4 ways to partake in London’s Pride Festival

June 19, 2017 / London

A lot can be said about London’s unparalleled presence on the global stage. London has a long-standing position when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights dating back to 1972 when the first official UK Gay Pride Rally was held. The event has only grown in the decades that have passed, from an estimated 2000 attendees in 1972 to over a million in recent years. Pride in London (or, simply, London Pride) now figures as one of the largest LGBTQ+ celebrations in the world. We’ve put together a guide to help you navigate the numerous festivities taking place this year.

 London Pride Parade and events

1. Pride in London Parade 2017

The Pride in London Parade is the biggest march held for LGBTQ+ rights and acceptance in the UK. The family-friendly parade is expertly organised, with volunteer stewards stationed along the course and the streets blocked off to ensure all attendees have a safe and enjoyable experience as they walk the route starting at Portland Place, down Regent Street, and past several other London landmarks before it disperses into Whitehall.

We encourage that everyone be informed of the road closures and parking restrictions that will be in effect during the Pride in London Parade so that you can plan your celebrations accordingly.  

When: July 8, 1pm-4:30pm

Where: Trafalgar Square

2. London Pride self-defence class

The Ishigaki LGBT jujitsu club will graciously host a self-defence workshop for interested parties, regardless of prior experience, in honour of Pride in London. This primer is a perfect opportunity to glean some basic maneuvers and gain invaluable skills to be put to use. The tenets of jujitsu will be taught in an easy to assimilate fashion by experienced instructors. Registration is required.

When: June 24, 3:30pm-6:30pm

Where: Oasis Sports Centre, 32 Endell Street

3. Run for Rights

Run for Rights brings together runners for a special, community-spirit race that promotes the basic right that all citizens should enjoy, of being accepted and respected. This free of charge event works to educate and raise awareness about the importance of tolerant behavior for all members of society, while also advocating for health and wellness. Register on the event website.

When: June 25, 10:30am-11:30am

Where: 83 Upper Ground

4. Go to a pub or ar celebrating Pride in London

In the festive spirit of the overarching Pride in London celebration, getting to know some of the famous pubs and bars in the LGBT community is a perfect way to enhance your experience in the city. Whether you’re in the mood for a dive bar, a hearty meal at a gastropub, or an authentic bar experience in a trendy neighbourhood, London’s got it all. Our personal favourite is the Retro Bar, which is properly described as one of London’s hidden gems for an indie setting with eclectic music. During the Pride in London period, they will host Let It Rock, which will feature 1950s rock music, 1960s girl groups, and 1970s punk rock.  

When: July 7, 8pm-11pm

Where: Retro Bar, 2 George Ct

Though the Pride in London Parade is the main attraction that draws crowds by the millions, the city puts on a 2-week long celebration with a full program featuring events to suit every taste under the Pride in London Festival umbrella. Our list showcases the main attractions, so you don’t miss out on what is sure to be an exciting time in the streets of London.