Kemptown, Brighton

LGBTQ+ guide to Brighton

Welcome to Britain’s unofficial gay capital. Claiming the country’s highest proportion of same-sex households, the seaside city is known for its open attitude, vivacious clubbing scene and two day Pride extravaganza.

DAYTIME DIVERSIONS

Large graffiti depicting woman's face on a wall in The North Laines, Brighton, East Sussex.      The labyrinth of alleyways that make up the historic Lanes area are dotted with antique shops, designer
      boutiques and jewellers – making this a recommended place 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 ranked one of the city’s top
      activities on TripAdvisor.

 

OUT & ABOUT

Couple sitting together in Brighton

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 gay 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 scene for more than 21 years – there are theme parties every night, including lesbian-focused Girls on Top.

 

STYLISH STAYS

Couple lying in bed in their hotel room in Brighton

myhotels Brighton

myhotels Brighton is a sexy design hotel with 80 curvaceous 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 gay scene, you can’t get much better than Amsterdam Hotel and Bar. Located in the heart of Kemp Town, this hotel, restaurant, gay bar and sauna is itself a Brighton gay hotspot. The large seafront terrace is a prime hangout during summer afternoons. 

Hudsons

A gay-owned four-star bed & 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. 

 

DATES FOR THE DIARY

Brighton Pride31 July - 2 August - Brighton Pride

One of the biggest Pride festivals in the UK, Brighton Pride attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors in August every year. Now a full weekend affair, the main day sees a huge parade through the city, followed by a massive party in Preston Park with a music stage, dance and cabaret tents. The Pride Village Party keeps the street party going all weekend.

18-21 June - Brighton Bear Weekend

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. 

 

GETTING HERE

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.

Explore our other LGBTQ+ city guides

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Glasgow
London
Manchester
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