Edinburgh Gay and Lesbian Scene
(Edinburgh, Scotland, UK)
Edinburgh is home to a thriving, vibrant gay and lesbian scene, which has grown and developed greatly over the past couple of decades and has easily become the largest in Scotland.
Much of the action in the city takes place within its famous 'Pink Triangle', which is to be found around Broughton Street and Princes Street, in the New Town area and around Hurst Street, on the south side of the city. This neighborhood is now known as Edinburgh's Gay Village and boasts a series of fun, lively and enticing bars and nightspots.
Edinburgh is widely considered to be one of the top LGBT destinations in the United Kingdom and Scotland's capital city is becoming a popular place for gay wedding commitment ceremonies and blessings. The largest and most popular gay bar in Edinburgh is CC Blooms, which is located in Greenside Place, close to the city centre. A recent major refurbishment program has seem CC Blooms transformed into a stylish bar by day, with an undeniable club feel when night-time comes along and its team of DJs spring into action. Outrageous entertainment is often on offer in the upstairs bar area, along with an extensive cocktail menu. Opening hours are currently Monday to Saturday, 11:00 to 03:00, and on Sundays, between 12:30 and 03:00.
Other popular gay bars and nightspots in Edinburgh include the Elbow on East Claremont Street, GHQ on Picardy Place and Frenchies Bar on Rose Street Lane North, which is actually the oldest gay bar in the whole of Edinburgh and first opened in the early 1960s. A basement disco area is on offer at the New Town Bar on Dublin Street, while at Planet on Baxter's Place, weekend DJs and regular drinks promotions draw in the punters.
Close to the Royal Terrace Gardens, the Regent Bar on Montrose Terrace is the proud winner of Edinburgh's gay real ale pub award. Here, the real ale and hearty fare is a big part of the overall appeal, as well as the traditional public house character.
Of note, there are also a number of saunas that are distributed around the city, with Steamworks Edinburgh at Broughton Market, within the Gay Village, rating itself amongst the best, although Number 18 on Albert Place certainly gives it a good run for its money.
Gay Pride Festival
Address: Broughton Street, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 131 556 4049
The highlight of the gay and lesbian year in Edinburgh is the Pride Scotia festival, which has its origins in 1995 and was previously named Pride Scotland until 2004. Thousands now attend these free festivities each year, which include a parade through the city centre, Mardi Gras-style parties, concerts in Preston Park, a funfair, cabaret acts, street entertainment and blessing ceremonies.
The Pride Awards ceremony is a particular highlight for many and acknowledges the work and achievements over the previous 12 months, such as activism, culture, art and entertainment.