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LGBTQ+ Walking Tour of Soho & Central London

Overview

Begin your tour at Trafalgar Square and learn how the Stonewall riots in New York impacted London’s LGBTQ+ community. Hear how people were punished right here for their sexuality back in the 1500s and get an idea both of how much has changed, but also how far we have to go for quality in Britain.

Visit Leicester Square and learn about Molly Houses, or Mollies, to meet other queer men. It comes from the Latin mollis for effeminate. Then walk up towards Chinatown, but keep an eye out on your left to get a glimpse of Piccadilly Circus, another hub of gay life for Londoners where, in the 1960s, the underground bathrooms were the spot to pick up “renters” – male sex workers– and the Circus became known as the “Meat Rack.”

While this version of London’s Chinatown developed in the 1970s, before that, it was a very queer place to be. This street was home to the Flamingo Club, a nightclub which became an icon for British rhythm, blues and jazz. And before it became the Flamingo Club, it started life off as the Shim Sham Club and was one of London’s edgiest hangouts.

Hear about queerness in theatre as we wander down Shaftesbury Avenue and towards Greek Street. Look out for a posh white building on your left with a sign saying Kettner’s. Irish-born writer and poet Oscar Wilde used to dip in for lavish meals and meet young men.

Stop at Soho Square as we hear about London’s various Pride parades and events. Learn about the Trans Rights Parade in 2019 and how the T in LGBTQ+ has really made an impact on Soho in the past few years. A lot of this is thanks to some truly magnificent individuals such as the fabulous Ruby Venezuela, a phenomenal talent who ran her own club, Ruby’s, just down the road from here.

Wander down Old Compton Street as we take a deeper look into London’s pride culture and challenges. Stop by some gay icons, from the club G-A-Y to the cultural gem that is the Colony Room. Visit the Admiral Duncan pub, the site of the infamous “London Nail Bombings”, a terrible terrorist attack involving homemade bombs at three London locations.

Finish your tour at the Village, one of Soho’s original, purpose-built gay venues! It wasn’t a pub before but was opened as a gay bar in 1991.

The Vidi Guides experience is enriched with on-screen photos and videos. We also point out where to take the perfect Instagram photos during the tour, and include recommendations for food, drinks, and local attractions. Don't worry, none of our recommendations are sponsored - they are simply favourites of the locals who helped craft the experience.

Vidi Guides creates immersive audio experiences that sound like podcasts. This is a self-guided audio tour that can be started or stopped at your own convenience. Download the Vidi Guides app & your London LGBTQ+ tour to explore the area independently and safely! Make sure to download your tour before your visit to streamline your trip!

Additional Information

How to access your self-guided tour:
1. You will receive an email from [email protected] with a unique access link
2. Click on your link to download the Vidi Guides app
3. Once you’ve created your account, you will be able to access your tour on your smartphone

Please remember to bring a pair of headphones with you

You are able to cancel at any time providing the code you receive has not been redeemed

Highlights

  • Learn about London's LGBTQ+ history and visit some iconic LGBTQ+ landmarks
  • Discover quirky delights of the neighbourhood as we meet some local legends
  • Enjoy an immersive audio commentary as you explore the neighbourhood at your own pace

What's included

  • Digital audio guide, to be downloaded onto your smartphone before your visit
  • On-screen pictures to enhance your experience
  • Geo-localised map to keep you on the right track
  • Headphones

Know before you go

Please download 'Vidi Guides' from the App Store of your mobile device and enter the code you receive after booking (from email address: [email protected]). Please remember to bring a pair of headphones with you

Cancellation policy

Non refundable

Departure location

Starting point: Trafalgar Square
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