Experience Transat

Brighton’s Pride: An LGBTQ Visitor’s Guide to the City

Share the article

Dive into the colorful and vibrant world of Brighton, a seaside resort town that’s a rainbow-striped beacon for the LGBTQ community. Known for its inclusive and vibrant atmosphere, Brighton is more than just a getaway; it’s a transformation, a place where you can truly come as you are and leave a little different – more open, more connected, more you.

Which UK city has the highest LGBTQ population? Brighton!

Brighton’s evolution into an LGBTQ haven has deep historical roots dating back to the early 19th century. First attracting attention during the Napoleonic Wars due to the influx of soldiers, Brighton emerged as a discreet sanctuary for gay men seeking companionship away from the scrutiny of society.

Throughout the 19th century and into the early 20th century, its ease of access from London made it a favored clandestine retreat. The 1930s marked an important era in Brighton’s history, with the establishment of many gay and lesbian pubs, which symbolized safe spaces for the community.

After the Second World War, the LGBTQ scene in Brighton began to gain momentum, culminating in the first ever Brighton Pride in 1973. This event was a turning point in the positioning of Brighton as a symbol of acceptance and diversity.

Today, it stands as a beacon of inclusivity, with a significant portion of its population identifying as LGBTQ. It’s estimated that between 11 and 15% of Brighton’s adult population identify as gay/lesbian/bisexual. The 2021 Census showed that this was particularly true in the Kemptown area of the city, where 20.11% of respondents said that they were part of the LGBTQ community. Brighton now has the highest percentage of same-sex households in the UK and the most civil partnership registrations outside London.

The Lanes

Stroll through The Lanes, and you’re not just walking through narrow alleyways; you’re meandering through history, culture, a kaleidoscope of colors and people.

Tucked between the bustling North Laine and the tranquil seafront lies The Lanes, a charming maze-like district. With its winding alleys, secluded squares, and an eclectic mix of shops and cafés, The Lanes invite exploration and leisure. The characterful area offers numerous spots to dine, drink, and take in the pulse of the city.

It dates back to the late 16th Century when Brighton was known as the quaint fishing town of Brighthelmstone. And indeed, the ‘twittens’ as the locals call it, echo a sense of history that permeates this unique part of the city.

Spanning from East Street to Ship Street and reaching North Street, The Lanes burst into vibrant life during the summer. This is when numerous restaurants spill out into the open, offering relaxed alfresco dining, and the streets resonate with the melodies of live music from buskers, creating a lively and inviting atmosphere.

Is Brighton LGBT friendly? Experience the Brighton Pride to find out!

Brighton Pride is the largest Pride event in the UK, celebrated at the start of August and attracting as many as 450,000 people. Brighton Pride is the jewel in the city’s glittering crown!

It’s not just a parade or a festival; it’s a vibrant celebration of love, freedom, and self-expression… whatever the weather!

In addition to the traditional and much-awaited community Parade, festivities include live shows at Pride in the Park from headlining acts such as Kylie Minogue, the Pet Shop Boys, the Black Eyed Peas and Britney Spears. Elsewhere in Brighton visitors will find the Pride Village Party in Kemptown, a film festival, a dog show (!), and numerous community activities to bring awareness to issues affecting LGBTQ people.

All throughout the city, live performances and cabaret, DJs, drag artists, singers, performers, musicians come together for an unforgettable weekend of fundraising celebrations for numerous Brighton LGBTQ charities.

Kemptown

Kemptown stands as the vibrant core of Brighton’s LGBTQ community, yet with a tight-knit village feel. It stretches from east of the city centre to Brighton Marina.

More than just a neighborhood, it’s a dynamic hub alive with a diverse array of bars, clubs, and shops. All along St. James Street and St. George’s Road, Kemptown offers a unique experience where visitors and locals alike can immerse themselves in an environment of acceptance and celebration. Here, the night comes alive with numerous nightclub, drag performances, and other fun and festive events.

The 2 best Brighton LGBTQ bars

guide voyage LGBTQ à Brighton - Brighton LGBTQ travel guide

Brighton offers a multitude of iconic LGBTQ+ venues and gay-friendly bars, but two stand out for their unique atmosphere and welcoming vibe. Whether you’re looking for a relaxed evening or a night filled with dancing, drag queen performances, trivia quizzes or live music, these bars offer something for everyone.

Brighton Beach

Brighton Beach, with its distinctive pebble shores, offers more than a traditional England seaside experience. It’s a place where individuals from all walks of life gather, creating a sense of community and shared joy.

The beach becomes a canvas for forming lasting connections, sharing laughter, and celebrating life in all its forms. It’s not just about enjoying the sun and sea; it’s about being part of a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere, where moments become treasured memories.

LGBTQ walking tour Brighton: the Piers & Queers tour

visites LGBTQ tours in Brighton

This engaging 90-minute journey delves into 200 years of Brighton’s history through the lens of the LGBTQ community. The tour highlights the lives of lesser-known heroes and pioneering individuals, weaving their stories into the fabric of the city’s celebrated landmarks and lesser-known nooks. Celebrating Brighton’s rich LGBTQ heritage, the tour balances enlightening historical insights with quirky anecdotes and a light-hearted tone. Expertly led by a professionally-qualified Blue Badge tourist guide, this tour offers a unique and memorable perspective on the city’s vibrant and diverse history.

Where to stay in Brighton: Doubletree by Hilton Brighton Metropole

guide voyage LGBTQ à Brighton - Brighton LGBTQ travel guide

Experience a blend of modern luxury and Victorian charm at the Doubletree by Hilton Brighton Metropole. Established in 1890 and majestically situated on the Brighton seafront, this hotel offers contemporary rooms and amenities, complemented by its timeless elegance. As you wander through the hotel, the original architectural elements, such as the 130-year-old marble staircase and the ornate iron balconies, add to its enchanting character.

It’s an ideal location to immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and diversity that Brighton is renowned for.

The comments and contributions expressed are assumed only by the author. The recommendations, intentions or opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Transat AT Inc. or its affiliates. See terms of use of the Air Transat website.

You may also like

London has an undeniable allure. Here’s a list of places to see the city from every angle.
See how to visit Downton Abbey, aka Highclere Castle, where most of the series was filmed as a day trip from London.
Idyllic English market towns, peaceful seashores or cities with a medieval heritage, it’s all possible – and all within two hours of London’s main train stations.
Out of the almost 500 UNESCO sites in Europe, here are 12 that, according to us, must be seen in a lifetime.

Travel with Air Transat