Wuha, pride season starts again! Did you already decide where to celebrate pride this year? Maybe even thinking about exploring Europe on a pride tour? I went on a pride tour last year and had a blast – read about it here). Pride parade in London is definitely a must! London is a highlight in itself and even more special during pride week. I combined the pride parade 2019 with a tour to the most gay city of the UK – Brighton. And as I really love to move around and explore whatever I can, I already visited some other places such as Oxford, the white cliffs and Stonehenge. I am going to share my experiences to give you an impression about celebrating pride in the UK and exploring the country at the same time.
The streets during pride in London are for sure crowded and it is hard to move forward. Around 1.5 million people celebrated pride together in 2019, which makes it to one of the largest gay parades world wide. Everyone is in a great mood, happy, super friendly and open-minded. For the upcoming pride on June 27th 2020 there might be even more party people marching for the rights of LGBT. The streets and trafalgar square look like a rainbow – it is amazing!
Once the parade is over, the party starts in the clubs and on the streets. And not only the pride parade is amazing, but also the colourful decorated city. We were walking around in London for hours to see all the beautiful light installations and ended up in one of the side streets were musicians were playing music on a stage and all the people were dancing on the street.
Where to stay in London
London is quite expensive. I recommend booking a hostel in time as it get fully booked pretty fast. We chosed a random hostel close to the centre and booked a few weeks in advance. The prices go up so quick!
Weather forecast: rain
Somehow it always rains in London. I have never been in London without it rained. And for sure, it rained during pride as well. As pride is in summer, the rain is very welcome and a great refreshing. It takes sunshine and rain to make a rainbow. There would be no rainbows without sunshine and rain – no wonder, it usually rains during pride.
In total, I definitely feel like I missed out somehow. I failed to get in touch with a local and missed the chance to celebrate gay pride in London the way a local would do it. It was still a great party and I look forward to repeat the party. When I attended the pride in Amsterdam (see my post here), I was lucky to met the local Hubert and celebrate with him and his awesome friends. I recommend reaching out on Couchsurfing or texting your friends and former travel mates to make sure to have a long-established resident to show you how to celebrate pride the way locals do it.
Brighton – THE gay city in England
Brighton is such a funny place to be. The city is full of rainbow flags not only during pride week. It has its own special gay street with awesome bars. Even the busses are pimped up. I really felt proud being gay in Brighton.
The Charles street is full of gay bars. We went out for some bar hopping and met the famous drag queen Trixie Mattel. Accidentally, we had the chance to meet her on stage. She is such a great performer and in real live even better than on youtube. Afterwards, we went to the popular Club Revenge for some dancing. Although it is a club for gay and lesbians, there were many straight people as well and a great and open-minded atmosphere.
But not only the LBGT scene in Brighton is stunning. The beach and the Brigthon pier are the perfect place to spend the day, eat fish and chips and wait for the night. The beach is full of stones and you have to watch out for the seagulls when eating your fish – they will try to get the best piece of it.
I really fell for the vibe in Brighton and I recommend stoping by. A city that does not only impress by its beautiful beach and great bars but also by its vibe. Stay for a couple of days as you have an amazing beach, the whitecliffs just around the corner and a lively vibe to fall for. I definitely want to come back to Brighton for gay pride parade next year – this year it is going to be on the 2nd of August 2020! See u there!
White cliffs of Dover
This place is just breath-taking! The perfect place to unwind and breathe fresh air. The Wihte cliffs of Dover are not far from Brighton. You can easily take the bus number 12 straigth to the White cliffs of Dover. It does not take long at all, around half an hour. The chalk stones are white and you can walk along the cliffs for hours. At some point, we found the perfect place to rest on the cliffs and chill out for a while. Although it is a beautiful place in these world, we found a lot of rubbish on our walk along the cliffs. And to say thank you to mother earth, we collected some of the rubbish and brought it to the bins next to the parking lot.
Stongehenge, a place only tourists go. I cannot say that I really enjoyed this trip, also we got a nice picture of Stonehenge. We went here by bus from London and I recommend hiring a car yourself instead of taking a tour or even hitch-hiking up. The stones are interesting but to be honest, I just went here because my friend Kim really wanted to see Stonehenge. It is definitely impressive to see the mystery stone circle built 300 AD. The ride does not take too long (around one hour by car) and if you are into history it will probably be interesting for you.