If you’re planning a visit to the UK this spring, you’ll want to know what the friendliest cities for gay women are, so who better to ask than a gay woman from Britain?
As lesbian bars are closing down at breakneck speed on both sides of the Atlantic and -let’s face it- the majority of gay hotspots catered to gay men in the first place; we’re not left with a lot of options. On this list, where a specifically lesbian bar is not available, I have chosen a bar which is open to all LGBT people.
Let’s delve right into the best places for women who love women to hang out while in the UK. This article will focus on events and activities that cater specifically to lesbian/bi women, so while you can still ride the London Eye, visit the Beatles Museum or shop at the Trafford Centre, they won’t be included below.
She Solo/ Courtesy of R. Burgess
As with any large city, London is multicultural, diverse, and sort of a haven for gay people. Here, no one cares who you’re dating, just as long as you don’t dawdle on the Tube platforms.
If you’re looking for good nightlife, your best bets are Soho, an area famed for scandal and sex, or East London, an up and coming area for lesbian nightlife. However, London is also one of the best places to find art and culture in the whole of the UK, even when you step away from the world-famous museums, like the British Museum.
She Soho: This basement bar is a great place to hang out with your girlfriends during the week, or enjoy live music, DJs and comedy shows at the weekend. They also have regular burlesque and drag king cabaret nights.
G-A-Y Bar: This is a place for pop music, lots of dancing and cheap drinks (for London). It’s open until midnight but if you’re still partying, you can take a short walk to G-A-Y Late which is open until 3.30 am.
Gay’s The Word: The UK’s only lesbian and gay specialist book shop, founded in 1979. Granted, it isn’t as old as some stateside bookstores. On Wednesday evenings, they even hold a lesbian discussion group, encouraging debate on assorted topics from open relationships, to kinky sex & feminism, to anger as a force for good.
Sutton House: The National Trust made waves earlier this year by acknowledging and showcasing the importance of LGBTQ+ people to the history of Britain- like we’ve actually been here all along or something. Sutton House is holding a Summer of Empowerment (26 July to 3 September) to celebrate art and activism from the LGBT community; then in October, they are hosting a memorial to lost spaces for LGBT people in London, called Save the Last Dance: Memorials to Lost, Legendary Nights Out.