Gay Manchester Guide: The Essential Guide To Gay Travel In Manchester England 2019
‘This is Manchester, we do things differently here’. Famed around the world for its football team and sporting passions, gay travelers are more likely to know Manchester for fabulous Canal Street, the center of the Manchester Gay Village, one of the largest, oldest and most flamboyant in the United Kingdom.
The history of Gay Manchester is intertwined with that of the city itself. As the city fell into decline with the collapse of the cotton industry in Northern England, the Canal Street area suffered urban decay and became perfect for gay men seeking clandestine hookups, being dark, unfrequented and yet so close to Oxford Road and Piccadilly railway stations.
As official recognition of the LGBT community came in the 1990s from the council, the thriving gay scene in Manchester really took off and over the next decade, more, and ever larger gay bars and clubs opened here, turning Canal Street into the center of the most successful gay villages in Europe.
Today this success is now driving tensions with an influx on ‘hetero’ drinkers thanks to the areas popularity, and the desire by some bars to remain safe queer spaces free from ‘the straights’. Boycotts, tests for ‘gayness’ on the doors, discriminating policies, and barring of bisexual clients have all been recorded -- and even today many bars still cling to the yesteryear dream of a gay ghetto free from boozy hens parties and students nights.
Gay activist Peter Tatchell summarised the situation best in the Manchester Evening News, saying “It would be very wrong if there were unilateral attempts to change its character. I am all in favour of it evolving but it has to be with the agreement of the LGBTI community. As a society, the need for specific gay districts may decline but we are not there yet. It would be a backward step to de-gay Canal Street.”
Even with the excess of bridal parties, the Village is still a fabulously queer space and Canal Steet today is ready to give anyone a good time -- gay, straight or unicorn. Outside the Gay Village, Manchester has also transformed itself into one of the hippest cities in Europe with a sterling reputation as a arts and culture hub, combining its industrial past with modern design in new and curious ways.
Vibrant, exciting, cutting edge and above all open-minded, Gay Manchester is one destination that continues to fly under the radar -- though something tells us it will not stay that way for long.
Gay Manchester Guide: The Essential Guide To Gay Travel In Manchester England 2019
Obviously being gay does not define which attraction most of us will want to see in each city and most queer tourists will simply want to check out the top things to see in Manchester during the day!
Manchester is a safe city but still, all travelers should take caution with valuables. Gay people in Manchester do not need to take any extra precautions in terms of public displays of affection and should have no issues exploring this cities industrial-chic charm!
It can all get a bit overwhelming, we totally get it that – so if you are not sure where to go take a peek at out Gay Manchester map at the end or simply head to the gay village around Canal Street.
For now here are just a few of our favorite gay things to do in Manchester -- seriously, this is by no means comprehensive but might help you to see something other than the inside of a club. Don’t laugh, you wouldn’t be the first person to come all this way and not see anything outside the village -and certainly wouldn’t be the last!
The gay scene in Manchester is just that good…
Top Highlights Of Manchester
Castlefield -- A beautiful and rather peaceful neighbor filled with waterfront bars, green spaces, canals and more. Spend the day exploring HOME, the famous art center, the Castlefield Bowl, a canal-side outdoor venue for concerts, and the ruined Roman fort of Mamucium from which Manchester is named.
Manchester Art Gallery-- From historical collections to international contemporary art, Manchester Art Gallery brings fresh perspectives, encourages conversations and sparks debate. The art here spans over 6 centuries and with an ever-changing collection is sure to have something for every culture vulture.
Richmond Tea Rooms -- Inspired by the desire to enjoy an exquisite afternoon tea in the heart of Manchester, the warm and friendly team at Richmond Tearooms await every customer with open arms. That’s our way of saying its very LGBT-popular. This award-winning ‘Alice in Wonderland’ themed dining experience is complemented with freshly prepared sandwiches, cakes and treats – all individually made in-house. There is a weird and wonderful array of exotic teas from around the world ensuring that every taste is catered for. A unique experience with delicious colorful, gothic designs and incredible cakes -and a visit you’ll likely remember for years to come.
