An insider’s guide to LGBTQIA+ travel across Britain

Wednesday 15 March 2023
Same sex male couple wearing kilts walking arm in arm

As Sydney WorldPride 2023 celebrations draw to a close in March, we’re turning the spotlight onto Britain with an invitation for travellers to continue the party and celebrate British pride year-round in one of the world’s most welcoming nations for LGBTQIA+ visitors. Whether exploring the nation’s vibrant queer history, dancing past iconic city sites during summer Pride parades or planning a seaside escape in Brighton – Britain’s unofficial LGBTQIA+ capital – visitors will discover drag nights, buzzing bars, eye-opening exhibits, open attitudes and irrepressible Pride wherever they go.

For some insider tips to weave into your itinerary, we’ve asked some Aussie and British LGBTQIA+ storytellers to share their insights on travelling to and around Great Britain.


GREAT Love campaign ambassadors:

Adele Roberts, Broadcaster and DJ and Kate Holderness, Actress
Country of Residence: United Kingdom

What is one of your favourite British holiday experiences?

At the end of last year, we went on a little ‘rainbow road trip’ (as we like to call them!). Our first stop took us to Rye, where British author Radclyffe Hall escaped with her partner, Una Troubridge during the obscenity trial which resulted in the banning of her novel ‘The Well of Loneliness’, which she hoped would “smash the conspiracy of silence” of same-sex relationships. We stayed at the gorgeous Mermaid Inn, the same place where Radclyffe and Una used to stay (along with the five resident ghosts). On our next stop, we used our National Trust Touring Passes to visit Sissinghurst Castle, where novelist, Vita Sackville-West lived from 1930.

Is there a surprising fact you can tell us about the LGBTQIA+ community in the UK?

We love discovering LGBTQIA+ history throughout Britain, especially as a lot of it has been hidden or buried due to prejudices over time. It’s really important for us to fill in those gaps and celebrate and remember the LGBTQIA+ individuals involved. For instance, we recently found out that Hadrian’s Wall was built by a gay man. The National Trust also have an amazing podcast hosted by Clare Balding which uncovers the hidden LGBTQIA+ histories of their properties, it’s brilliant.

Pride celebrations take place all across Britain. If you had to choose one place to celebrate, where would it be?

I think it would have to be Manchester Pride. Being northerners, it was the first Pride we both went to respectively and the atmosphere is second to none. Although the Pride parade marches right through the city, the real heart of the action is in Manchester’s legendary Gay Village around Canal Street. When the floats and marchers make their way through that section of the route, it’s such a special feeling.

For more on the Great Love campaign click here:


VisitBritain x Contiki Content Creators:

Conor Curran, Digital Content Creator and MasterChef Australia Contestant 
Country of Residence: Australia

How have your travel experiences around the world shaped your self-expression?

Britain was where I truly got to find out who I am with zero judgement. I got to have a chosen family who took me in and it was the most liberating time of my life.

What’s your favourite memory from your last visit to Britain?

I went to London for a month last year to catch up with mates, it was my first time doing it as a tourist and I had forgotten just how much is going on there. From art shows, to nightlife, to eating out, it really was such a different experience compared to when I lived there. Hot tip, try out the Bermondsey Beer Mile in London, just so much fun and a beer lovers delight.

What are some of your top tips for LGBTQIA+ travellers heading to Britain?

First off, check out Soho in London. I know its cliché, but it truly is the epicentre for queer culture, even the pubs are adorned with queer flags. The Eagle and Royal Vauxhall Tavern are iconic pieces of queer nightlife so check them out if you’re heading out for the night. Don’t forget to be yourself - Britain is incredibly forward when it comes to queer culture, particularly in cities, so wear glitter and dress fabulous, because no one blinks an eye and it’s amazing.


Jack Cooper, Digital Content Creator
Country of Residence: Australia

What are some of your top tips for LGBTQIA+ travellers heading to Great Britain?

To be confident and don't be fearful of being who you are. England in particular has such an inclusive culture for the LGBTQIA+ community, and they celebrate pride events all year round across the country. From my own personal experience, I loved visiting Brighton. Walking around there and seeing the rainbow buses, pride street art and flags out the front of stores representing the LGBTQIA+ community, it really does create that strong sense of comfort.

How do we create a better travel experience for the LGBTQIA+ traveller?

Recognition is a big thing, whether that be a flag that shows recognition on a brochure or on a website, it really creates that sense of inclusivity. It’s also important to remember that some people in the LGBTQIA+ community may be the most confident, proud person about who they are but at the same time they don't want to feel any 'different' or perhaps 'singled-out' to anyone else just because of their orientation and identity status. I think by just being in a general positive environment for everyone and to create healthy relationships amongst everybody is the ideal goal.

What’s your favourite memory from your last visit to Britain:

My grandma lives in the UK, so visiting her is always an experience. I especially love going to the supermarkets over there, like Tesco's and Asda and seeing all of these things that we don't have in Australia. Big Ben was actually under construction last time I was there, so I am excited to go back now and see it in all of its scaffolding-free glory.


Latisha Clark, Digital Content Creator 
Country of Residence: Australia

What are you most looking forward to on your visit to Britain with Contiki?

I’m most looking forward to visiting Britain for the first time! I’m also excited to make new friends and have new experiences. I have always wanted to do a Contiki tour as well, so I’m excited to finally experience one and can’t think of a better way to explore Britain on my first trip to the UK.

How have your travel experiences around the world shaped your self-expression?

Travelling to different countries and experiencing different cultures has definitely helped me understand that no matter where we are from, we are all still people and are all connected. There are people just like me all over the world and I feel that understanding this has made it easier to express myself.


Looking for more inspiration?

Whether you’re exploring our vibrant queer history, or planning a big night out under a disco ball, discovering drag nights, buzzing bars and an irrepressible Pride splashed across the nation there’s loads of LGBTQIA+ experiences to uncover across Britain.

Check out our city guides for more tips: 

Explore Britain with Contiki here:

For more information contact:

Amelia Robertson