Upfest Graffiti & Street Art Festival, Bristol

LGBTQI+ guide to Bristol

Home to stylish hotels, famous street art, lively bars, and the largest free Pride in the UK, Bristol is a dream destination for LGBTQI+ travellers. The city’s vibrant scene focuses on two main areas, the Old Market – one of the oldest parts of the city – and the buzzing West End gay village. Explore our guide to this welcoming south-western city for the lowdown of the best neighbourhoods, hotels and events.

Although restrictions are in place for now, here’s what you can look forward to once we’re all able to travel again…

DAYTIME DIVERSIONS

Stop by the LGBTQI+ friendly Phoenix pub for an afternoon drink or some hearty pub grub. From Sunday roasts to tempting vegetarian options with a side of homemade onion rings, the Phoenix offers a slice of British pub culture in a chic and welcoming environment, whether on the terrace beer garden or its stylish interior.

In addition to its lively nightlife, Bristol is home to a significant piece of LGBTQI+ history, as physician Laurence Michael Dillon, born Laura Maud Dillon, made the city his home in 1939. Thought to be one of the world’s first trans men to receive testosterone hormone therapy and the very first to receive phalloplasty, Dillon also wrote a pioneering document regarding the medical treatment of trans patients, bravely paving the way for the community.

 

OUT AND ABOUT

Old Market has been declared Bristol's main 'Gay Village', and most of the pubs and bars on West Street are gay-run or LGBTQI+ friendly. Looking for a relaxed spot where you can enjoy traditional British fare and a local brew? Head to Old Market Tavern and snag a spot in the outdoor garden. In the mood to mingle? Cruise over to Bristol Bear Bar - one  of the only purpose-built bear bars in the UK - brimming with bears, cubs, and admirers. 

Said to be Bristol’s ‘favourite LGBTQ+ venue’, Queenshilling will draw you in with its dazzlingly illuminated 1920s Art Deco style building and welcoming atmosphere. Once reopened, expect sociable seating, disco lighting and a swanky dance floor complete with podiums and stage!

 

 

STYLISH STAYS

Future Inn

Located a stone’s throw from the Old Market district and directly opposite Bristol’s main shopping hub, the four-star Future Inn offers sleek décor, room service and a moreish breakfast. With 149 rooms, the hotel offers a modern and relaxing spot to unwind in the centre of the city, complete with fluffy robe and slippers!

SACO Bristol West India House

Situated a short stroll from the Old Market district, SACO West India House is an Edwardian building that has been converted into private, serviced studios and apartments, offering guests a cosy homestay experience. Live like a local as you emerge from your historic building straight onto the cobbled streets of the Old City, before exploring Bristol’s romantic harbourside. These self-catering apartments come with majestic period windows, modern décor and fully equipped kitchens.

 

DATES FOR THE DIARY

10 July 2021 | Bristol Pride Day 

Bristol Pride is the largest free Pride in the UK — and it’s also one of the most lively (it’s even got the awards to prove it). Each year brings a fantastic host of activities designed to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, including an amazing line-up of musical artists, family activities, food concessions, bars and more.

 

 

 

 

GETTING HERE

Bristol is one hour and forty-five minutes from London by train. The city is also accessible via Bristol Airport, which is served by flights from a wide variety of International and internal destinations.

Explore our other LGBTQ+ city guides

Birmingham
Brighton
Cardiff
Glasgow
Manchester
London
Newcastle
Edinburgh