Brighton has an estimated gay male population of over 25,000: that's about one in five of its men or four kilometres of dick.

Gloriously out of season, OutUK's rampant global rambler Adrian Gillan takes a trip to the UK's gayest resort.

Brighton Beach (c) Visit Brighton
Wanna dance? Revenge (32-34 Old Steine; T: 01273 606 064) claims to be the biggest club in the south of England outside London - not that we want to compare ourselves with that place do we boys? - and plays to a young, mainstream crowd across two floors. Busy every night of the week, but especially Lollipop for cheese on Fridays and Fusion for house Saturdays. Enjoy face-to-face urinals - especially if you're tall!

The Charles Street Tap (Marine Parade; T: 01273 624 091) is a large, funky gay bar with heated outdoor terrace and a nightclub upstairs, serving gourmet pub food until 8pm. They boast an impressive range of craft beers and to keep you amused there's retro video gaming, drag quizzes and award winning DJs.


If you still need to let off steam after all that, or get a bit restless after Sunday lunch, Brighton Oasis Sauna (75-76 Grand Parade; T: 01273 689 966) and The Boiler Room Sauna (86 Denmark Villas Hove; 01273 723 733) just to the west are the largest and most comprehensive 'male health' complexes in town.

Graffiti Art (c) Visit Brighton - Adam Bronkhorst
Brighton has one of the highest concentrations of eateries in the UK. One of our favourite is the humble My Coffee Story (36 St James's Street; T: 07478 718909): In the heart of everything, you can perch and eat yourself silly and healthy for under a fiver - 'friendly' wouldn't begin to describe it.
On a sunny day West Beach between the two piers is the obvious place for the great and beautiful of Brighton to bare all. But more fun by far is the official, male-dominated nudist beach about a ten minute jaunt along the front towards the marina. Surrounded by neck-high pebbles banks, the merest glimmer of sunshine excuses gay men out to strip in force.
West Pier (c) Visit Brighton - Adam Bronkhorst
Just back from said beach are the infamous Duke's Mound bushes. Again, it would take a force ten blizzard to keep Brighton's queer male masses away from this long expanse of foliage: over half admit to regular patronage. All sorts, day or night: Even on a midweek morn, you'll find a mix of horny pensioners back from the post office and randy students offloading between lectures.


So what does Brighton add up to? Gay coastal haven or hellish last resort?
It's true that most gay inhabitants of Brighton arrived from other parts of the UK, not all waiting until retirement. Many younger singles and couples come here to settle, often commuting up to London for work to have the best of both worlds. Most of the rest of Brighton's gay tidal ebb and flow comes from the surroundings Downs each night - from Portsmouth to Rye - or from London on a weekend.

Some claim it is uniquely cosmopolitan amongst British seaside resorts, a kind of London-on-sea with none of your Blackpool tat! Absolutely: if 'cosmopolitan' means generally white and fairly well off, eating out regularly, designer labels and sipping the frothy stuff.

Brighton Pride (c) Visit Brighton
Brighton certainly lacks the sexy, raw buzz of many a manly scene. That said, it does boast a uniquely comfortable, relaxed and heady, salty air and not just in summer. Indeed, it's probably out of season - amid a haunting, quintessentially English backdrop of mile upon mile of aqua-pastel promenade paint and a ghostly, derelict West Pier moored offshore like a washed-up Titanic against the low blinding sun - that G-A-Y truly runs through its soul as through a sticky pink six inch stick of candy rock.

If you haven't been before, don't wait as long as I. And if you have, go take another look.

Brighton is little more than an hour away direct from London Victoria by Southern Rail.


Amsterdam (11-12 Marine Parade; T: 01273 688825; Website)
Brighton Oasis Sauna (75-76 Grand Parade; T: 01273 689 966; Website)
Camelford Arms (Camelford St; T: 01273 622 386; Website)
Legends (31-32 Marine Parade; T: 01273 624 462; Website)
My Coffee Story (36 St James's Street; T: 07478 718909; facebook)
Revenge (32-34 Old Steine; T: 01273 606 064; Website)
The Boiler Room Sauna (86 Denmark Villas Hove; 01273 723 733; Website)
The Bulldog (31 St James's Street Mews; T:01273 684 097)
The Charles Street Tap (8 Marine Parade; T: 01273 624 091; Website)
The Marine Tavern (13 Broad St; T: 01273 681 284)
The Queen's Arms (George Street; T: 01273 696 873; Website)

Revised November 2021.

Brighton Pubs & Bars


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