The unofficial LGBTQ+ capital of England, Brighton is known for its open attitude, diverse business events offering and two-day Pride extravaganza.
A great way for groups to learn about Brighton’s queer history is to follow in the footsteps of Lord Byron, Oscar Wilde, Dusty Springfield and other notable gay icons with a Piers and Queers Tour.
This unique exploration of Brighton from a lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans perspective, involves a colourful 90-minute walk along the iconic beach and around the historic city centre.
It takes in over 200 years of history including Regency Dandies, 1950s gay life, and political activism. It also uncovers some extraordinary unsung heroes, including a pioneering female doctor who lived as a man long before women were allowed to practice medicine, an Edwardian 'drag king' and a 'same-sex' marriage in 1923.Read more
The epicentre of queer Manchester is Canal Street’s Gay Village. It’s home to bars, clubs and many annual events, such as the trans festival, Sparkle Weekend and Sparkle Ball, the Bears Bash and The Skins Weekend.
The region’s thriving lesbian community is also centred in the Gay Village, with established venues like Vanilla offering space for events.
Manchester Pride celebrates the diversity of LGBTQ+ life, including art, culture and sport, which usually takes place during the Big Weekend - a massive Pride Parade that takes place in August.
The 2019 Manchester Pride Parade was the biggest and boldest yet, with a whopping 205 organisations, 14,000 people marching, and up to 250,000 spectators filling the streets with colour and celebration.Read more
Birmingham’s two-day Pride festival is the earliest in the annual calendar, taking place over the May bank holiday weekend and marking the start of the summer season. An annual Gay and Lesbian Pride Ball is held at leading international conference centre, ICC Birmingham as part of the celebrations.
On the city’s south side, Birmingham’s Gay Village is centred along Hurst Street, just minutes from the Hippodrome theatre, the Bullring and the Chinese Quarter. During Pride, the streets pulsate with a carnival parade, live music, cabaret stage, a women’s arena and a community village.
The rest of the year, pagodas and oriental-influenced architecture blend in with gay street-art and bustling bars. Look out for a sparkly, rhinestone-encrusted rhinoceros on the roof of Wynner House.
Championing queer arts and culture in Birmingham is Shout, an annual festival in November that takes place at venues across the Midlands city.Read more
Hosted by the LGBT+ community, Northern Pride invites everyone to come together to celebrate the rich diversity Newcastle and the North East offers.
The 2019 event welcomed tens of thousands of visitors to the city over the July weekend, with more than 22,000 people taking part in the Stonewall Remembrance March, commemorating 50 years since the Stonewall Riots, a pivotal turning point in the road to LGBT+ equality.
Spread across both Exhibition Park and the Town Moor, the festival sites hosted two stages of live performances.
To keep Northern Pride a free-to-attend festival, organisers stage regular fundraiser events in the months prior, at popular gay-friendly Newcastle venues including the Powerhouse nightclub and Boulevard, a cabaret club with live drag shows.Read more
No ‘loud and proud’ English city guide would be complete without mentioning London.
Business delegates attending events at city-centre venues such as QEIICC, Olympia London or the Business Design Centre, are well-placed to access the bustling gay bars and restaurants of Soho, Carnaby Street or head south to the iconic gay sceneof Vauxhall.
In addition to the summer’s Pride in London festival, the English capital also stages Winter Pride, Fringe! Queer Arts and Film Fest and UK Black Pride - Europe’s largest celebration for African, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American and Caribbean-heritage LGBTQ people.Read more