LGBTQIA+ guide to Manchester
Manchester claims world-famous football teams, a rich cultural heritage and one of the liveliest LGBTQIA+ communities in the UK. Centred around Canal Street, the city’s gay village caters for all tastes, from traditional pubs to intimate clubs. Explore our LGBTQIA+ guide to Manchester for the lowdown on the best neighbourhoods, hotels and events in the city.
Dates for the diary
August is when Manchester’s gay village plays host to one of the biggest dates in the gay calendar: Manchester Pride. This fantastic festival, spans a number of events, such as Manchester Pride Live, Superbia Weekend, the Gay Village Party, Manchester Pride Parade, the Candlelit Vigil, Youth Pride MCR and Family Pride MCR. It’s also the first ever LGBTQIA+ event to voted Best Large Festival at the UK Festival Awards 2022.
Britain’s transgender community comes together to celebrate and shine at Manchester’s Sparkle Weekend and Sparkle Ball. This is the world’s largest free-to-attend celebration of gender diversity, welcoming all members of the transgender community as well as friends and families. Since the initial one-day inaugural event in 2005, it has since expanded into a three-day schedule of culture, music, comedy, film, sport and debate.
Great British Bear Bash
28 April – 1 May 2023
The Great British Bear Bash comes to Manchester’s Gay Village with a weekend full of social events including pool party, cabaret, ‘super-beareoke’, a history of Manchester walking tour and much more.
Get to know Manchester
In the heart of the city’s Gay Village, Richmond Tea Rooms offers a luxurious, Alice in Wonderland-themed afternoon tea experience. Expect fabulous floral displays, an enchanted forest-themed room, a cosy Orangery and a selection of teas from around the world.
Manchester’s Sackville Gardens is home to a memorial celebrating the father of modern computing and World War II code breaking hero, Alan Turing, who carried out his world-defining studies in the city. Turing was an openly gay man who was convicted and punished in the 1950s for his sexuality, receiving an apology from the British Government in 2009 and posthumous royal pardon in 2013. Situated in a park between the University of Manchester and Canal Street, this sculpture is just one way that the city celebrates the achievements of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Out and About
Keen party animals need look no further than Velvet Hotel. One of TripAdvisor’s top-ranked hotels in Manchester, it’s in the middle of the action. The 36 rooms, including three penthouse suites, are individually decorated in an industrial boudoir style, with lavish king-size beds, chandeliers and exposed brick walls.
The Edwardian Manchester
Dating from 1853, Free Trade Hall is a grand colonnaded building revamped as a Radisson Hotel. There are 258 rooms and suites, two restaurants – one of which is found in the relaxing bar, destination spa and oodles of contemporary glamour.
A former warehouse located moments from Canal Street, ABode is a four-star hotel that retains many original Victorian features but gives them a modern British twist. There are 61 bedrooms, the best being the Fabulous On Fifth suites – five loft-style suites featuring stylish décor including work by renowned artists such as David Hockney and Yoko Ono.
Manchester is situated in north-west England, circa 208 miles (335 km) north of London. Trains from London Euston depart for Manchester circa every 20 minutes and take just shy of two-and-a-half hours. Manchester Airport is just over 30 minutes from the city centre and is served by flights from destinations including Australia, Europe and North America.