If you’re wondering what London has to offer lesbian travellers, you’re in the right place. In this guide, I provide a complete rundown of lesbian London, including the best London Lesbian bars, clubs, events, and things to do around the city.
London is one of the LGBTQ-friendly cities in all of Europe. I’ve lived and worked in London for almost all of my life. And I’ve always been grateful for its tolerant and open-minded attitude towards the LGBTQ+ community.
Not only can you be yourself without fear of discrimination, but the queer nightlife is some of the best in the world. From pulsating gay nightclubs and exclusive London lesbian bars to the city’s world-famous PRIDE events, the city has much to offer.
London’s fabulous gay scene aside, the British capital is a thriving metropolis, bursting with culture, history, fashion, architecture, and an eclectic culinary scene.
This article aims to arm you with everything you need to visit this unforgettable city. Find out why we believe London to be one of the most LGBTQ-friendly cities in the world.
So let’s get to it; here’s a complete guide to lesbian London.
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Queer & Lesbian London FAQs
Before I jump into talking about the best of queer & lesbian London, I thought it would be good to answer some of the frequently asked questions we get about our trips.
- Enjoy great savings on London attractions with a London explorer pass.
- Book a hotel or hostel here or check out these best air bnbs in London.
- Stay connected in London with a portable wifi hotspot or a local e-sim.
- Get to know the city on a best-selling London tour.
- Don’t forget travel insurance – World Nomads is our go-to choice for cover.
LGBTQ+ Rights in London
LGBTQ+ Safety in London
Despite some unsavoury reports regarding LGBTQ+ safety in Britain, the UK, especially London, is considered safe for queer travellers.
As I say, I’ve lived in London most of my life. Natalie spent a few years living in the city with me as well. We both agree it’s one of few places where we’ve felt comfortable to display our relationship in public.
In fact, we were so used to PDA is London, that when we travelled to Asia, it took some getting used to not to be affectionate in public.
Unfortunately, there have been some recent incidents of hate crime and discrimination in London; however, these are rare.
I don’t think any city in the world is entirely exempt from homophobic att@cks, but London is up there as one of the safest along with Berlin and Amsterdam.
Of course, the usual risks attached to intimate relations or travel in general still apply. These LGBTQ+ Travel Safety Tips will help you look after yourself and your belongings.
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If you become sick or injured, those medical bills can really add up. Or perhaps you have your bag stolen, or a flight cancelled. Although these events are unlikely, they do happen, and having travel insurance gives you that extra piece of mind that you are protected.Get a Quote From World Nomads
Best Time to Visit Lesbian London
There isn’t any right or wrong time to visit London, as there is generally a great atmosphere all year round.
If you are relying on good, warm weather, between May and October will be your safest bet. Although, this is London so always come prepared for rain!
July and August are the hottest and busiest months. But it’s also when the city is most alive with festivals, events, and queer parties like Pride in London.
We can also vouch for visiting in December. Although the temperatures can be freezing, the Christmas markets and festivities are magical.
Getting Around in London
While I usually love to explore new cities on foot, London is way too vast for that. Thankfully, London’s public transport network is one of the best in the world.
First and foremost, I strongly encourage you to get an Oyster Card. The Oyster Card will ensure you get the cheapest rates when travelling around London.
If you’re travelling with children, order them an Oyster Card 4 weeks in advance. That way, children under 10 travel for free, and under 18s at a discounted rate.
Many transport networks are operating in London, from buses and trams to trains and riverboats. But you’re most likely to be using the underground and buses the most.
Either way, you can plan out your journey using the Transport for London journey planner.
Some might say that taking a guided tour is the best way to experience this fun and exciting city.
We always use Get Your Guide when we book tours. They have an endless selection of tours in locations worldwide, including London. Check them out!
Save Time and Book a Tour
For a more local experience, we recommend checking out the guided tours on Get Your Guide:
Where to Stay Lesbian London
You will struggle to find any hotels in London that aren’t LGBTQ+-friendly. After all, it is illegal to discriminate against same-$ex couples when renting a room in the UK.
However, we completely understand the need to feel accepted and treated equally.
While there are no specific gay hotels in London, by staying in the Soho area you can almost guarantee you’ll be in the company of other LGBTQ+ travellers.
The Best of Lesbian London
I’m sure you’re keen to learn more about what there is to see and do in this exciting LGBTQ+Friendly city.
Naturally, being LGBTQ+ does not prevent us from wanting to explore like any other tourist. You’ll likely want to experience the London highlights as well as the queer things to do in the city.
Since this is a guide to lesbian London, I won’t delve into the highlights here. Instead, I recommend checking out this 4-day London itinerary.