Alan Turing Memorial -- Situated in Sackville Park and created in memory of Alan Turing, the pioneer of modern computing. Turing is believed to have committed suicide in 1954 two years after being convicted of gross indecency (i.e. homosexual acts) in Manchester when he was offered probation, which was conditional on his agreement to undergo hormonal treatment designed to reduce libido. It is highly recommended to see The Imitation Game, a historical drama about his life if you have not already. Alan Turing is as much a gay icon as an icon of computing, and it is no coincidence that this memorial is situated near Canal Street.
Coronation Street: The Tour -- Set foot on one of the country’s largest television lots, and bring Coronation Street to life. You will either love or hate it, but there is no denying that Coronation Street is quintessentially British and a soap opera beloved by the nation. Personally, we prefer Manchester’s connect to Queer As Folk, however.
John Rylands Library -- A simply stunning library created more than 100 years ago as a gift to Manchester and its people. A place of wonder; a magnificent, unrepentant carnival of imagination and learning that must be seen to be believed. It also helps it is free and opens 7 days a week.
Imperial War Museum North -- One of five branches of the Imperial War Museum, it explores the impact of modern conflicts on people and society. The building itself is intriguing built in the deconstructivist style, but we also believe the message is one that particularly resonates with the LGBT+ community.
Whitworth Art Gallery -- One of the UK’s best art galleries with over 55,000 objects in its collections. Re-opened in 2015 after being transformed by a £15 million renovation project there is a notable collection of watercolors, sculptures, wallpapers, and textiles, most of which focus on modern artists. An absolute must-see for art lovers.
Northern Quarter -- A center of alternative and bohemian culture in Manchester filled with him cafes, street art, quaint cafes, and indie bands. Spend the day wandering through artist studios, explore the Manchester Craft and Design Centre or stop in at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art.
Chinatown -- Why fly to Hong Kong or Shanghai when you can simply wander a few blocks out of the gay village and be in the Manchester Chinatown, the second largest in the United Kingdom and third largest in Europe. Enter through the historic archway on Faulkner Street and explore the seemingly endless abundance of Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Nepali, Vietnamese, Singaporean and Malaysian restaurants, shops, bakeries, and supermarkets. Delicious!
Bury Market -- A fun hall + open-air market to explore with an extensive array of fruit, flowers, clothing, hardware, and groceries.
Science And Industry Museum -- A historic museum exploring the role of science and industry in forging modern-day England, housed in a historic 1830’s railway station.
BritRail England Pass -- Planning to see more of the United Kingdom? Whether you are heading to Edinburgh, Brighton or anywhere in between save money and explore all of England with one rail pass – without the hassle of collecting multiple train tickets! Get unlimited train rides for 3, 4, 8, or 15 non-consecutive days or opt for consecutive days
Gay Events In Manchester
Queer Media -- Celebrating queer virtual reality, animation, augmented reality, cinema, podcasting, mobile filmmaking and anything to do with the evolving queer storytelling in digital media. Held in November in Manchester and now in its fifth year Queer Media Festival asks the question: Are you growing increasingly frustrated by the under-representation of many voices in society – large groups of people growing up having no value attached to their perspectives – so why don’t you decide to do something about it?
The Great British Bear Bash -- Bringing together bears, cubs, chasers and daddies for a weekend of fun and frolics. Normally held in early May, expect giant club parties, pool time, sauna nights, plenty of kinky fun and to make a whole lot of new friends. The biggest gay bear event on the Manchester calendar and one of the biggest in the UK organized by the Manbears Manchester.
Manchester Pride -- Campaigning for LGBT+ equality while simultaneously creating opportunities that engage LGBT+ people so that they can thrive. A fabulous annual celebration of LGBT+ life in Manchester, and while the colorful procession might be the biggest drawcard for many gay travelers, at its heart, the Manchester Pride Parade has always been a political march for LGBT+ equality. Expect plenty of club parties, an electric atmosphere and a week of pure euphoria. Held annually in August.
Manchester Pride - Class of 2017 (Official Aftermovie) [4K]
Being one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world, almost every hotel and hostel in Manchester can be considered open and welcome to LGBT travelers.
After all being gay-friendly is about simply providing a non-judgmental and respectful environment in which all people are treated equally. Elegant design, helpful staff, and excellent value for money never hurt anyone though! Some hotels in Manchester have gone above and beyond in recognizing and marketing to the LGBT community and given their popularity with gay travelers we would say it has paid off!
