The Best LGBTQ Bars to Visit in London

Old Compton Street is the central hub of London's LGBT community, home to venues like the Admiral Duncan pub
Old Compton Street is the central hub of London's LGBT community, home to venues like the Admiral Duncan pub | © Paul Lawrenson / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Nicholas Atkins
20 May 2021

It’s Pride season, which means it’s time to party! The UK capital is full of incredible places to let loose, and when you pair that fact with the rich history of London’s LGBTQ community, you get a wide variety of bars, pubs and clubs that welcome anyone and everyone to celebrate their pride.

Admiral Duncan

Bar, Gay Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
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London UK. 14th June 2016 Admiral Duncan pub shows solidarity with Orlando shooting victims. ©Michael Tubi/ Alamy Live
© Michael Tubi / Alamy Stock Photo
In the heart of Soho, this world-famous, one-room bar has been an LGBTQ hub for decades. In fact, it’s one of the oldest gay bars in London. You’re bound to run into some local character here, especially on Saturday nights, when the place is packed out for their pop music parties.

Bar Soho

Bar, Cocktails, $$$
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Bar Soho, Old Compton Street, Soho, London, UK
Bar Soho | © Fotomaton / Alamy Stock Photo

This one’s got a bit of character. For a funky fusion of antique glam and disco balls, Bar Soho won’t disappoint with its bath-tub sofas, mirrored walls and a drinks list so comprehensive you’ll be exhausted just reading it. Chilled-out during the day, this is a great spot for a bit of people watching and craft cocktail sipping. At night, the dancefloor is full and it’s all about the music until late.


Gay Bar, Pub Grub
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The regular DJ sets keep Circa pumping with dance music until the early hours, so bring your dancing shoes and buckets of energy. Once you’re all danced out, there are comfortable sofas to sink into so you can find your new best friends. Circa is stylish and music-focused, chiefly attracting a youthful male clientele.


Pub, Nightclub, Gay Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
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Comptons pub, Old Compton Street, Soho, London, Britain, UK. Image shot 08/2011. Exact date unknown.
Comptons pub | © Finnbarr Webster / Alamy Stock Photo
The Grand Dame of Old Compton Street is the place for chilled-out pints, with entertainment that varies from cabaret to live sport screenings. This large, Victorian building is one of the oldest LGBTQ venues in the city, integral to London’s gay scene since at least the 1950s. The laid-back pub vibe keeps things chilled; its downstairs horseshoe bar and upstairs lounge attract a largely blokey crowd.

She Soho

Bar, Gay Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
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This one’s primarily for the ladies, although the chaps are welcome to attend with female friends. It’s a rarity to find a place that’s first and foremost aimed at the lesbian community, and the drag king cabaret, burlesque and community socials make this a popular spot for a crazy weekend. She is open until 3am on the last Friday and Saturday of every month.

Dalston Superstore

Gay Bar, Pub Grub, European, $$$
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Party in the Dalston Superstore club in Dalston in Hackey, London.
Dalston Superstore club | © Maciej Dakowicz / Alamy Stock Photo
Cafe by day and club by night, Dalston Superstore is an East London fixture. Music-centred events, beloved drag stars and cabaret nights go hand-in-hand with community causes: local artwork adorns the walls (available for purchase if you’re feeling zesty), LGBTQ charities are championed and weekend brunch quizzes have gained cult status with those-in-the-know. This is the place for cocktails, meeting old friends and making a few new ones along the way.

Freedom Bar

Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
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Freedom Bar
Freedom Bar | Courtesy of Freedom Bar
Dazzle yourself in the downstairs club with mirror balls, dance poles and a cutting-edge sound system, all wrapped in an extravagant layer of velvet. Upstairs you’ll find a laid-back, classy bar serving ice-cold champagne and signature cocktails (don’t miss the pear and ginger infused Bette Davis). Freedom is all about luxurious theatrics; to experience it at its height get down to its cabaret club nights.


Nightclub, Pub Grub
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Head down south to this industrial-style venue set in a railway arch in Vauxhall. State-of-the-art lighting, a roster of the country’s top DJs and a quality programme of house, techno and bass make this multi-roomed dance club a delight to the senses. Cool down on the outdoor terrace after you’ve danced the night away. Keep an eye on the calendar for some of the biggest LGBTQ nights out in London.
These recommendations were updated on May 20, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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