Keep it glad, Keep it mad, Keep it gay!
Fancy a night out in London? With hundreds of London's various gay watering holes to choose from, a night out in England's capital has never been so exciting. Gay bars and pubs are everywhere in London's gay villages, Soho and Vauxhall: the former catering to the mainstream gay tastes and the latter for the hardcore ravers.
Located in central London, the main part of London's gay scene is in a place called Soho. Originally a place full of sex shops and prostitutes, it was eventually taken over by the flourishing gay scene in the 1970's and now stands proud as the home of London's gay community. Old Compton Street is the most famous street and houses the majority of London's gay bars and pubs.
Due to the high presence of gay people in this London neighbourhood, Soho has also been the site of many hate crimes towards homosexuals. On April 30th 1999, the famous Admiral Duncan Pub (one of the longest serving pubs in the Soho area) was nail bombed by neo-Nazi David Copeland, leaving three dead and thirty injured. This attack is a harsh reminder of the prejudices faced by London's gay community.
Historically, Soho has played a significant part in the 1854 cholera outbreak. Dr. John Snow, a physician, identified the cause as the public water pump on Broadwick street and persuaded the authorities to shut the pump down. A replica pump has been erected near the John Show pub in Soho and can be seen today.
Soho is a well known area of London not only for its high gay profile, but also for its trendy, bohemian feel. In the summer, Soho's bars are packed with tourists and Londoners; the hubbub of the crowds in the streets is utterly magnetic. Before you know it, you'll be pulled into a world of fabulous entertainment, cheap(ish) booze and an electric nightlife. Check out our Gay Bars & Pubs page for listings of London's most popular watering holes and reviews from people who have been there.
Affectionately referred to as Voho, Vauxhall is an area just south of the river and is quickly becoming a hotspot for gay bars, pubs and nightclubs. Vauxhall is primarily an area for the alternative gay population; those that prefer underground raving and a change from the mainstream Ďcampness' that Soho does so well.
Also, Vauxhall gay village has become the place to go once Soho closes its doors. Follow the crowds pulsating from Soho's bars and clubs and you will soon find yourself in the crazy world of Vauxhall. Here, anything goes. Gay men have the opportunity to party all weekend and they certainly do. However, Vauxhall has gained a reputation not only for the hardcore gay clubbers, but for the astonishing amount of drugs that seem to circulate. No evening is complete in Vauxhall without seeing some guy carted off in an ambulance after having taken a concoction of goodness knows what.
Many gay men start off their Friday nights in Vauxhall and don't leave until Monday morning when they precariously stumble home for a shower before turning up to work bright-eyed and bushy tailed. Needless to say, Vauxhall's hectic nightlife is certainly not for the faint hearted.
At London Gay Man, we realise that it can be hard to keep on top of everything that is going on in London. So, we do it for you. Our listings and articles are regularly added and updated with all the most recent and up-to-date information.
Check out our listings for London gay friendly accommodation, nightclubs, cafes and restaurants, and entertainment that will help you plan that perfect weekend.