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Free Queer & LGBTQ+ History Tour*

Free Queer & LGBTQ+ History Tour*

Schedule - See Calendar

Meeting Point - The Clermont Hotel

Duration - 2 Hours

Language - English

Start Time - 11am

Price - Free

Join us on the Free LGBTQ+ History Tour as we explore the vast and complex history of LGBTQ+ life in London, with stories of iconic people and places who have shaped the city and community through the centuries.

Today the LGBTQ+ community’s presence can be found in every corner of the capital, but when we think about the centre of gay or queer life in London, most people automatically think about the naughty streets of Soho. During the LGBTQ+ History tour we’re going to explore Soho in detail, and try to understand how this small area of London gained this reputation and why it has become such an important place for LGBTQ+ people.

The LGBTQ+ History tour begins at Charing Cross, a stone's throw from the legendary nightclub Heaven. In Trafalgar Square, your guide will explore the history of Pride in London, how it came about and why it's still so important today.

In Piccadilly Circus, you will be transported back to Victorian London where the area became home to secret illicit soirees and a hub of queer life. From there, we head into the heart of Soho, one of the most famous queer districts in Europe.

Our Free LGBTQ+ tour covers the stories of individuals who made their mark, like Oscar Wilde and pioneering drag queens from the 18th Century, but also visits the venues, bars and theatres where LGBTQ+ life and queer communities have thrived. During the tour, we see several of the most iconic of these locations including GAY, The Yard, old Molly Houses and more. In Soho, we also explore the darker parts of LGBTQ+ history: section 28, the bombing of the Admiral Duncan pub, and the government's response to the Aids Crisis.

The Free LGBTQ+ History Tour culminates in a visit to Soho Square, not just a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of Central London, but a centre of celebration and revelry during Pride each year. Though true equality hasn’t yet been achieved, during this Free Tour we celebrate a community which has suffered centuries of repression, yet continues to fight for inclusivity for all. Join us on our LGBTQ+ History tour to learn, celebrate and remember.

Tour Highlights include:

  • Roman Queer Influence

  • Heaven Nightclub

  • The Admiral Duncan

  • The Aids Crisis

  • Gay Pride

  • Molly Houses

  • Soho

  • & much more!

lgbtq+ tour

        Meeting Point - The Clermont Hotel, Charing Cross 

The LGBTQ+ History Tour begins outside the Clermont Hotel, next to Charing Cross Station, just near the underground station. The station is on the Bakerloo and Northern line, and around a 5 minute walk from Leicester Square and Embankment Station.

We recommend arriving 10-15 minutes before the tour starts, it gives you plenty of time to meet the guide and grab a coffee or ice cream!

  • How do I find the Guide?
    Head to Tower Hill Underground Station, next to the Tram Coffee stop, and look for the guide holding up a bright red umbrella.
  • Where does the tour start and end?
    The tour starts outside M&M World in Leicester Square and the guide should be nearby holding a red umbrella. The tour will finish near Whitehall and Trafalgar Square, in Westminster. The exact location will vary depending on the guide and the day, but the guide will always let you know at the beginning of the tour.
  • How long is the tour?
    The tour is roughly 6 long, but will vary on the guide. There's a lunch break in the middle, lasting approximately an hour.
  • Do I need to make a booking? Or cancel if my plans change?
    Yes please. The number of bookings we receive dictates how many guides we send to run the tour. If we have 100 extra people turn up, it's not going to be a good experience for anyone. Please be aware, we do not accept groups of 8 people or more. Even if you book separately, if you attend the tour as a big group, you will be turned away. If you are a group of 8 or more please contact us to enquire about booking a private tour. We'd be very grateful if you could cancel if you can no longer attend, as it could allow us to give your spot to someone else.
  • What if its raining?
    If its raining, we will get wet! We always recommend you carry an umbrella in London, the weather really is that temperamental, but if we didn't run tours in bad weather, we wouldn't get to do many. Rain or shine we will be there waiting. Of course, if you don’t fancy standing in the rain with us we understand.
  • What should I wear?
    Our tours are all walking, so we always recommend comfy shoes. Check the weather on the day of the tour, but we recommend bring a raincoat and some SPF just incase.
  • How is it free?*
    We run all our tours on a pay what you think it’s worth basis. There is no booking fee for our free tours, and no payment is required before the tour begins. This means they are accessible to every budget. However our guides are all freelancers and don't get paid to do the tour, if you have fun then you can decide if you would like to tip your guide. The value is up to you, whatever fits in with your budget and your level of enjoyment. This also incentivises our guides to never stop trying to improve, as the system rewards the guides who provide the best quality tours. Tipping is always voluntary and our guides will never pressure you into it, but this is their job so if you have had fun, we ask that you take a moment to consider what it was worth to you.

Prefer to join us on a Private Tour?

If you are booking for a group of 8 or more, or just want a more personal experience away from the crowds, then you can book this as a private tour. You can dictate the content, the route and the time or sit back and let your guide lead you.

 

For more information on Private tours click here.

Please note, ALL schools and educational groups should book a Private tour.

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