAK, Manchester is very inclusive and has the second largest LGBTQ population in the UK after London. In 2011, for example, Manchester was named the most gay-friendly city in the world by Expogays. When it comes to things to see and do, there are plenty of gay bars and nightclubs, such as G-A-Y, while options like Molly House present a fantastic choice for those looking for a break from the more ‘alcohol-driven’ clubs and bars. “While it serves lovely ales, wines, and other alcoholic beverages, many people head here for tea and coffee or to try a few dishes from their delicious tapas menu,” notes the KAYAK article by Jeanifer Brekling.

It’s worth noting that the North of England features a variety of historical locations, perfect for those looking to explore the rich history of the region while visiting. Dunham Massey, a 17th-century country house located in Altrincham (near Manchester) is just one option worth considering. In addition to serving as a fantastic example of Georgian design, visitors can wander the gardens or take a house tour, which feature rooms such as the library and the Great Gallery. Additional historic sites throughout the North of England include the Western Approaches Museum in Liverpool. The site sits within a former World War Two bunker complex, with guided tours showing the underground telecommunications and mapping rooms while exploring the bunker as a whole.

Brighton and Hove

Brighton and Hove is one of the ‘gayest places in the UK,’ highlights one Condé Nast Traveller article, which goes on to cite statistics noting that more than one-in-10 people city-wide identify as LGBorT. With that in mind, the area features no shortage of bars, clubs, restaurants, hotels, and beach areas designated as “primarily aimed at our LGBTQ+ communities.” According to the article, Brighton’s ‘gay village’ is located around Kemptown’s St. James’s Street, which runs one-block-back parallel to Kemptown’s seafront. Here, it’s noted that you’ll find an abundance of things to do and see, allowing you to fill your night with on-trend LGBTQ+ bars and pubs, the live singer- and drag queen-focused Centre Stage, the Miami Queer-themed R-Bar, and more. 

The Condé Nast Traveller post goes on to highlight even more to do over towards Hove, where visitors will find the drag venue The Grosvenor, while the ‘new LGBTQ+ hub’ The Ledward Centre is now open on Jubilee Street with a street level cafe and gallery (and more on the way). In addition to the bars and drag venues, however, don’t forget to check out typical tourist attractions — such as the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, the Brighton Toy and Model Museum, or the Booth Museum of Natural History. 

Plenty to see in Blackpool

Blackpool presents a fantastic option for those looking for an LGBTQ+ friendly holiday. According to the site, Blackpool was actually one of the earliest places in the UK with gay-friendly B&Bs and a significant number of openly LGBTQIA+-friendly bars, clubs, and meeting places. “In that respect, Blackpool may have been overtaken by Brighton, Manchester, and Cardiff, but it lives on for those who harbour a strong sense of nostalgia and a good sense of fun,” highlights the site. Places to put on the travel itinerary include the Blackpool Tower Eye, Pleasure Beach, and Madame Tussauds. Aside from the typical tourist attractions, however, those that are geared towards LGBTQ+ individuals include the gay pub called The Flying Handbag and Ma Kelly’s bars (though not exclusively gay, Holiday Cottages notes that they’re popular among the outgoing gay crowd). Burlesque Night and Funny Girls, on the other hand, are great locations for a fun night out when it comes to LGBTQ+-friendly performances. 

For Indian travellers looking to plan the perfect LGBTQ+ getaway, the UK has several welcoming locations worth adding to your travel itinerary. Whether you’re looking for the best place to go for vibrant nightlife or the best location to explore local, rich history, planning out the ideal trip can be made simple with several noteworthy options throughout the region.