The ten best gay clubs in London

Party in the capital with our guide to London’s best gay and lesbian clubs and LGBT nightlife
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It's true: London's LGBT nightlife is still some of the the best that the capital has to offer. From searching for gay bars or hunting around Soho, you're bound to find somewhere that ticks all your boxes. And then there's those late-night antics that might make you miss the last train. 

Whether you want to throw some shapes to Britney and Beyoncé, lip-sync with drag queens in what used to be a strip club or fist-pump the night away in a leather harness under the railway arches, you really can go out and stay out when it comes to London's LGBT clubs. Here are our picks of the top ten gay and lesbian clubs in London – and be sure to check out our guide to LGBT London, too.

The best LGBT clubs in London

1
Clubs

Dalston Superstore

icon-location-pin Stoke Newington

By day, this East End favourite plates up brunch and burgers; by night, it’s London’s best pansexual party spot. The upstairs bar is fun for a warm-up drink, but the basement is where the club action happens. Regular nights include Uncontrollable Urge (eccentric electro on Wednesdays) and SorryNotSorry Sundays (a monthly helping of ‘unapologetic pop’). It’s all very trendy but everyone is welcome: don’t be surprised to see drag queens rubbing shoulders with off-duty dads from nearby Stoke Newington.

2
VFD
Nightlife, Nightlife venues

VFD

icon-location-pin Shacklewell

Formerly (and still commonly) known as Vogue Fabrics, this bijou Dalston basement hosts drag and spoken word events as well as genre-spanning club nights and parties. As its name suggests, it attracts a creative and fashion-conscious LGBT crowd who love to dress up (though no one will really care if you rock up in sneakers and a polo top). VFD has the chutzpah to host club nights with names like Cuntmafia and Sassitude, but never takes itself too seriously. After all, the venue’s most famous feature is the massive penis mural in the loos.

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3
Nightlife

Sedition

icon-location-pin Hoxton

Tucked away under a Turkish supermarket near Old Street, you’ll find this deliciously dingy disco basement. Sedition, formerly known as East Bloc, is compact yet filled with intrigue as you slink from one grotto-like room to the next. The music jumps from night to night (think more underground dance music than Top 40), but it generally attracts a varied crowd including beardy homo hipsters, edgy East End drag queens and trendy gay girls with asymmetric haircuts.

4
EagleLondon-images-stagestud.jpg
Bars and pubs

Eagle London

icon-location-pin Vauxhall

This Vauxhall institution has recently had a facelift to rival Sharon Osbourne’s. Out went the licence permitting sexual activity on the premises and in came the trendy decor inspired by New York’s Meatpacking District. Eagle’s large horseshoe bar still attracts many an older, burlier gay gent, but the overall ambience now feels slick and sexy rather than, well, slightly sleazy. On Sunday nights, the dancefloor welcomes a younger and more fashion-conscious crowd for Horse Meat Disco, one of London’s very best club nights. Debbie, a monthly Saturday night party which only plays songs by female artists, is also worth seeking out.

Venue says Aug 14-18: Madonna Celebration! A week of special events and parties to celebrate the Queen of Pop's birthday!

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5
Nightlife, Clubs

XXL

icon-location-pin Southwark

Held every Saturday in a huge cavernous space near London Bridge, XXL is the UK’s biggest bear night. It’s a men-only affair, but you don’t have to be hench ’n’ hairy to have fun: the crowd is friendly and anyone who enjoys whipping his top off on the dancefloor will feel at home. XXL is so popular that it regularly attracts up to 2,000 punters. Most will be found dancing to house remixes in the main area; others will slope off to explore the (in)famous dark room. 

6
New_Heaven_.jpg
© Piers Allardyce
Clubs

Heaven

icon-location-pin Charing Cross

When it opened in 1979, Heaven was revolutionary. London’s first gay superclub, it was the birthplace of Hi-NRG and acid house, and a magnet for queer celebrities. Nearly four decades later, Heaven is no longer cutting-edge, but still offers the UK’s most famous gay night out. On Thursdays it hosts the G-A-Y Porn Idol amateur strip contest, Fridays is filled with ’80s and ’90s cheese at G-A-Y Camp Attack, and Saturdays are reserved for the main G-A-Y club night, often featuring pop star PAs. Tourists and the younger crowd love it, and just about every LGBT Londoner has danced the night away here at least once.

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7
Ku Bar & Club, 2012
© Heloise Bergman
Nightlife, Cabaret and burlesque

Ku Bar & Club

icon-location-pin Chinatown

Occupying a prominent spot on Soho’s Chinatown fringes, this large LGBT venue is regularly voted London’s best. The ground floor offers a bright and modern bar space with video screens playing chart hits; downstairs is a clubbier room where fresh-faced types of all genders dance to pop and EDM. Now called Ku Klub, it has its own side entrance and opens its doors from 10pm until 3am every day. Be prepared to queue for entry on Friday and Saturday nights, safe in the knowledge you’ll be greeted inside by some of London’s best-looking bar staff.

8

The WayOut Club

London’s best-known trans night has changed venues a few times, but it now takes place every Saturday under a railway arch near Tower Hill tube. It’s open to everyone at the T end of the LGBT spectrum, plus their friends and admirers, and attracts a loyal crowd of friendly regulars. The capital’s nightlife has more options for the trans community now than when WayOut began in 1993, but this night endures because it’s so warm and inclusive; there’s even a changing area for punters who don’t want to travel in drag. 

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9
Savage
Jean Goldsmith
Nightlife, Adult

Savage

icon-location-pin Bethnal Green

The weekly little sister of 'genderfuck army' Sink The Pink, London's coolest club collective, Savage has become one of the East End's most celebrated parties. Taking over Bethnal Green strip club Metropolis on a Friday and Saturday, it's the place you come to slut-drop to bangers until 5am. Spread across multiple floors, you'll find stripper poles, sand (yep) and now a new basement. The crowd is as queer as it comes, with representation from every corner of the LGBT community, and the music is pounding, which when you're sliding down a pole after a doing a sambuca shot is no bad thing. 

10
Royal Vauxhall Tavern003.jpg
© Jonas Rodin
Nightlife, Clubs

Duckie

icon-location-pin Vauxhall

There’s a reason why Duckie has been running on Saturdays at the RVT for over 21 years: it’s an absolute blast. Host Amy Lamé – who’s now London’s Night Czar, too – introduces performers who run the gamut from legendary to terrible: you could see tap-dancers or a drag queen, or you could end up watching a heterosexual couple from Essex having a bust-up on stage. In between and after the turns, DJ duo the Readers Wifes drop a hard-to-describe mix of Britpop, disco and leftfield chart hits from Bowie to Britney. Whatever your gender and sexuality, Duckie is a must-try; the only real rule is no whipping off your top like you’re at XXL.

Looking for a bar?

Nightlife, Nightlife venues

Tape London

icon-location-pin Mayfair

A nightclub, recording studio and private members lounge in Hanover Square.

Venue says Mention Time Out when booking for an exclusive discount!

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