Britain is Burning to Get to Know You
Photos courtesy of Howeird (top); VisitLondon (bottom)
Gay travelers have been making London a favorite spot for decades, and now the UK is proclaiming that they love us back. From the “gay beach” to Grace Jones and Lilly Allen performing for free to fancy cocktails at the Somerset House, all tastes will be pleased here. The recently launched, “Only in LGBT London” campaign celebrates the colorful nightlife and customs of queer Britain and even offers a competition. Check out their new video clips every week, summarizing the steamy scene in Soho (on their side of the pond) and beyond.
The campaign not only celebrates diversity, but also hopes to stimulate your senses. On July 4 London’s pride festival kicked off a summer of celebrations to come across the UK. The cherry on top is the discounts you’ll receive thanks an exchange rate much more favorable to American dollar holders this year than last. Enjoy the gayer sides of England, Scotland and Wales with any of the following exciting events:
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (April 23-Oct 10)
Take a tour of the famous rebuilt theater or see a show at the venue Sam Wannamaker brought back to life.
Regents Park Open Air Theatre (May 25-Sept 12)
Enjoy the view from your seat even before first act begins at this beautiful outdoor amphitheater. Enjoy performances from Hello Dolly! to The Importance of Being Earnest.
Composed of three smaller theaters, watch a contemporary play, under the stars for the summer only, just steps away from the London Eye.
Manchester Pride (August 21-31)
One of UK’s premier gay event, features a flamboyant celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender life through a series of more than 40 events covering art, film, debate and entertainment, as well as other fantastic parties.
The Festival of History (July 25-26)
With over 50 reenactments a day, set on the grounds of Kelmarsh Hall in Northamptonshire, and elaborate costumes galore you’ll feel taken back in time and maybe even a queen for a day.
14th Leeds Shakespeare Festival (July-August 2009)
Known for it’s reputable theater company, see A Midsummer Night's Dream and Much Ado About Nothing set in natural surroundings for night of laughter.
The Highland Games (Scotland, Summer 2009)
Celebrate Scottish culture by clapping it up for participants in the tug-o-war, dancing competitions, and of course concerts of bagpipes held on castle grounds.
Whole in One Golf Exhibition (Rozelle Estate, Ayrshire, June 8-August 31)
What better place to watch golfers go at it? In between holes, take in some rare artifacts displaying the history of the sport.
Return to the Ridings (June 1 - August 8)
Witness a tradition brought back to life, as the streets of Scotland are filled with horses, spreading out to check the borders. Background music is provided in the way of culturally rooted tunes.
T in the Park (July 9 - 12)
From The Killers to Lady Gaga, be a part of Scotland’s Bonaroo. Their biggest outdoor music festival held in Balado over three days.
Cardiff International Food & Drink Festival (July 10 - 12)
Over the top entertainment, world class cuisine and strange art exhibits (an underwater sound gallery) make for a unique experience to say the least.
National Eisteddfod (August 1 - 8)
Check out the concerts, comedy and competitions at the largest and oldest celebration of Welsh culture dating from 1176.
Brecon Jazz Festival (August 7 - 9)
If you love Jazz this is the place to be to choose from 25 different concerts.
Bryn Terfel Faenol Festival (Faenol Estate, August 28 - 31)
Will host three star-studded concerts with the mountains of Snowdonia as their backdrop.
The World Bog Snorkelling Championship (August 31)
UK's smallest town - Llanwrtyd Wells in Mid Wales puts its name on the map by handing out PDAs and iPods to the person that braves the bog for the longest, with only a snorkel to aid you in your quest.