Did you know that Princess Diana spent a night clubbing with a gay icon at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern? Or that Highbury Fields hosted the first gay rights protest? Take a tour of the key points in the historic battle for equal rights and the current hot spots that celebrate queer culture.
LGBT landmarks in London
Queer heritage is everywhere in London. Enjoy historical LGBT hotspots across the city
LGBT landmarks in London
Virginia Woolf’s homes
The acclaimed Bloomsbury author – who enjoyed a ten-year affair with Vita Sackville-West – lived in a number of London residencies. You can pay respects to the groundbreaking early-twentieth-century author at her childhood home on 22 Hyde Park Gate or at 29 Fitzroy Square, the house she stayed at while studying; both have plaques in her memory. After her former home at 52 Tavistock Square was damaged in the Blitz, Woolf was also immortalised with a bronze bust.
Alan Turing Statue, Paddington
Essex Road Library
This friendly, welcoming Soho stalwart is one of the area’s oldest gay pubs (it opened in 1832) but it hit national headline in April 1999 when Neo-Nazi David Copeland planted a nailbomb in April 1999, killing three people and wounding 70. This was the worst homophobic attack in Britain. A memorial chandelier hangs within the bar while a plaque sits within nearby St Anne’s Gardens. While the attack is in no way forgotten, people are often drawn to the open door policy, cheesy jukebox and cabaret at the weekends.
Oscar Wilde statue
A few metres from The Strand is a florid interpretation of gay icon and superior wit Oscar Wilde. His location is perfect, just on the edges of theatreland, as in his life he was at once embraced for his literary talents and then ditched as the law caught up with his lifestyle – at the time it was illegal to be gay – and he served two years in prison and spent three years in exile. The only downside is that Wilde does appear to be sinking into the granite but the neat thing about this statue is you have the chance to sit down and face the author, technically you are sort of sitting on his lap.
Withlocals Universal Widget Paris
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