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Only 21 miles (34 km) across the English Channel from France, England is separated from Europe by geography, language, currency and culture. Formerly the heart of the vast British Empire, it is one of four nations that make up today's United Kingdom (UK) or Great Britain, the others being Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is the fount of centuries-old Anglo-Saxon civilization yet its multi-cultural capital - London - has elected its first Muslim mayor. "Merrie Olde England" gave the world the stereotypical English butler but also the Magna Carta, Shakespeare, the Victorian Era, the Beatles, Wimbleton, Princess Diana, Alexander McQueen and Elton John. While some travelers could spend a lifetime of vacations exploring London's urban delights, England is a land of pastoral landscapes, formidable fortresses, soaring cathedrals, misty moors, crystalline lakes, broad golden beaches and Roman archeological sites. Smallish as countries go - about the size of Alabama in the US, it has good transportation networks, which make it easy to get around whether traveling from city to city or wandering through villages.

England is one of the most gay-friendly destinations in the world. The diversity of London is an obvious draw, but Manchester in the north west has Canal Street, a gayborhood with an active nightlife for gays and lesbians and the setting for the British TV series "Queer as Folk" in 1999. The country's gay capital may be Brighton, a seaside resort about an hour's train ride south of London. Its beach, nightlife and pier amusement park are outstanding. The Brighton & Hove Pride Weekend in August is the biggest Pride festival in the UK.

The country decriminalized homosexuality in 1967 and legalized same-sex marriages in 2014 after a long history of discrimination and persecution. Even celebrity and prominence could not always protect. Oscar Wilde, one of the most popular playwrights of his time, was sentenced in 1895 to two years at hard labor for sodomy. Alan Turing, the computing and artificial intelligence genius, underwent chemical castration rather than go to prison after being convicted of indecent exposure in the early 1950s. Benedict Cumberbatch portrayed him in "The Imitation Game" in 2014. Queen Elizabeth II granted Turing a posthumous pardon the same year.

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London - Activity

The square is a green oasis right in the heart of Soho. Popular with the LGBTQ public, the lawn in the summer is covered with people drinking and flirting. It also...
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London - Activity

Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress is a Medieval castle right on the River Thames in Central London known as the Tower of London. Built in 1066 and re-built in...
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London - Activity

Dippy the dinosaur has welcomed visitors at the entrance of the National History Museum for over 30 years now. He is about to be replaced by a 82-foot blue whale...
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London - Activity

Vauxhall, sometimes referred to as VoHo or Vauxhall Gay Village, rose to gay prominence when SoHo began to lose a bit of its gritty gayborhood shine. South of the river,...
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London - Activity

Eight million works from all over the world make this collection about the human history a distinguished compilation of art. Ancient Egypt, Roman Empire, Classic Greece,...
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London - Activity

Immaculate Roman style baths are still standing alongside the modern shops and restaurants in this thriving town west of London. Shop until you drop and then relax in...
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London - Activity

An hour outside of London, the historic city of Cambridge is one of the world's most beautiful. On the winding River Cam, it is home to the world-renowned University of...
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London - Activity

Founded in 1675 by Charles II, the Royal Observatory sits atop a hill in Greenwich Park overlooking the River Thames, right on the Prime Meridian Line. No longer a...
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10 community reviews / England

General impression
Good
LGBT-friendly
Good
Purplegrey has been to and reviewed England

Added 4 days ago

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Best place to be for tour...was actually in London for few months and they Re LGBT friendly and also easy to CommunicAte in London