Summer’s on the way in the UK, and that means one thing for the LGBT+ community and their allies: Pride events are starting to happen up and down the country. A celebration of diversity, inclusion and visibility, as well as an event to continue the fight for equality, Pride is about giving the community a platform to make their voices heard.

It’s also, of course, a fantastic chance for a party. Find out how to join in the celebrations at the UK’s three biggest Pride events in London, Brighton and Manchester.

Pride in London parade participants carrying a huge rainbow flag along Regent Street; everyone is wearing matching green shirts that say 'flag bearer' on them, and unsurprisingly, they each have one hand on the rainbow flag and the other on their nation's flag (those of Sweden, Greece, China, New Zealand, Belarus are visible)
Pride in London parade participants carrying a huge rainbow flag along Regent Street © Ms Jane Campbell / Shutterstock

Pride in London

When is London Pride 2019?

Pride in London is a jam-packed fortnight of events starting from 28 May, and ranges from nightlife and theatre to films and debates. The big parade day, though, is Saturday 6 July.

The Pride in London parade

Pride in London is a huge event that was joined by more than a million people in 2018, and 2019 looks set to be just as big. The centrepiece of the day is the Pride parade, which sees thousands of fabulous individuals who represent hundreds of different organisations and causes marching through the capital’s streets. Expect floats, music, outrageous outfits and all the glitter imaginable.

The parade starts at midday from Portland Place, and proceeds to Oxford Circus, then down Regent Street past Piccadilly Circus, Lower Regent Street, Pall Mall and Trafalgar Square before the finish on Whitehall. You can watch anywhere, but Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus are best avoided as they get extremely busy. The parade ends around 5.30pm.

What to do after the parade

The parade is followed by pop and musical theatre performances on a stage in Trafalgar Square, though many people head up to Soho Square, Old Compton Street and the warren of streets that surround them to drink and celebrate in and around the area’s many LGBT+ venues. Good options include down-to-earth boozer Duke of Wellington, buzzy Yard with its namesake outdoor space, and fun basement girls' bar She Soho. Bear in mind Soho can get very crowded, so you may be better off slightly away from the heart of the action on streets like Archer Street.

What about the next day?

If you’re not Prided out on Sunday 7 July, head to UK Black Pride, which for 2019 is moving to a new location in east London’s Haggerston Park. It's a vibrant celebration for LGBT+ people of colour and their friends.

People on a topless double decker red London bus on the Pride in London parade on Regent Street; the bus' destination reads CANADA and there is a Canadian flag above it, with the normally red stripes replaced by rainbow colours
An open-topped red double-decker bus on Regent Street during the Pride in London parade © Kalamurzing / Shutterstock

Brighton Pride

When is Brighton Pride 2019?

Brighton Pride is 2-4 August with the main event happening on Saturday 3 August.

The Pride Community Parade

Brighton Pride bills itself as 'the UK’s biggest LGBTQ Pride festival', and it’s hands down one of the best. The difference between Brighton and the free London celebrations is that you have to buy tickets for the array of Brighton events on offer. It kicks off with its super-popular Pride Community Parade on 3 August at 11am, which will sashay in colourful style from Hove Lawns to the main Pride festival site at Preston Park.

A dancer at the Brighton Pride parade dressed head to toe in rainbows, while crowds watch
A dancer at Brighton Pride dressed head to toe in rainbows © Teerinvata / Shutterstock

Preston Park celebrations

The centrepiece of the celebrations is Pride in the Park, which sees thousands of LGBT+ folk and their mates flock to the city’s Preston Park for an all-day fiesta of music, performances and community. This year’s headliner is gay icon Kylie Minogue, with support from Clean Bandit and Fleur East among others. The 2018 event was headlined by Britney Spears, whose popularity saw transport chaos with hundreds of people stranded in Brighton overnight, unable to get trains home. Pride organisers have put a huge focus on transport provision this year, with extra coach services laid on, but it’s still strongly advised that you plan in advance and leave plenty of time to get home after the event ends at 10.30pm. Tickets start at £37.50.

The next day in Preston Park is LoveBN1 Fest, a more family-friendly celebration headlined by Grace Jones and Jessie J. Tickets start at £32.50 and kids under 12 get in free.

The Pride Village Party

Meanwhile over in Kemptown, the heart of Brighton’s LGBT+ community, is the Pride Village Party where revellers drink and celebrate in and out of the area’s many bars amid music and performances. A wristband for the whole weekend costs from £17.50. Decent bars include stalwart club Revenge and relentlessly fun Legends Club.

A happy Pridegoer rocks a huge pink wig and bright makeup
A happy Pridegoer rocks a huge pink wig © Chris Mole / Shutterstock

Manchester Pride

When is Manchester Pride 2019?

Bank-holiday weekend extravaganza Manchester Pride starts on Friday 23 August and ends on Monday 26 August.

Manchester Pride Live

This year’s brand new event is Manchester Pride Live at Mayfield, a former railway station and depot in the Piccadilly area of the city that has been transformed into an enormous live music space. Headlining the event on Sunday 25 August is pop princess Ariana Grande, who has become known as an honorary Mancunian since the devastating terror attack at Manchester Arena after she performed there in 2017. Tickets to Ariana have sold out, but you can still snap up passes to the Saturday event, which will be headlined by Years & Years, for £34.50.

The Gay Village Party

The beating heart of Manchester Pride is the Gay Village Party, which takes place on and around the city’s iconic LGBT+ haunt Canal Street and Sackville Gardens next door. The gardens will play host to performances from established and community acts, and there’ll be parties and markets across the Village. Try low-key but lovely bar Molly House or the more raucous party at New York New York round the corner. Day tickets for the Village Party are £10 or it’s £15 for a weekend pass.

Parade participants in red, white and blue costumes at Manchester Pride in the UK
The Manchester Pride parade is a riot of colour © Debu55y / Shutterstock

What else should I check out at Manchester Pride?

Other highlights of Manchester Pride include the parade, which takes place on Saturday 24 August and sees thousands wending their way through the city; the Superbia Weekend, an alcohol-free series of events in the Village offering film screenings, talks and workshops; and the moving candlelit vigil that closes the weekend on 26 August in Sackville Gardens, in memory of those who have lost their lives to HIV.

Tips for an amazing Pride

  • Take layers, including a waterproof, and plenty of sunscreen and water. You could get pouring rain or blistering sunshine, or most likely both.
  • Plan your transport routes in advance and give yourself enough time to complete journeys.
  • Keep an eye on your drinks, as well as your bag and phone.
  • It can be tough to get in contact with your mates at busy Pride events, so arrange a meeting point in case anyone gets lost.
  • Be sustainable: take your own refillable water bottle; drink from cans rather than single-use plastics where possible; and use recycling facilities and biodegradable glitter.
Get more travel inspiration, tips and exclusive offers sent straight to your inbox with our weekly newsletterMake sure you're ready for anything with travel insurance from our trusted partners.

Explore related stories

Kate Moss at London Fashion Week SS14 - Topshop Unique - Arrivals, London. 15/09/2013


London Fashion Week 2022: everything you need to know about this year's event

Jan 28, 2022 • 3 min read