For now, let’s look at all the fun queer things to do in London.
Looking for a rundown of the best queer and lesbian nightlife in London? Keep scrolling to the next section.
Queer Things to do in London
1. Check out the London Queer Neighbourhood
London’s queer scene is fabulous, vibrant, and diverse. You can find gay bars and nightclubs in most neighbourhoods across the city.
However, the epicentre of LGBTQ+ culture in London is Soho – a chic central neighbourhood boasting a realm of nightlife, restaurants, and shopping.
It’s here that you’ll find the vast majority of London’s lesbian bars, clubs, cafes, restaurants and shops.
Rainbow flags drape from buildings and adorn windows, and the overall vibe feels welcoming to all who visit.
The great thing about Soho is that regardless of when you go, you can always guarantee a great atmosphere.
Of course, it’s busier at the weekends or during PRIDE events, but even during the week, we never fail to have a good time.
2. Queer Walking Tours
If you’re keen to learn more about the colourful history behind LGBT+ culture in London, we highly recommend you check out Queer Tours of London.
Through creative, educational, and interactive tours, they tell the stories of London’s queer history, and how it came to be the flourishing rainbow capital that it is today.
3. Gay's the Word
The oldest gay and lesbian bookstore in the UK, Gay’s The Word is considered a national treasure amongst the LGBTQ+ community.
The store was founded over 40 years ago, and for a long time, was the only information resource for lesbians and gay men.
Unfortunately, the rise of the internet continues to threaten the shops future; however, for now, its loyal following helps to keep it going.
4. Admiral Duncan Memorial
A symbol of some of the cities darker LGBTQ+ history, the Admiral Duncan memorial can be found in St Anne’s Gardens.
The memorial is to remember those who lost their lives in the 1999 nail b0mb att@ck at the Admiral Duncan pub.
The att@ck claimed the lives of three people and injured dozens more. There is a bench and three trees planted in their memory.
5. Above the Stag Theatre
Situated under the arches in Vauxhall, Above the Stag is one of the most important queer venues in London.
As the UK’s only dedicated LGBTQ+ theatre in the UK, you can expect fun-filled queer entertainment all year round.
From cabaret shows to drag shows and musicals to comedy, this place is an absolute must-visit when exploring Lesbian London.
6. Dalston Superstore
7. Corner Cafe
One of London’s most recent LGBTQ+ spaces, Corner Cafe is a queer-owned creative haunt in New Cross.
Serving locally sourced coffee and food in a artistic setting, it’s the perfect spot to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
8. See a West End Show
It might not be a specific queer thing to do in London but you absolutely cannot visit without experiencing the fabulousness of London theatre.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not exactly a budget-friendly activity. But honestly, it’s worth it. This is a once in a lifetime experience.
Plus, there are often ways of getting cheap theatre tickets, but check your seats, as often discounted tickets have a restricted view.
Some of my favourite shows include The Lion King, Wicked, Mama Mia, Chicago, and Les Miserables.
9. Queer Britain Museum
Queer Britain is the first dedicated LGBTQ museum in the UK.
Located in Kings Cross, the museum is a celebration of queer culture and provides valuable insight into the complex history of our community.
The space is open to everyone and free to enter.
12. Girls, Girls, Girls Sign
No trip to Lesbian London is complete without a visit to the iconic “Girls Girls Girls” sign in Soho.
This popular London instagram spot looks like the entrance to a strip bar. When actually it’s just an Italian restaurant.
La Bodega Negra has several neon signs in its windows, attracting photographers and influencers alike. A great marketing tactic if you ask me!
13. Hampstead Ponds
The same-sex ponds at Hampstead Heath are renowned for being a potential hook-up spot.
This area has a reputation for being a cruising hotspot for all sexualities, so if you’re into that, it can be an exciting experience.
That said, you’ll only find that side of things if you actively look for it. Most of the time, it’s just groups of families or friends enjoying a relaxing day out.
14. Glass House
Glass House is another new and exciting LGBTQ+ space in London and we love to see it.
A multidisciplinary space in the heart of East London, it’s a hub for creativity.
A bookshop, café, queer bar, two podcast studios, and a large events space are some of the things you’ll find here.
Remember, it’s really important to support LGBTQ+ business. Especially the new ones!
15. Take a Day Trip to Brighton
If you’re in London for an extended amount of time, Brighton makes for the perfect day trip outside of the city.
The charming seaside town is the ‘unofficial’ gay capital of the UK; arguably more gay-friendly than London or any other city in the country.
There’s so much to love about Brighton. From it’s thriving gay scene and laidback bohemian vibe, to the iconic pier adorned with arcade games and fairground rides.
