Welcome to Britain’s unofficial gay capital. Claiming the country’s highest proportion of same-sex households, the seaside city is known for its open attitude, vivacious clubbing scene and two day Pride extravaganza
The labyrinth of alleyways that make up the historic Lanes area are dotted with antique shops, designer boutiques and jewellers – making this a recommended place for sourcing unusual gifts, or even a wedding ring!
The alternative North Laine is a hipster haven of vintage clothing stores, organic juice bars and piercing parlours.
An excellent way to learn all about Brighton’s queer history is to follow in the footsteps of Lord Byron, Oscar Wilde, Dusty Springfield and other notable gays and lesbians on the Piers & Queers Tour. This unique walking exploration of Brighton’s LGBTQ+ past is offered by Only in Brighton, and is ranked one of the city’s top activities on TripAdvisor.
Out and About
Much of Brighton’s thriving gay café and bar scene is focused around St James's Street in the Kemp Town neighbourhood. There are welcoming, traditional-style pubs including The Marine Tavern and The Camelford Arms, both attracting a diverse gay crowd but with a large proportion of older and beefier blokes, bears and polar bears too.
Why not enjoy a night at a Brighton institution? The Bulldog is the city’s longest-running gay pub and is the only one that remains open right through until morning every weekend.
There are several gay saunas, the biggest being The Brighton Sauna. A large gay club spread across three floors, Revenge is another landmark gay venue, having been an integral part of Brighton’s gay scene for more than 21 years – there are theme parties every night, including lesbian-focused Girls on Top.
31 July – 2 August – Brighton Pride.
One of the biggest Pride festivals in the UK, Brighton Pride attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors in August every year. Now a full weekend affair, the main day sees a huge parade through the city, followed by a massive party in Preston Park with a music stage, dance and cabaret tents. The Pride Village Party keeps the street party going all weekend.
18-21 June – Brighton Bear Weekend
Britain’s bear community comes out to play for Brighton Bear Weekend. Held annually in June, this increasingly popular date for bears and cubs comprises a range of pub events, picnics and parties.