The labyrinth of alleyways that make up the historic Lanes area is dotted with antique shops, designer boutiques and jewellers – making this a recommended spot for sourcing unusual gifts, or even a wedding ring! The alternative North Laine is a hipster haven of vintage clothing stores, organic juice bars and piercing parlours.
An excellent way to learn all about Brighton’s queer history is to follow in the footsteps of Lord Byron, Oscar Wilde, Dusty Springfield and other notable gays and lesbians on the Piers & Queers Tour. This unique walking exploration of Brighton’s LGBTQ+ past is offered by Only in Brighton, and is one of Time Out’s top ranked things to do in the city.
Much of Brighton’s thriving gay café and bar scene is focused around St James's Street in the Kemp Town neighbourhood. There are welcoming, traditional-style pubs including The Marine Tavern and The Camelford Arms, both attracting a diverse crowd but with a large proportion of older and beefier blokes, bears and polar bears too.
Why not enjoy a night at a Brighton institution? The Bulldog is the city’s longest-running gay pub and is the only one that remains open right through until morning every weekend.
There are several gay saunas, the biggest being The Brighton Sauna. A large gay club spread across three floors, Revenge is another landmark gay venue, having been an integral part of Brighton’s gay and lesbian scene for 30 years – there are theme parties every night, as well as perfromances from world-famous drag queens.
For those looking to unwind, check into Hotel UNA - an independent boutique hotel conveniently located near the beach and historical West Pier, with 20 rooms including Spa Rooms that feature a whirlwind bath, sauna, and outdoor sitting area.
Creatives and art lovers will be drawn to the new and notable Artist Residence Brighton hotel located just steps from the beach and the city centre. Brighton's unique bohemian spirit is brought to life through its 24 rooms. Make the most of the sea views, vintage baths, foodie pop-ups, and buzzing cocktail bar during your stay.
My Brighton is a sexy design hotel with 80 ornate guestrooms by renowned New York interior architect, Karim Rashid. Try the Carousel penthouse suite where in-room amenities include a sleek four-poster bed, free-standing bathtub, luxurious tiled steam room and a 300-year-old vintage carousel horse!
Amsterdam Hotel and Bar
If you want to stay close to the action, you can’t get much better than Amsterdam Hotel and Bar. Located in the heart of Kemp Town, this hotel, restaurant, bar and sauna is itself a Brighton gay hotspot. The large seafront terrace is a prime hangout during summer afternoons.
A gay-owned four-star bed and breakfast located on a quiet street in Kemp Town, Hudsons has comfortable en-suite rooms, a charming conservatory-breakfast room and a small private garden.
One of the biggest Pride festivals in the UK, Brighton Pride attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. 2021 celebrates the 30th anniversary of the event with FABULOSO – Pride in the Park. Details are still to be confirmed, but previous events have included outstanding live music alongside Queer theatre, dance tents and a range of new immersive experiences.
Britain’s bear community comes out to play for Brighton Bear Weekend. Held annually in June, this increasingly popular date for bears and cubs comprises a range of pub events, picnics and parties.
Brighton is situated on the south coast of England, less than an hour by train from London. London Gatwick Airport is approximately halfway between London and Brighton, and is served by numerous international airlines.