There are quite a few popular hotels in Manchester that are go-to hot spots for gay travelers…and really, doesn’t everyone like to be surrounded by people with common interests! These are the hotels we have checked out and included here. While there are two gay hotels in Manchester, any hotel near the gay village of Manchester is sure to have more than a few gay guests staying -- after all, being a stumble home from all the gay bars in pretty desirable.
There are hundreds of other good hotel option in Manchester if you don’t find what you are looking for but we are confident you’ll find something here for you -- we have tried to cover it all. Whether you want a fun and social hostel, a cheap place to crash after a night of partying or a luxury designer option to sip cocktails and surround yourself with fabulous people – Gay Manchester as something for everyone!
Gay-Friendly Hotels in Manchester
King Street Townhouse ☆☆☆☆ -One of the best new hotels in the world, and our favorite luxury gay hotel in Gotham. An impressive Italian renaissance building expanding on the allure and unique qualities of this historic building to create a one-of-a-kind ‘baby grand hotel’. The upscale rooms all have fantastic beds, heavenly rainfall showers and many add Town Hall views -- but the highlight has to be the luxe rooftop infinity pool and divine afternoon tea lounge. There is also a gym, a spa, and a refined wood-paneled restaurant. Not in love already, click through for more glimpses of divinity…
Hotel Gotham ☆☆☆☆☆ -- A decadence hotel that is open to everyone -- but at only a 7-minute walk to the Manchester gay village, it’s a popular option for gay travelers who want a little bit of Great Gatsby mixed with new avant-garde design. You will see what we mean. Each of the 55 bedrooms and five Inner Sanctum Suites is a full-on sensory experience where everything you see and everything you touch, from the extravagantly opulent linen to the brass and leather of the fittings, is designed to make you sigh with satisfaction. An iconic converted bank building now serving upscale art-deco glam, not only are we fanatical about the vintage décor but there is also a top-floor bar with sweeping city views, a fabulous breakfast and world-class service. Stupendous!
The Lowry Hotel ☆☆☆☆☆-- An renown five-star hotel in Manchester with a large sprinkling of the extraordinary. It delivers a tangible sense of something a bit different from the moment you step through their polished glass doors. A completely original hotel that delights and inspires. Elegant surroundings, modern artwork. A chic space to just be filled with luxury and the subtle air of seduction. Contemporary rooms, a trendy restaurant, champagne breakfasts, and live music on Sunday mornings and vast windows for watching a city come alive. Need we go on?
Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester ☆☆☆☆☆ -- A gay-friendly luxury hotel housed in the iconic Free Trade Hall, this upscale location is known for plush rooms, its rustic steakhouse, and classy lounge. There is also a gym, spa and swimming pool. Popular with LGBT travelers in town for business.
Principal ☆☆☆☆ -- With its clock tower and striking Victorian architecture, Principal Manchester is an unmistakable landmark in the city’s skyline. A magnificent, terracotta Grade II listed building, the hotel has a history dating back to 1890, and it is perfectly placed for business travel and weekend getaways. The swagger and scale of the public spaces at Principal Manchester are found in equal measure in the bedrooms and suites, from double-height windows to wood paneling to original tiling. No two rooms are quite the same. There is also a graceful glass atrium-lobby, art deco dining hall, 4-post beds, and refined service -- plus, booked in advance, prices are generally very reasonable!
Great John Street Hotel ☆☆☆☆-- An original Victorian school house that has been transformed into a luxury townhouse hotel with unique, individually designed bedrooms and suites alongside stylish lounges, such as the ground floor Oyster Bar and the south-facing Rooftop Lounge and Playground. Being madly eclectic Great John Street oozes individuality in design and experience. It’s a 20-minute walk to the gay village of Manchester -- but a little distance is not always a bad thing.
Roomzzz Manchester Corn Exchange ☆☆☆☆ -- 114 beautifully designed apartments coming in all shapes and sizes, embracing the quirks and history of the beautiful and iconic Grade II listed Manchester Corn Exchange, formally known as The Triangle. With spectacular ceiling heights and unique features, all of their apartments offer incredibly comfy king size beds, relaxing living areas, fully equipped kitchens, and designer ensuites. There is a Complimentary Grab & Go breakfast is available every day, 14 fantastic restaurants to suit all tastes downstairs in the Corn Exchange and an onsite gym. There is a 24/7 concierge, but other amenities are limited to keep the Roomzzz Manchester Corn Exchange extremely good value.
