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The London gay scene straddles both sides of the River Thames and plays host to gay, lesbian and transgender themed parties every night of the week. Many attract a mixed crowd and spin everything from dance and pop to R&B, indie and alternative tunes. Many have live acts, cabaret and drag too. Venues will often host men-only or women-only nights, so be sure to check the latest listings, which you can find in the numerous free, LGBTQ publications available in most of the bars and caf├ęs.

SHE Soho

Soho, London, England

SHE Soho is the only "women-priority" drinking establishment in London, a modernist basement bar serving up a classy but laid-back atmosphere, good cocktails, bar snacks with naughty names and a full calendar of events that includes comedy, drag king cabaret, poetry, quizzes and drink specials. 

G-A-Y Bar

Soho, London, England

G-A-Y Bar on Old Comptons St. is always busy with three floors of pop princess music, a young friendly crowd and dancing. Drinks are cheap, but the wait at the bar can be long. Closes at midnight.


Charing Cross, London, England

Heaven is certainly a scene in the cellars of Charing Cross Station, with a strict door policy. First opened in 1979 in a former roller-disco called Global Village, it soon became the center of London's gay life and continues to be known for hosting some of London's biggest club nights. 

Ku Bar

Westminster, London, England

Right in China Town, between Leicester Square and Soho, Ku Bar has DJs blasting the latest hits seven nights a week. Topless barmen entertain over three floors. It hosts film nights and karaoke during the week and a popular Friday pop music night.

Royal Vauxhall Tavern (RVT)

Vauxhall, London, England

Once a Victorian concert hall, the iconic Royal Vauxhall Tavern has long been a fixture on London's gay scene. In 2015, it was awarded protected status and became the first UK listing of a LGBT venue - not only for its architecture but as a historic symbol of tolerance and alternative entertainment. It continues to host popular cabaret and drag acts most nights of the week. Not to miss: Tuesday nights for Bar Wotever: the Royal Queer Variety Show.

The Yard

Soho, London, England

Off Rupert Street, The Yard is a historic gay bar with a heated, plant-filled courtyard, overlooked by a loft bar with comfortable lounge seating and bare brick walls. It was recently saved from redevelopment by a two-year "Save the Yard" campaign.

Rupert Street Bar

Soho, London, England

A cruisey after-work to late-night bar with industrial decor and good cocktails, Rupert Street is popular with professionals in their 20s to 40s. Note that toilets have historically been less than hygienic, and some of the staff have been known to receive less than stellar ratings.


Vauxhall, London, England

Under the railway in Vauxhall gay village, this super club is known for throwing some of the best parties in London. With up to 1,500 bodies dancing away to house, techno and bass, nights go until the early morning in three neon-lit rooms powered by local and international DJ talent.

Dalston Superstore

East London, London, England

Hip bar by day, hip dance club by night, Dalston Superstore is popular with a diverse and creative LGBTQ crowd and well-known DJs playing an equally eclectic range of music. Check the full calendar of art, music and themed events. Best to show up early.

XXL London

South Bank, London, England

XXL is men only, welcoming a mix of bears, cubs, chubs, muscle bears and their admirers, of all ages, backgrounds, tastes and sizes since 2000. Parties are Wednesday and Saturday at Pulse Club, with music ranging from contemporary house to pop, rock, indie, soul and R&B. Disco may be found in The Fur Lounge.

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