Aside from the established likes of G-A-Y, She Bar and Heaven, there are plenty of other queer spaces dotted around London that are well worth checking out. Here are our top 12.

 

For queer kinking: Joyride

10 essential queer spaces in London
Joyride.

Looking for a safe space to get kinky in an LGBTQ+ space? Joyride is London’s best queer sex party. Held monthly at Elephant and Castle’s best known electronic music club, Corsica Studios, Joyride involves a sweaty dancefloor, a gender-fluid line up and a custom-designed playroom. If you like the basement vibe and want to party with the cool queers, Joyride’s for you. Tickets start at £18.

For the literary gays: Gay’s The Word

10 essential queer spaces in London
Gay’s The Word.

Fancy a wholesome dillydallying day in central? Gay’s The Word is a community book shop selling queer fiction, non-fiction and poetry. They also hold regular events. If you’re searching for specifically queer content to read, this is 100% the place for it. But more than that, Gay’s The World is the UK’s oldest LGBTQ+ bookshop and a welcoming space to place to meet others and simply vibe out.

 

For a lesbian hangout: La Camionera

10 essential queer spaces in London
La Camionera.

After their explosive pop-up opening on Broadway Market back in February, La Camionera have finally opened up shop for good on Well Street, Hackney. It’s bespoke tiles,  it’s pink lights, it’s orange candles, plus it has a lovely outdoor area. It’s open from daytime till late evening serving coffee and wine, complete with a Spanish vibe.  La Camionera really is the lesbian moment- the 2024 hot spot, so if you want to come in the evening, better to book in advance.

Read more on La Camionera.

 

For queer wellness: Bend Movement

10 essential queer spaces in London
Bend Movement.

‘From yoga to running, strength training to dance’, Bend Movement is a great place to get your wellness kick in peace. Fitness spaces can feel surprisingly vulnerable and so this queer only, 80s retro-coded spot is a wonderful place to stretch in safety. They have a variety of classes conveniently situated all over the city, some shoutouts being ‘Queer Salsa’ ‘Hot Girl Boxing’, ‘Trans Masc Strength’ and ‘Queer Yoga’.

 

For a gay extravaganza: Dalston Superstore

10 essential queer spaces in London
Dalston Superstore.

If you’re looking for an ultimate gay night out, you’re better off heading to Dalston than Soho. And wearing the proud crown of all the gay spots on Kingsland Road is of course, the institution that is Dalston Superstore. On the main level is a colourful funky bar serving frozen margs, where on the right night you’ll find drag acts dancing on the bar counter. Below deck is the crowded basement room where people get really down. Other aspects include art events, drag brunches and their ‘bratty little sister bar’ a few doors down, The Karaoke Hole.

 

For wild dyke nights: Sex and Rage

10 essential queer spaces in London
Sex and Rage’s lesbian strip club nights.

Sex and Rage are an organisation led by sex workers, educators and activists with a goal of resisting shame and stigma. Their lesbian strip club nights, usually held at EartH Hackney, have taken the queer party scene by storm. As one of the very few sex-positive lesbian spaces in the city, their night doesn’t disappoint, with a decadent, free-spirited atmosphere hosting a line up of outstanding dancers and champagne served, of course. All of this magic is captured by erotic photographer, Jean Cleverley.

Read the full conversation with Black Venus of Sex and Rage, here.

 

For the Soho homos:  Ku Bar

10 essential queer spaces in London
Ku Bar.

Are you just craving a classic, nostalgic gay Soho night? We’ve got you. Out of all of the more mainstream places to hit up, our favourite is the iconic, pocket-sized 3-story Ku Bar. It’s a little bit more stylish than G-A-Y, with blue-pink lighting and minimalist design, but still unaffected enough for you to end up there at 3am, accidentally hammered, drinking vodka lemonade and snogging a total rando.

 

For edugaytion: Queer Britain

10 essential queer spaces in London
Queer Britain.

 

Hot out of Kings Cross with some time to kill? Forget the British Museum, head to the recently opened Queer Britain.  In their own words you can expect ‘a riot of voices, objects and images from the worlds of activism, art, culture and social history covering over 100 years of queer life.’ They hold workshops and conversations with queer icons and have announced their first evening opening for Pride 2024. As the UK’s first and only LGBTQ+ museum, Queer Britain is definitely worth checking out.

Whilst you’re at it, don’t forget to go to the iconic Bishopgate Institute. Established in 1985, it holds an fascinating collection of LGBTQ+ archives.

 

For legendary cabaret: Royal Vauxhall Tavern

10 essential queer spaces in London
Royal Vauxhall Tavern.

The Royal Vauxhall Tavern is one of those heartwarming establishments where you can feel the love radiating from the walls. Located just South of the river in Kennington, it’s a corner pub known for its famous cabaret shows. It’s intimate and buzzy with historical charm. There’s endlessly entertaining performances, a great sound system and and overall wonderful vibe. If you go once, you’ll go twice.

 

For the caffeine gays: Corner

10 essential queer spaces in London
Corner, featuring LGBTQ+ mural.

In our increasingly sober society, queer nights are no longer cutting it for many. Corner in New Cross is an LGTBQ+ led  coffee shop complete with original floorboards and artisan toasties. Not to mention their outdoor area with sun loungers. It doubles up as a creative space and holds ‘Corner After Hours’ for those who do prefer a date night vibe. This charming coffee shop is the South London queer scene’s answer to a daytime hang where you can meet others in the community.

 

Featured image: Courtney Frisby for Dalston Superstore.

Read more on queer:

On queer erotic photography: Imogen Cleverley

On gay sacred sexuality coaching: Andreas Embodiment

 

Culture
events
queer
Iso

Iso

Author

Iso is a writer and filmmaker based in East London. She is passionate about all things erotic and leads a sexy, shame-free life in hope that she can inspire others to do the same. Originally from a Northern seaside town, she is naturally drawn to the best things in life: candyfloss, trashy karaoke bars and heart-shaped sunglasses.


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