Top Gay-friendly hotels for a UK city break

Our favourite spots for romantic getaways and fun friends’ weekends 

What do Brighton, Blackpool, London and Manchester have in common? They’re all amazing nights out, with fantastic gay scenes and unrivalled Pride festivals. These destinations are the place to be during their Pride week or weekend, with colourful parades, great events and tons of live music. 

But they also make for a fab getaway any weekend of the year, with daytime sightseeing, great foodie spots and thriving nightlife. Whether you’re looking for a romantic break, a solo expedition, or a friends’ trip, we’ve got some of the hottest gay friendly hotels in the UK you simply have to try.

1. Brighton

Brighton is the LGBT capital of the UK – a status its residents are fiercely proud of. Brighton Pride, held in August, is a destination in its own right. It’s the UK’s largest Pride festival, welcoming hundreds of thousands to the city for a long and sparkly weekend of partying. The vibrant parade wends its way through the city, finishing with a party in Kemptown and featuring live music, drag artists, cabaret and a dog show.

Famous venues: Bar Revenge, Charles Street Tap

Best for: A chic seaside break with fab food and cocktails 

New Steine Hotel 

New Steine Hotel is a gay-owned, 4-star boutique in the heart of Kemptown, which always gets involved with Pride. Just a stone’s throw from the seafront, the hotel offers a hearty breakfast buffet and has a French bistro for intimate evening meals. 

Legends Hotel

Also close to the seafront, and with its own basement club, Legends Hotel is a popular hotel for gays and queers. The attached bar and terrace transform from a relaxed coffee spot to a restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and Sunday roast and to a great bar. If you fancy turning things up a notch, you can slip downstairs to the basement, which describes itself as ‘unique, sexy and ultra-stylish’.

Drakes of Brighton

For an exclusive-feeling weekend away with easy access to a cocktail bar and fine dining, look no further than Drakes of Brighton. The uniquely designed rooms ooze elegance, with some featuring a free-standing bathtub and a glorious bay window overlooking the beach. The emphasis here is on the details, so the hotel also offers in-room massage services and romantic arrival packages including bottles of bubbly, chocolates and roses.

2. Blackpool

Blackpool is known as the gay capital of the north. It’s a welcoming and inclusive town packed with LGBT-friendly hotels, bars and celebratory events. Blackpool Pride Festival usually takes place in June, involving a parade with flamboyantly decorated floats, live music, and stalls run by local businesses. Blackpool is a fun place any night of the year though, with the main gay nightlife centring around Dickson Road and Queen Street. The Flying Handbag is an ever-popular spot with cabaret, a roof terrace and a dancefloor. Funny Girls hosts a brilliant and outrageous burlesque cabaret, while other well-loved venues include Peak-A-Booze, Tipsy Cow and multi-level nightclub Flamingo.

Famous venues: The Flying Handbag, Funny Girls, Kaos 

Best for: A fun night out with unrivalled cabaret 

Legends Hotel 

Legends Hotel is a 3-star establishment situated a handy couple of minutes on foot from the station and serving a slap-up full English (meat or veggie), perfect after a night of revelry. The modern bedrooms are tastefully decorated, featuring complimentary toiletries, Wi-Fi and flat-screen TV, and there’s a bar downstairs too. 

Northern Star

To be at the heart of the action, head to Northern Star, an adults-only establishment just 500 metres from Blackpool’s promenade and a short walk from Funny Girls. It has unfussy single, twin and double rooms as well as a cosy bar and a breakfast room.

Queens Hotel

Queens Hotel is also right on the promenade, between the South and Central Piers. Guests enjoy sleek, modern rooms and have reserved tables in the restaurant for both dinner and the hearty breakfast. There’s also a theatre bar with a dancefloor and entertainment most evenings, as well as a classy cocktail bar.

3. Manchester

In the vibrant city of Manchester, everyone’s family, so it’s no surprise that it’s packed with fabulous gay-friendly hotels and diverse events all year round. You should definitely explore Canal Street, Manchester’s buzzing gay quarter, which is as lively and friendly during the day as it is raucous and party-mad at night. The street is packed with bars, pubs and takeaways, and party-goers enjoy the fairy-light-covered outdoor spaces along the canal until the wee hours. Manchester Pride, in August, is the highlight of the calendar, with a huge parade and an electric atmosphere. There are also several smaller events, including Queer Media Festival (November) and the rather outrageous, frolic-filled Great British Bear Bash (usually April/May).

Famous venues: G-A-Y, The Brewers, Via

Best for: A day of shopping and culture followed by a wild night out 

Roomzzz Manchester City

Whether you’re staying for an event or just a city break, Roomzzz on Princess Street puts you a two-minute walk from Canal Street and close to Chinatown for fantastic food options. The serviced studios feature kitchenettes, power showers and LED mood lighting, while the two-floor penthouse suite with a hot tub has to be the ultimate indulgence. 

Velvet Hotel

Above a bar, next to a nightclub and slap-bang in the centre of Canal Street, Velvet Hotel is the ultimate gay hotel in the UK. This independent and quirky establishment even offers a party package with bubbly on arrival and late checkout. The opulently decorated rooms feature lots of velvet, tassels and disco balls, while downstairs houses The Village Brasserie – an all-day eatery with a seasonal menu and cocktails. Downstairs you’ll also find Velvet Bar, with a trendy interior and a (hopefully) sunny canal-side terrace.

4. London

Diversity is woven into the very fabric of London, and some of the top spots for a night (or day) out include Soho – the capital’s historical gay centre – Camden, Islington for a mixed and friendly crowd and a relaxed night, and Vauxhall Gay Village for wild, all-hours partying. Of course, even outside these areas, you’re likely to find dozens of LGBT-friendly hotels and bars.

Famous venues: Friendly Society, The Retro Bar, Eagle

Best for: Food, events, culture… it’s the capital 

The Z Hotel Soho

Rest your head at The Z Hotel Soho, conveniently located close to vibrant Shaftesbury Avenue and the theatres. The rooms are chic and modern but unfussy, focusing on high-quality beds, fantastic showers and plenty of space for your clothes. The interior design is chic, and the relaxed Z Café downstairs has space for eating, chilling and working. 

The Corner London City

In hip east London, The Corner London City is fiercely proud of its artsy district, home to great food, galleries and boutiques. This colourful and quirky hotel has brightly decorated rooms with rainfall showers, Wi-Fi everywhere and a focus on sustainability. It’s also dog-friendly, kid-friendly and has an eatery with a sustainably sourced menu (and delicious cocktails).

Park Plaza London Riverbank

Park Plaza London Riverbank couldn’t be more central, and it’s just a three-minute cab or ten-minute walk from Royal Vauxhall Tavern, a stalwart of the Vauxhall gay scene. The high-end rooms and suites are decorated in a sleek style, and you’ll also have access to a heated pool and fitness facilities. The riverside restaurant, Chino Latino® London, serves Pan-Asian cuisine and Latin cocktails with a view. There’s also an in-room dining menu including breakfast in bed, light snacks and late-night desserts for the ultimate indulgence.

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