Motel One Manchester-Piccadilly ☆☆☆ -- A wonderful budget hotel right on the doorstep of Gay Manchester! Beautifully designed and well-connected to Manchester history, this hip hotel offers exceptional value, warm contemporary rooms, a buzzing bar, and loaner iPads. How trendy…
ibis Styles Manchester Portland ☆☆☆-- We always love the ibis Styles brand as a cheap yet fun gay hotel in any city -- and in Manchester, they have the added benefit of being just a 5-minute walk from Canal Street. Quirky from the lobby to the top floor (with tonnes of selfie opportunities), this affordable Manchester hotel is fun to discover with free fibre Wi-Fi throughout, 229 bedrooms and unbeatable on-site refreshments, they have got everything you need right here. Power showers, noon check-out time, a diverse, unlimited breakfast and all in a converted Grand Victorian property. How they do all these at some of the lowest room rates we found in all of Manchester we will never understand.
YHA Manchester ☆☆ -- Looking for the cheapest accommodation in Manchester? Check out this fun hostel situated by the canal and only a 20-minute walk to the gay village. Unlike the almost-gay and beautiful hostels on London, quality and service in Manchester hostels is pretty abysmal so the YHA is the only place we would actually recommend to you if you are looking for a dorm bed. And you know what they say…It’s always fun to stay at the Y-H-A, hmm no, the wrong song…
Gay Hotels in Manchester
New Union ☆☆ -- In Manchester’s vibrant gay village, the New Union Hotel offers en-suite rooms above a lively bar. You can enjoy drinks deals, cabaret, karaoke and disco nights downstairs or simple, cheap rooms upstairs. We can’t say the hotel is anything to write home about -- but this is a gay hotel in Manchester and right in the middle of everything, so if proximity and budget are your main priorities, the New Union Hotel is your place!
REM Hotel ☆☆ -- Stay in the heart of Gay Manchester! Situated on Canal Street, in Manchester’s vibrant Gay Village, REM Hotel features both a traditional bar and a lively showbar with regular entertainment. The hotel is a 5-minute walk from Manchester Piccadilly Rail Station. Guest rooms have modern décor, and each features a flat-screen TV with Freeview. All rooms also have tea/coffee facilities and free Wi-Fi. The Rem Bar is one of the oldest gay pubs in Manchester and hosts regular weekend entertainment including comedy drag queen shows, live singers and karaoke. There is also a traditional men’s bar on the ground floor. We honestly don’t recommend staying at either of the gay hotels in Manchester, since the other hotels here are so gay-friendly and much better for a good nights sleep, but the options are always there.
Gay Nightlife in Manchester
The Gay Village in Manchester is easily the most happening place in the city, gay, straight or unicorn -- which is really something considering the fierce competition in the thriving nightlife scene here. We have focussed on LGBT majority venues here, but with so many fabulous (and welcoming) bars, clubs and live music venues we encourage you to at least explore a little of the more hetero-scene.
Much like Toronto is famed for its role in the US version of Queer As Folk, Manchester is famed as the home of the UK version with Canal Street, or ‘anal treet’, as locals refer to it, at the heart of Gay Manchester. Here you will find more pubs, bars, and clubs than we could count -- with something for absolutely everyone. The local Manchester gay scene actually spills out beyond Canal Street and venues can be found anywhere between Minshull Steet and Princess Street -- all easily accessed by Piccadilly Station.
Most venues are open to everyone across the LGBT spectrum, but a few are male-only or have discriminatory door practices hidden under the guise of a ‘regulars only’ policy. Gay males that ‘fit the bill’ will not find any issue, but lesbians or allies may have some issues. Thankfully there are so many gay bars, clubs and cafes here you can just turn the corner and try another venue.
As the Gay Village continues to be one of Manchester’s most popular nightlife destination, its likely gay bars and clubs may become even more selective as they try to protect their ‘safe queer space’. The debate still rages on the ethics of this, but one thing we know is ‘The Village’ overall promises an epic night that you will never forget…
Gay Bars In Manchester
Churchills -- A well-liked venue in the heart of Manchester’s gay village, not that we are quite sure how Winston would feel about his name being attached to it. Sure, there have been frequent gay rumors -- but he was not exactly a champion of gay rights. Anyway, we digress. Churchills -- the bar -- is open seven days a week and open to everyone, gay straight or unicorn. There is consistent entertainment here including cabaret shows, karaoke and some of Manchester’s finest drag queens. Much like opinions of Churchill the man continues to divide people, so does this bar: its either one of the best venues on Canal Street or cheap, tacky and deserves to be torn down…Personally, we like it!
