Not only is London England one of the most gay friendly cities in the world, but it is also home to one of two Sohos and this one is just as fabulous as the gay Soho district in NYC in the US. You can see famous landmarks like the Tower Bridge, Big Ben (and he completely gives every gay man that tingle in their stomachs like when they see the Washington Monument in Washington, DC, but they combine it with fashionable jewelry and accessories and it is completely worth it), Westminster, The Palace, The London Tower with the Crown Jewels (Including the worlds largest diamond which is in a scepter and looks amazing) and so much more.
London’s Broadway and Theatre District is completely comparable to the Broadway in NYC, except they call it the West End and you can catch a different show each night you are there from Priscilla Queen of the Desert to Les Miserables and even Avenue Q, Hair, Mama Mia and all of your favorite classics. You also get some newer shows like Love Never Dies which is the sequel to Phantom of the Opera and there is always a new show opening or closing.
London is a home of class, fun and an all out amazing city. The food and the people are absolutely wonderful and there is never a shortage of things to do. Even on bank holidays when most straight things are closed, the gay areas of London are full of people out having fun. So although there are way to many things to talk about with the touristy aspect of London England, lets cover what you are really here for, the London Gay Bars for your honeymoon and Gay London Vacations.
Lets start with Soho and work our way through the city into some of the hottest and most popular Gay Bars for everyone from Twinks
to Bears to Leather and more.
My personal favorite there was above and beyond Comptons. Comptons is perfect to have some drinks at. It attracts mostly people from 35 to 50 and has extremely affordable drinks, a dj playing some great music, a fun classy styled lounge on the top floor and a packed from area for smokers. The people are absolutely the most friendly in Gay London England and the bar staff is extremely helpful and always smiles as well. The bathrooms stink at night, but so do the bathrooms in all London Gay Bars since they have troughs instead of toilets to pee in and limited stalls for, well lets not go there. The music was great, you could go upstairs to talk and the drinks were dirt cheap so I give Compton Bar in London 4 out of 5 stars for a bar to have drinks at. However they are lacking one thing, a dance floor. So if your scene is dancing with that age crowd, you have to check out this next bar which has two locations.
Barcode in London England. Barcode has two locations in London. One is on the outskirts of Gay Soho but still completely walkable from any of the gay bars in soho. It attracts more of an older crowd and some leather or bear types. However, when you walk downstairs you’ll find a fabulous dance club which has an old
style like Limelight in Toronto Canada but at the same time, an older crowd without all the drug addict twinks. Towards about 1 in the monring however the twinks do start coming in because the music at Barcode in Soho is absolutely amazing. It is all UK hardhouse and trance and is way to much fun. People go absolutely crazy there, but get your drinks in first because Barcode way over charges for their cocktails. They are not worth spending the money on drink wise. Barcode has extremely rude staff and overcharges for their drinks, on the other hand they have great music, but music only counts for so much. I give Barcode in Soho 2 out of 5 stars. However they also have another location, but you do need to travel to get there.
Barcode in Vauxhall Station. Barcode Vauxhall Station is the opposite of the Soho location. The staff is friendly, people are warm and they have a huge mix of people. They also have two dance floors both with a ton of space and the overall club is pretty huge compared to most. The ceiling in the second dance hall is covered in disco balls and they have gogoboys dancing on a platform behind a glass wall. The music is amazing and the drinks are pricey but at least the bartenders are friendly too. The club is sort of in the ghetto so if you are by yourself, take a cab and be prepared to spend up to 20 Pounds to get back to your hotel when it is over. If Barcode ends up not being your thing, don’t worry, there are 3 other large clubs there and a bathhouse that seemed pretty popular. Barcode in Vauchall gets a 4 out of 5 stars, the location lost its final star for it. While we’re down by Barcode in Vauxhall Station, lets go into the leather bar next door.
I normally might not venture into this place, but I had plenty of drinks in me by this point and to be honest, I’m glad I went in. It was apparently a blackout and Maze party. The bar was probably one of the biggest leather bars I have ever been in. It is made of I think 4 rooms and has two floors. I’m not sure what the normal set up is but it was seriously cool. The drinks were great. They were cheap and strong and the people were fun. Sure there were some Divas but you’ll find those at every leather bar. I’m not really going to go too much into the actual club or bar, but the music was fabulous and the people were great, the drinks were cheap and strong and the overall vibe was amazing. You’ll know which one I am talking about when you go to Barcode so I won’t name it, but definitely stop in and have a drink or two. This is a bar you don’t want to miss and if you don’t want to pay about $12 to $15 per drink at Barcode, then stop here to pregame and get tore up before you go clubbing.