Check out our guide to queer and lesbian Brighton for more information.
Lesbian Nightlife in London
Unfortunately, like many other cities around the world, lesbians in London are notoriously under-represented.
Through the years, many optimistic London lesbian bars have opened, only to shut up shop not so long afterwards.
That said, there’s still plenty of fun to be had for Lesbians in London. While sole lesbian hangouts are few and far between, plenty of bars frequent a mixed clientele.
There’s also a wide variety of exciting lesbian parties in London. All of which I talk about further down.
Lesbian Bars in London
1. SHE Bar
This underground basement bar is the only exclusive lesbian bar in London.
This is a title they don’t take lightly, so the great news is, they put in a lot of effort to ensure everyone has a great time.
As well as lively club nights and cabaret shows, SHE bar also hosts regular comedy events, karaoke, and quiz nights.
The bar attracts a mixed bag of queers women across all ages and backgrounds. An unmissable venue for lesbians in London.
After becoming somewhat of an institution on London’s gay scene, the iconic G-A-Y Bar needs little introduction.
The world-famous bar has everything you might expect – trashy music, sticky floors, affordable drinks, and a fun-loving crowd.
It’s the venue that all gays and lesbians in London love to hate. Our guilty pleasure where we can dance the night away to cheesy pop classics and sip away on sugar-laced cocktails.
Show up here after a few drinks elsewhere, and you’re guaranteed to have a good time.
3. The Yard
One of my personal favourites, The Yard is one of the more unique gay (and lesbian) bars in London.
Nestled in an intimate courtyard tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Soho, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a quiet drink or two pre-dinner.
Or if you’re anything like my group of friends, you’ll treat it as the calm before the storm before hitting London’s more energetic gay bars later on.
There’s a pretty simple food menu to accompany the delectable cocktails, and it’s an all-round charming little venue.
4. Friendly Society
Another of my favourite lesbian London haunts, Friendly Society appears to be an unassuming back-alley bar from the outside.
Once inside, however, you’re greeted by one of the most quirky drinking holes in all of Soho. Barbie dolls hanging from the ceiling and whacky 70s decor.
Work your way through the delicious albeit slightly expensive cocktail menu, and mingle amongst an alternative crowd at this idiosyncratic London gay bar.
5. Rupert Street
Located in the heart of Soho, Rupert Street Bar is a premium cocktail bar and an all-around favourite amongst the LGBTQ+ crowd.
Hosting a daily happy hour from noon through to 8 pm, it’s especially popular for after-work drinks or pre-party drinks.
During the Summer months, the crowd often spills out onto the street, and you can expect a warm and lively vibe all year round.
6. Freedom Bar
If you fancy a slightly more sophisticated night out, Freedom Bar is a classy cocktail bar ideal for a quiet drink with friends.
The bar in the heart of Soho is the destination of choice amongst West End performers and gay and lesbian London bar-goers.
From its signature cocktail list and luxurious decor, Freedom bar oozes fabulousness. And there’s even two poles on the dance floor for those who feel empowered to try them!
7. Admiral Duncan
This traditional English pub, doubles up as one of the oldest-standing gay and lesbian bars in London.
Sadly, it’s most famous for being the site of a fatal att@ck against the LGBTQ+ community. In 1999 a neo-N@zi set off a nail b0mb, k!lling three people and injuring many more.
But this legendary boozer triumphs over the hatred and continues to be a beloved venue amongst the LGBTQ+ community.
8. Ku Bar
Ku Bar is one of the largest gay & lesbian bars in London, with an area to suit every occasion.
Enjoy a quiet after-work drink or date at the chic cocktail bar on the first floor. Or head downstairs to the Ku Klub where DJs blast out tunes until the early hours of the morning.
We love the vibe at this queer hotspot and have no doubt you will too!
Village 512 is an all new gay and lesbian bar in East London.
It’s an intimate venue with an enticing and seductive vibe. We love the neon-lit interior and retro decor.
I’d say it’s the perfect spot for late night drinks. Also look out for the new London lesbian party Aphrodyki that’s hosted here.
Queer & Lesbian Nightclubs in London
1. G.A.Y Late
When G-A-Y Bar shuts at midnight, continue the fun at G-A-Y Late just around the corner.
If you’ve made a good impression on the bouncers at G-A-Y Bar, they’ll likely give you a wristband that allows you free entry to the after-party.
The vibe is mostly the same, but you can dance into the early hours of the morning. I have painful memories of rolling out of here at 3 am, only to have work in a matter of hours. Ouch!
Heaven nightclub is iconic to London’s Lesbian & Gay scene. A venue I have no problem returning to time and time again.