The REM Bar -- One of Canal Street’s original and best-loved gay men’s bar, back to its best with a recent renovation and boasting camp live entertainment, horny guys & a welcoming atmosphere. Frequented by daddies, leather lovers, bear, and their admirers.
The Lounge By EVA -- A new lounge bar perfect to meet up and socialize during the week with a fabulous cocktail selection, cute staff, and chilled vibes. On the weekend there is frequent entertainment, great karaoke and fun drag queens at the doors.
New Union -- A gay show bar inside the famous New Union Hotel with a fun and lively atmosphere, awesome DJs, drink deals, drag cabaret and theme nights including karaoke and disco. Conveniently located in the heart of Gay Manchester, rooms are also available at dirt-cheap prices if you just want a simple pad to crash at after a long night out.
Centre Stage MCR -- Hidden in the backstreets of Canal St, Centre Stage is a little gem of a gay dive bar! A fabulous atmosphere with fun queens, affordable drinks and friendly staff. Famous for its camp cabaret and pure nostalgia, head here to take a trip down memory lane and visit the retro gay scene of Manchester from yesteryear.
Napoleons -- One of Manchester’s oldest gay venue has been open for over forty years. There is a nightclub upstairs and a video lounge + bar downstairs. Open and welcoming to the entire LGBT+ community but a popular safe space for the local Manchester trans community, cross-dressers and drag queens.
VIA -- In the heart of Manchester’s gay village, Via is the old lady of Canal Street – incredibly unique, this premier gay venue offers everything from DJs, cabaret and live music to dancing and an extensive range of food. Rather upscale with fab décor and polite staff, making it a great place to start the evening off with a meal or return later at night when the crowds descend and the DJ play upbeat pop music and gay anthems.
Bar Pop -- An IndieDiscoElectroHomoMadHiphopBritPopFunkyKindaShagtasticQueer kind of space…Who wants to be put in a box anyway (besides Shangela). Always fun, always cheap drinks and always a friendly crowd. No wonder Bar Pop is so popular with everyone -- young and old. It is definitely one of the most happening locations on Gay Canal Street. The owner, John, has an amazing energy which he brings to all of the events including frequent cabaret and cheesy pop nights.
Iconic Bar Manchester -- A welcoming little back street oasis in the heart of Manchester Gay Village, over 200 gins stocked for all you gin lovers. A small venue with no pretense, but we liked the impressive jukebox filled with #1 hits, the affordable drinks, and intimate vibes. A bit like a hidden bar, so now you are in on the secret.
The Company Bar -- A small male-only bar popular with fetish lovers and a more mature crowd. Small, dark and frequently crowded with masculine men who come for the happy hour and to get to know each other.
The Goose -- A traditional gay pub in Manchester letting the LGBT community in on the quintessential British pub experience. A fantastic Moo & Blue pie, trans-friendly and recently taken over by new owners David and Paul who are committed to making sure guests have the best possible time. We absolutely love having an alternative to the loud pop/nightclub scene and recommend the Goose to everyone!
ON Bar -- A lustrous bar with upscale décor, diverse drag shows, and classy cocktails. The first venture by Orange Nation, UK’s biggest gay club promotion company, outside of London and well worth a visit!
TriBeCa -- A bustling and vibrant upscale bar with loft-style décor straight out of New York and a fabulously effortlessly cool vibes. The music is a mix of low-key “chill out style” during the day to mainstream “upbeat” in the evenings, with DJs playing on weekend nights to get you in the party mood. Tribeca is busy, buzzy and effervescent -- definitely somewhere to either start and end your evening when you’re in Gay Manchester.
New York New York -- Another cute gay bar in Manchester inspired by New York, just not quite as cool as TriBeCa and often filled with hen parties. They do however offer fun drag, camp cabaret and special drink promos in their two bars.
The Thompsons Arms -- A dive bar popular with bears that fills up on the weekend but is pretty dead during the week. Frequently turn women away with their ‘regulars only’ door policy excuse, even when they are quiet.
