Gay bars in London

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Discover the best gay-friendly bars and pubs in London

London's gay scene is bigger and more diverse than anywhere in the world. Here's a comprehensive list of the capital's gay and gay-friendly bars and pubs, including those predominantly for lesbians.

Think we've missed a great gay bar in London? Let us know in the comment box below.

Gay bars in central London

  • Admiral Duncan

    54 Old Compton Street, Soho, W1D 4UB

    A triumph of brash fun over basic flirting, this Soho stalwart attracts party-oriented punters to its one-room bar in the middle of Old Compton Street...
    Read Admiral Duncan review

  • Compton's of Soho

    53 Old Compton St, W1V 5PN

    Long before Soho became known as the gay village, long before the Village Bar or the Admiral Duncan or Balans or even Clone Zone, there was Compton's...
    Read Compton's of Soho review

  • The Edge

    11 Soho Square, Soho, W1D 3QE

    A bustling ‘polysexual’ bar spread over four floors, with great views of Soho Square. Food is served on the ground floor during the day. Upstairs is a lounge bar, above that the...
    Read The Edge review

  • Escape Bar

    10a Brewer St, London, W1F 0SE

    An intimate gay dance bar, with a large video screen that plays music videos, and a mixed crowd who mingle happily. Pam Ann used to perform here, back in the days before she went...
    Read Escape Bar review

  • Freedom

    60-66 Wardour St, London, W1F 0TA

    A glitzy cocktail lounge and DJ bar, spread over two floors. Once associated with Marc Almond and entourage, Freedom has been through various incarnations, some more...
    Read Freedom review

  • G-A-Y Bar

    30 Old Compton Street, W1D 4UR

    Jeremy Joseph’s G-A-Y Bar has everything you’d expect: cheap drinks offers, a young crowd and plenty of Kylie. It’s spread out over three floors, and is always busy. Some love it, others love...
    Read G-A-Y Bar review

  • Halfway To Heaven

    7 Duncannon St, WC2N 4JF

    A traditional gay boozer, situated halfway between gay Soho and Heaven, hence the name. For a change from the central London scene, bone up on your trivia for the Wednesday pub quiz or try...
    Read Halfway To Heaven review

  • King's Arms

    23 Poland St, W1F 8QJ

    This busy bears’ pub has been around forever, and attracts a loyal crowd of stocky, hairy, beardy men who like a pint. The aesthetic is traditional and cosy: you could be in a country...
    Read King's Arms review

  • Ku

    30 Lisle Street, WC2H 7BA

    Voted London’s best central gay bar by the readers of Boyz and Pink Paper, Ku must be doing something right. Formerly known as West Central, it has morphed from a mediocre...
    Read Ku review

  • Profile

    84-86 Wardour St, W1F 0TQ

    Brought to you by the people behind the Gaydar website, Profile is surprisingly sex-free. Originally a three-storey DJ bar on Frith Street, it has got a new address and a brand...
    Read Profile review

  • Quebec

    12 Old Quebec St, W1H 7AF

    London’s oldest gay pub is a busy, down-to-earth West End boozer with a quiet, comfortable main area and disco downstairs. The Quebec is sometimes referred to as the...
    Read Quebec review

  • Retro Bar

    2 George Court, Trafalgar Square, WC2N 6HH

    Tucked away down a little alley, the Retro is one of gay London’s secret gems, a small mixed indie bar where eccentrics are welcomed. The music mixes ’70s, ’80s, New...
    Read Retro review

  • Rupert Street

    50 Rupert Street, Soho, W1D 6DR

    If your idea of gay life was shaped by TV’s 'Queer as Folk', then Rupert Street is the bar for you. It’s a little bit of Manchester’s Canal Street in the heart of London’s Soho...
    Read Rupert Street review

  • 79 CXR

    79 Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0NE

    A busy late-night gay men’s booze and cruise bar, also known as ‘Chest X Ray’ or the ‘Last Chance Saloon’. Sooner or later, everybody ends up here. The customers are slightly...
    Read 79 CXR review

  • Shadow Lounge

    5-7 Brewer St, W1F 0RF

    The original lounge bar and gay members’ club has had a bit of a facelift; it’s still a hit with bona fide celebrities and gay wannabes alike (Cilla Black once pole-danced here with...
    Read Shadow Lounge review

  • Vault 139

    139b-143 Whitfield Street, W1T 5EN

    Just north of Soho, hidden away on a quiet back street – aren’t all sex bars? – Vault 139 is London’s most central knocking shop. As sex clubs go, Vault 139 is classier than...
    Read Vault 139 review

  • Village Soho

    81 Wardour St, Soho, W1D 6QD

    A trendy boys’ bar on three floors, the Village was the first venue of its kind to open in Soho, back in 1991. Popular for many years, it fell out of favour and into disrepair at the dawn...
    Read Village Soho review

  • Yard

    57 Rupert Street, Soho, W1D 7PL

    A gay men’s bar with a spacious courtyard, a loft bar upstairs and food on the menu. The Yard is popular in the summer, when the courtyard comes into its own; it buzzes with a...
    Read Yard review



Users say

8 comments
peter spirko
peter spirko

Hey guys I think you've missed The Bridge Clapham Wine Bar in Clapham North.Seems like not many gay ppl know about it and it's open like for 7 month now...Thank you

shirley
shirley

The FORT has been closed for a year-it needs deleting

Ben
Ben

Hi All. Visiting London for a week or so in December. Been a long time since I last frequented London bars. Can anyone point me in the direction of a place with a good friendly crowd for a great night out. Thanks Ben

Dogbrook
Dogbrook

Just to let you know The Fort (SE1) has shut its doors for good.

Rob
Rob

Hi all, can anyone help,not been out in any gay bars for years,the odd pint in half way to heaven before we head to china town,also we are a couple in our 40's and my partner has been ill for a while,but on the mend,anyway I have a very big busty fun loving neice in her late 30's with her husband coming to visit and we are at a loss as to where to take them,after soo long away from the scene can anyone reccomend any bars that do a drag act on saturday night,and not too prissy,bars for the older crowd would be great as if your over 30 you've had it and over 40 well most young gay guy's think you should not be out..lol..all reccomendations most welcome,thankyou.

Steve
Steve

Hi Guys. Its not listed here but the Windsor Castle on the cross roads of Bath Road and Wellington Road North in Hounslow is a fantastic, friendly pub with a lively atmosphere. Monday Quiz night, Tuesday Amateur strip Contest, Wednesday is Chill out night, Thursdays Cookies Karaoke, Friday & Saturday are disco and cabaret nights and Sunday is Karaoke. Hope to see you there soon.

Richie
Richie

That's a good idea Rowena, at least then if a tourist is visiting London for a full on gay night they won't waste their time in a bar full of hen nights! At least you're prepared to admit that your clientelle is mixed though, unlike some venues I've been to that pretend to be gay for the sake of attracting them few extra customers. One other comment I've got is that 'gay friendly' is a bit 1980's, maybe 'gay frequented' would be better suited to this millenium?

Rowena Smith
Rowena Smith

Someone should come up with stickers for pub/bar windows like one for if it is an actual gay bar and another for if it's a gay friendly bar. As a pub owner I would welcome a sticker I could put on my window to say that we are gay friendly.