London Journals

"Wilde about Oscar" - Gay and Lesbian London

Best of IgoUgo

A travel journal to London by actonsteve

Old Compton Street Photo, London, England More Photos
Quote: London has a buzzing gay scene that goes on 24 hours a day! It now has 150 gay venues and an estimated population of half a million gay men and lesbians. So come join the party! You will soon learn that the queen doesn't just dwell in Buckingham Palace!

"Wilde about Oscar" - Gay and Lesbian London

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

The entrance into Soho from the Charing Cross Road Photo, London, England
Quote:
Oscar Wilde, Ian McKellern, Edward the Confessor, Dirke Bogarde, Dusty Springfield, King James I, John Geilgud, Edward II, Virginia Woolf, Noel Coward, Gordon of Khartoum, Kenneth Williams, Somerset Maugham, Laurence of Arabia, William II, Boy George, Quentin Crisp, Piers Galveston, The Emporer Hadrian, George Michael, Christopher Marlowe, Richard the Lionheart and Elton John. What have the above got in common? They are all gay Londoners....Quick Tips: London can now confidently claim to be the gay capital of Europe. It now beats Amsterdam and Berlin in gay population and number of venues and the annual gay and lesbian pride march now attracts over 200,000 people. It can confidentl...Read More

Balans

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Balans - alfresco food with style"

Quote:
Probably the most famous gay restaurant in London and one that doesn't cater for exclusively gay clientele. Balans now has three branches with the most famous down Old Compton Street, but also down the Brompton Road in Earls Court and Kensington High Street. One of the reasons for its fame is that it is almost open around the clock from 8.00am to 6.00am. So if you can't be bothered to hit the clubs after the pubs shut, come here, pull up a table and order a beer. Of course like most Soho places it is very pretentious with waiters who look like models and the interior is decorated with marble statues and modernist art. It opens out onto Old Compton Street where you can get a pavement table and wa...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 1, 2001

Balans
239 Brompton Road
London, England SW3
+44 20 7584 0070

Quote:
I still think the best pubs and clubs are off the tourist trail and outside the city centre. The two featured below are very enjoyable pubs with friendly atmospheres both in deepest north London. North London is much more trendy than other parts of the city and has a massive gay population. Get there before they are discovered. The William IV, Hampstead High Street (normal pub hours, 12.00pm to 11.30pm) The 'Willy' as it is affectionately known (I wonder why?) doesn't belong in north London but in a far off English county. Hampstead has a rural feel and this pub is so rustic looking that you expect farmers with muddy boots to step over the threshold. To reach it take the northern line ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 4, 2001

North London: The William IV and the Black Cap
Hampstead High Street and Camden High Street
London, England

Old Compton Street

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Central London: The Old Compton Street experience"

Old Compton Street Photo, London, England
Quote:
There are over 40 gay bars and pubs now in central London. Most are grouped around the energetic, bubbly Old Compton Street in Soho. Gay Londoners usually meet in Soho for a night out. I think some of the best venues are actually beyond the Circle line but as the city is so massive it is often easier to come into the centre to meet up for a drink. It also is one of the few parts of London with 24 hour nightlife and I shall be telling of the best places to go. The cafes down Old Compton Street itself are open all hours and cater for the after-clubbers and some of the restaurants have very late licences allowing you to sit outside and watch the show. To reach it the nearest tube stations ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 2, 2001

Old Compton Street
Old Compton Street
London, England

Heaven Nightclub

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "The superclubs - Heaven, The Fridge and G.A.Y."

Quote:
London's gay clubs are colossal and attract about 100,000 people each weekend. The big three are Heaven, The Fridge and G.A.Y.(Good as You)and each visitor to London should experience at least one. They are very addictive and you may find yourself scanning the press to find out which one outdoes the other on one particular week. Heaven Heaven is the most famous gay club in London and is still going strong after twenty years. It is situated in the arches under Charing Cross Station, just south of Trafalgar Square. While busy in the week, at the weekend it really takes off and the queues stretch into Villiers Street. Admittence is £12, £8 with a flyer from Kudos or another bar and is ope...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 1, 2001

Heaven Nightclub
The Arches
London, England WC2N 6NG
+44 20 7930 2020

Quote:
"Gor Blimey Gov'nor!", "Lord Strike a light!", "Would you Adam and eve it....?"Are the above phrases gobbledigook or the ancient language of cockney? Or a bit of both? If you really want to get away from the Harrods bags and Hard Rock Cafe souvenirs of tourist London - then head to the famous East End. Home of cockneys, jellied eels and corner pubs you will not get a better feel for the soul of London then this area stretching from the Tower to the Essex border. This is one of the poorest parts of London, but is in no way dangerous, and the people here are more natural and down-to-earth then the showy West End.The old East End of narrow alleys, corner ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 5, 2001

RVT/Royal Vauxhall Tavern

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Alternative Cabaret at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern"

Quote:
London isn't just famous for its beefeaters, bobbies and red telephone boxes it also has a real alternative music heritage. This was the city that spawned punk rock and such groups as the The Smiths and the The Clash. These groups are celebrated at the famous Royal Vauxhall Tavern which is regularly voted by TIME OUT and the music press as one of the best night outs in London. It does not feature in many guidebooks, it is rather a secret, but if you enjoy something different, want a good laugh, and love alternative cabaret - then come here. Or check out its website on www.duckie.co.uk It is situated in South London and is an old music hall situated on Kennington Lane. To get there take the tube ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 8, 2001

RVT/Royal Vauxhall Tavern
372 Kennngton Lane
South London, England

West London: Earls Court and "Bromptons"

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "West London: Earls Court and 'Bromptons'"

Quote:
Earls Court is not my favourite part of London. It's very pretty, full of Victorian houses and terraces but it is a tourist colony and lives now primarily on that trade. As you wander the Earls Court Road you will see every nationality clutching backpacks and suitcases heading off to their cheap hotels - but where are the Londoners? It's like the Khao San Road of Europe. But there are a couple of gay venues in posh West London that are worth a look - including the excellent Bromptons. West London is the wealthiest part of London and full of Victorian and Regency streets. Some of its areas are legendary - Chelsea, Kensington, Holland Park, Shepherds Bush and Notting Hill. The embarassing neighbou...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 8, 2001

West London: Earls Court and "Bromptons"
corner of the Brompton Road and Warwick Road
London, England

Quote:
Brighton has been called the San Francisco of southern England. Not because it has a huge red bridge or cable cars climbing hills but because it has a laid-back tolerant atmosphere welcoming all creeds, sexualities, and lifestyles in its embrace. It is most famous, of course, for being London's beachside playground and thousands of visitors descend from the capital each weekend and along with a huge foreign-language student contingent makes a bubbly international atmosphere. I would recommend it just to view one of the most unusual buildings in Europe - the Royal Pavilion. Which looks like someone built Moghul Indian palace in the middle of town. But most people are here to have a good time and with i...Read More
Quote:
I bet you have never thought of having a holiday in Manchester? Well, you would be missing something - it's an extraordinary city. Of all the cities in Britain that have pulled themselves up by their bootstraps (and thats going against much-applauded renaissances in Glasgow, Leeds, and Cardiff)- Manchester has to be the most successful. It makes a fantastic base for touring Liverpool, north Wales, Chester, the Peak and Lake District and even the Yorkshire moors. And you can come back after all that quaint scenery and hit some of the best nightlife in Europe. It's where the groundbreaking drama "Queer as Folk" was set and the "gay village" is now massive and is based around Canal Street and its trendy ...Read More