Updated: Mar 12, 2021
Manchester is a welcoming and cosmopolitan city in Northern England, and home to a thriving LGBT+ scene that is well known across the world. Manchester’s Gay Village is the beating heart of the LGBT+ community; made famous by the hugely popular original Queer as Folk TV series, the area continues to be packed with thousands of revellers every weekend. There’s something for everyone in Manchester regardless of sexuality and plenty to explore beyond the confines of Canal Street, with a year-round calendar of events that always provide a reason to visit.
1. The Village
A beacon of celebration in the city, the Village is a welcoming community of bars, nightclubs, restaurants and businesses open to all. Centred around Canal Street, you can expect to find a flourishing queer scene with entertainment on any night of the week.
2. Alternative queer clubbing
Whilst the Village is the undisputed centre of Manchester’s LGBTQ+ life, a thriving alternative club scene occupies safe spaces at nights like Kiss Me Again, Bollox, Pop Curious? and Homoelectric, and at venues such as Hidden and The White Hotel.
3. Manchester Pride
Held every August Bank Holiday Weekend, Manchester Pride is a four-day celebration featuring a festival-style programme of music with further events in and around the Gay Village including the famous parade, Youth Pride, Superbia and the poignant candlelit vigil.
4. Greater Manchester Pride events
For an intimate way to celebrate pride season, the individual boroughs across Greater Manchester host fantastic community events. From Salford’s The Pink Picnic held in Peel Park to events in towns like Bolton and Wigan. Manchester also hosts The Sparkle Weekend, the world’s largest free-to-attend celebration of gender diversity.
5. LGBTQ+ art and culture
Contact theatre’s Queer Contact and Hope Mill Theatre’s Turn On Fest are just two annual festivals dedicated to LGBTQ+ arts and performance, whilst the year-round programmes at spots like HOME and 53two feature plenty of queer culture.
6. Sport groups
As a major sporting city, it’s no surprise there’s a welcoming LGBTQ+ group for almost any sport you can think of. From the Rainy City roller derby club and Manchester Frontrunners, to the Village Spartan rugby club and GHAP badminton.
Where to stay
A former cotton mill and now design-led boutique, Whitworth Locke is perched at the end of Manchester’s famous LGBT+ nightlife strip, Canal Street, offering rooms at affordable rates.
Or, for luxury rooms, and Victorian architecture just a short 5-minute walk from the Village, you’ll find Kimpton Clocktower offers a touch of the unexpected.
And, for aparthotel lovers, Native Manchester sits within a renovated warehouse and was named The Sunday Times’ Best Hotel in the North of England 2019.
About Canal St.
Welcome to the World Famous Canal Street Manchester, home of the original 'Queer as Folk'. It is recognized as the UK's LGBT center, outside of London. The Gay Village is home to many annual events, such as Sparkle the Trans Festival, the Bears Bash and The Skins Weekend. The regions thriving lesbian community is also centered in the Gay Village, with established venues like Vanilla serving the Women's scene. Manchester Pride, the UK's most successful Annual Pride event, with tens of thousands attending the celebrations. Manchester's LGBT Sports and social groups are a major feature of daily life regularly attracting visitors from all over the World. Non-LGBT individuals are also welcome. Respect should be shown at all times. Canal St looks forward to welcoming you all!