London is the perfect holiday destination for the discerning gay, lesbian, or ‘whatever’. The U.K’s general open mindedness and acceptability of difference is epitomised in what is arguably one of the greatest cities on the planet. In December 2006, same sex couples were given the right to civil partnerships in Britain(of course, Elton and David got in there first), and since the nineties it’s possible to hold hands and kiss in public anywhere in the center of town without anyone (apart from middle Eastern and middle American tourists) batting an eyelid.
Most of the homo-happenings are focused around Soho in the middle of the West End, although Vauxhall in the south has sprung up its own little scene with a cluster of pink facilities. The city offers one of the most diverse night life scenes in the world, and whether you like disco dancing, cross dressing, getting whipped or getting wasted, there is guaranteed to be something to cater for your needs.
Of course, unless you are a die-hard scene queen, you’ll want to explore the other unique treasures Londinium has to offer, such as the rich cultural goings on dotted everywhere from Clerkenwell in the East to Primrose Hill in the North. Art galleries, street art, art-house cinemas…all can be found within footsteps from any London hotel.
Much like Brooklyn’s Williamsburg, Hoxton and Shoreditch in the East End (a short bus journey from the center), became the epitome of hipster cool. It’s well worth spending a day here checking out an exhibition in the White Cube gallery, lunching in a patisserie, and browsing arty fashion boutiques and thrift stores. Up the road, Brick Lane – a predominantly Indian area – boasts the finest curry houses this side of New Delhi.
Only a thirty-minute train journey from Victoria station is Brighton, a very gay friendly British seaside resort packed with water-front bars and clubs, such as the mammoth Revenge and Wild Fruit. On a hot summer day, a trip here is a great alternative to soaking up the sun in a London park. If you’re sticking to the Big Smoke, catch some rays in uber-homo Soho Square or by Princess Di’s memorial fountain in Kensington Gardens.
The shopping in London is second to none. Fine department stores, street markets and emporiums are littered all over the city, ensuring you will leave empty of wallet. It may not be a cheap city – especially if you are spending the Dollar, but is never-the-less a fantastic place to visit.