Natalie and I went through a stage of going here most weekends when we lived in London. And not once have we been disappointed.
The multi-floored venue combines open planned concert halls hosting live-acts and drag performers, while dark and dingy club rooms play a variety of music genres.
It’s easy to get carried away in Heaven, and before you know it, you’re rolling out of here at sunrise.
Another favourite on the gay & lesbian London nightclub scene, Circa is a versatile venue that always delivers.
Enjoy a relaxed midweek drink from Monday to Thursday, and from Friday onwards look forward to a crazed party atmosphere.
Saturdays are their busiest nights when some of London’s best DJs take to the decks playing deep and progressive house music.
Friday’s are equally as fun, however, when you can expect cheesy pop classics and club anthems.
Lesbian Parties in London
This monthly event is strictly for queer women and non-binary identifying folx.
Expect fire-breathing, pole dancing, and lots of $exy women twerking to dance music. Check their Facebook for event dates.
2. Gal Pals
As the name suggests, this regular lesbian night in London & Brighton is the perfect girls night out.
Blasting out the best club bangers in the pop, rock, hip hop and R&B genres, it’s a firm favourite among lesbians and gender-nonconforming folx.
3. Femme Fraiche
A regular lesbian London event at the gay hotspot Dalston Superstore, Femme Fraiche attracts big-name DJs and a $exy, fun-loving crowd.
Enjoy trashy club classics upstairs, or dark techno beats in the dingy basement.
4. Pxssy Palace
Well damn, with a name like that you know it’s going to be good!
This event hosts monthly themed parties, attracting queer woman, non-binary and trans people of colour.
The night is all about celebrating diversity and provide a safe space for the community to connect and party.
5. Butch Please
Held bi-monthly at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern in Vauxhall, this night celebrates our butch subculture.
Expect wild live performances, energetic DJs and a whole lot of queer energy.
Aphrodyki is one of the most unique lesbian parties in London and certainly one not to be missed.
This is London’s only Ancient Greek themed night for queer women, trans and non-binary people.
You can expect the very best of R&B and Pop at these events, and a beautiful and fun-loving crowd!
Queer & Lesbian Events in London
Alongside the vibrant, all year round LGBTQ+ nightlife in London, there are several LGBTQ+ focused events that are worth noting in your calendar. Add these to your Lesbian London bucket list:
1. Pride in London
London Lesbian and Gay Pride is the biggest Pride celebration in the country, and the whole city likes to get involved.
From the start of Pride month in June and throughout July (when we host the festival and parade), shops, train stations and billboards show their support for the LGBTQ+ community.
If you’re lucky enough to be in London for the Pride celebrations, it will be a weekend you’ll never forget.
2. UK Black Pride
London is proud to host the largest LGBTQ+ event for queer BIPOC, and this day is all about celebrating diversity and inclusion.
Held annually every July, everybody is welcome, and you can expect nothing but love and great vibes.
3. London Trans Pride
London Trans Pride celebrated its 4th year in 2022 and it was a monumental success.
The Pride march exceeded all expectations. It saw over 20,000 people walking the streets of London calling for an end to the oppression of trans people.
We love to see more and more people standing up for the trans community and hope that the event continues to gain momentum.
4. Mighty Hoopla
Mighty Hoopla is a two-day weekender, known for showcasing the best of pop and queer culture in the UK.
It’s not an exclusive LGBTQ+ event, but attracts a predomionantly queer crowd. And we love it for showcasing the best established and emerging LGBTQ+ artists!
Steps, Sugababes, Years & Years, and The Vengaboys have all headlined the event!
5. Fringe! Queer Film and Arts Festival
Established in 2011, Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Festival celebrates and showcases LGBTQ+ creatives and talent.
November is when they host their film festival – an opportunity to catch the latest films, arts, and innovation amongst the queer creative scene.
It’s an entirely volunteer-run organisation doing incredible things for the community. Be sure to support them.
6. London Queer Fashion Show
London is one of the fashion capitals of the world. So it was only a matter of time before a queer fashion show appeared on the scene.
The London Queer Fashion Show was set up as a platform for independent queer designers to showcase their work.
It’s all about inclusivity and breaking down gender-norms and societal expectations. If you love fashion, lesbian fashion or fashion in general, you won’t want to miss it.
The show typically happens in September.
Have Fun Exploring Queer & Lesbian London
That concludes our Gay & Lesbian Travel Guide to London. I hope that you found it helpful and that you have an awesome time exploring this lgbtq+-friendly city.
If you have any questions or feel we have missed anything, please reach out to us in the comment section below. We love hearing from you!
Stay adventurous and happy travels.