The Edge. Hrmm don’t remember being there but I took a picture of the inside. Guess it was fun. =0)
Admiral Duncan Gay Bar. Admiral Duncan is sort of London’s idea of a traditional British Pub, but for gay people. It is your standard keep to themselves gay crowd. It has a nice mix and is a friendly group of people. I had an ok time there but it would definitely not be one that I would hurry back to, unless I was going with friends. It isn’t anything special but just sort of like a locals hangout.
Ku Bar in Soho. Ku Bar is Londons trendy bar. The drinks are cheap and so are the people,,,just kidding. The bar staff is a bit into themselves but at the same time, if you compliment them they will be friendly. They definitely prefer the locals but at the same time will take care of tourists to. The group and crowd seem to be the want to be trendy crowd or the “fabulosity crowd” without all the diva status. I actually had a decent time there but something just never felt right while I was there. Maybe it was an off day but it is one that I would probably go back to for cocktails before the clubs. It gets a 3 out of 5 stars from me.
The Yard. Although the Yard had its hayday, it looks like it is on its way out the door. It has not been extremely well kept but you could see how cool it must have been in its hayday. Unfortunately none of us were impressed enough with it to actually stay for a drink, but we did walk through the entire place. It was cute and ok but you could tell it is way past its prime. It should turn straight bar and reinvent itself to the “trendy liberals” straight crowd who want to be part of the gay action and in the gay nightlife, without actually having to be gay or in a gay bar.
G – A – Y Bar. GAY Bar gets zero out of zero stars. This place sucked. It does however live up to its name. It is very gay. It is pink, it is filled with twinks, but not even cute or fun ones and to be honest, the drinks suck, the bartenders look like they have heroine problems and it was kind of disgusting inside. All of us liked it when we first walked in but within 2 minutes half of us were ready to leave. When we finished our drinks everyone was ready to get the hell out of there. It was tacky, trashy and not in the good Baltimore way. G-A-Y bar in London gets zero out of 5 stars. That is a first in history for me to ever assign that to a bar. I have been to at least 100, bare minimum gay bars and this is the first that ever got a zero.
The Stag is not really my kind of bar. It is a british styled pub but for Gay Men. It was friendly and a nice crowd but for some reason not my thing. I stayed for one drink and then left. I really have no comments on it. If you need somewhere to kill time and want a pub atmosphere, the Stag may be the right gay bar for you.
79 CXR. This bar is inbetween all the theatres in the West End and Gay Soho. It caters to the much older crowd and a low key crowd. People 50+ and younger people who are more calm, quiet and not into the loud scene. It does have a ton of arrogant people in it, but the bar staff is friendly, the drinks are cheap (but they have no top shelf), and they have drag shows or drag events like Drag Queen Karaoke I think about every night. It was a fun bar and one that I found myself coming back to over and over. I have no idea why as it isn’t my normal type of hangout. 79 CXR in London is a fun local bar for the locals to hangout at if they are to old to go dancing and tired of all of the drama in the normal bars. The Drag Queens are fun and not insulting but actually friendly and the overall atmosphere is fun. I give 79 CXR 3 out of 5 stars. I’ll definitely be back to listen to Karaoke and have a drink. I do have to say though that they have pretty much no broadway which was really kind of shocking.
Escape. I think this is the one that charged either 5 or ten pounds and just really sucked. It was a small room, all 80’s Madonna which wouldn’t be bad if they didn’t throw in crappy other retro music and actually learned how to mix songs. This bar sucked, but if you are with your friends and in a good mood could be a good time. They had no business trying to charge a cover though. The bar was not worth it.
The Duke of Wellington. Another Gay British Pub…nothing special probably wouldn’t go back unless I was with friends.
The Village. The Village is a bit pretentious but the bar staff is amazingly friendly and extremely welcoming. The bartender remembered me and my drinks and also made a ton of recommendations on where to go and what to do. He also encouraged me to stay there and I actually did for a while. It is more of a twink bar, but a fun group and a friendly group. The last night I was there they had a really b*tchy emo goth drag queen doing karaoke in between the go go boys and house music which was odd, but to be honest, the drag queen ruined the night. Sure, her little twink followers loved here, but at least 70% of the bar was annoyed by her attitude and 30% of us left specifically because of her. The bar was alright and had a fun vibe to it. I actually would go back even though it isn’t really my type of bar if I was with a group of people. I did have a good time so I would give The Village 3 out of 5 stars.
Anyways, there are a ton of more Gay Bars in London England that you can go to and even more theatres, shows, stores, restaurants, tourist traps and everything else. London is an amazing city and if you have never been you have to add it to your places to visit before you die list. If you have a favorite club, bar, store, restaurant, hotel, etc… then please feel free to talk about it in the comments section below.
Gay London is amazing and I will definitely be back sometime. It is an amazing city and you should be able to have an amazing time. There is something for everyone and always something to do. It is expensive there so bring some extra money, but also expect to have an amazing time.