Oscars Bar -- A cherished theatre + film themed gay bar, showcasing classic and contemporary musical film clips, all with a very chic and glamorous fit out. If you love gay or lesbian films, being part of the community and singing to show tunes this is the only place to be.
Gay Parties & Gay Clubs In Manchester
Bloom Nightclub -- Formerly AXM, Bloom is the only 7 nights a week gay nightclub in Manchester. A great venue open until 7 am on weekends with great DJs, events, camp drag shows and theme events listed on their Facebook page. Pop, disco, chart-toppers and queer anthems -- You will find them all here!
KIKI Manchester -- A premier canal side venue in the famous Gay Village which by night hosts one of the biggest gay parties in Manchester. Throughout the week KIKI holds a variety of club nights & free entertainment but at the weekend the party really steps up a gear with all-night drink deals, 25 disco balls, a light up dance floor and probably the best DJs in Manchester. Lights, smoke, lasers, drag queens, fab fun… Need we say anymore. Oh, did we mention there is always free entry?
Cruz 101 -- Having opened over 20 years ago, this old bonded shipping warehouse was transformed into Manchester’s first purpose-built gay nightclub -- one that would be instrumental in changing Manchester’s gay scene from ”ghetto” to ”village”. Today Cruz is still the most popular club in Manchester’s Gay Village. However, the club has constantly evolved; reinvented itself in response to a changing gay climate and demands, whilst staying true to its original ethos: good music; a great atmosphere; horny men; flattering lighting; and all at prices that won’t break the bank for the thousands who visit us each and every week. Cruz is known for stunning decor, state-of-the-art sound equipment, and lighting and unadulterated fun -- 5 days a week. Recently, as with many gay bars in England and around the world, it has become more hetero-popular but their event nights are still generally very queer…
Qwerk @ Sub 101 -- A pleasurable and friendly club night every 2nd Friday with a fun crowd, an assorted mix of house, fantastic sound/lighting & all in a cherished basement space
Club Aftershock @ Sub 101 -- Kicking off at 12.30am each and every Saturday Night/Sunday Morning Aftershock rumbles in the underground surroundings of SUB101, a small club underneath Cruz 101 that has its roots wrapped tight and firm into Manchester’s Gay Scene and comes boisterously equipped with unrivaled body rockin’ sound and light. Aftershock offers a night dance floor for those that want to party hard – attracting the beautiful, the sexy and the damn right dirty! It’s a gay haven for the house music lovers and dance-floor whores who like it intimate and a little bit bulging!
G-A-Y -- The name says it all really -- Manchester’s biggest and most popular gay nightclub! Outrageous, fabulously queer fun always ensues in this bastion of the local gay community. Lots of fun, fun camp/pop music, and a mixed crowd all just getting on with having a good time -- just as a gay bar should be. The doorman is known as being rather picky on busy nights lately, so G-A-Y Manchester has in some ways become a victim of its own success. However, with a nicely integrated bar/club, live drag shows, fun events and cheap drink offer G-A-Y will hopefully continue to be popular for many years to come…
Void @ KIKI -- A Legendary Underground House Club in the heart of Manchester’s Gay Village. Open until 10 am every weekend, with good music and good prices. A boundless atmospheric space with an old-school gay club vibe that has become all too uncommon these days.
Gay Saunas in Manchester
Had enough of gay cruising in Manchester – either in the bars or elsewhere? For those who want a bit more guaranteed action, the gay saunas in Manchester will not disappoint you (unlikely all those faceless accounts on Grindr or the other hook up apps…).
There are only two gay saunas in Manchester, but if you are a true connoisseur you might also consider making the hour-or-so trip out to Norwich Sauna. Play safe, be respectful and if you are nervous -- take a look at our first-time gay sauna guide to help!
Gay sauna or not, in any sexual encounter, please take adequate precautions. No matter what your intentions are in while traveling, you should bring your own condoms and lube to play it safe. Take home a hot guy or a hot memory, not an STD.
Besides, you never know what other fun surprises your trip might have in store for you...
Basement Manchester -- One of the best gay saunas in England, open 24 hours/7 days a week. There is an annoying £5 annual membership fee but given things here are very active, and there is no other comparison in town, its worth it. There is a sprawling complex with a large new sauna and steam room, 2 spas, lounge with free internet access, private cabins and café bar. A range of guys and generally pretty busy, again why we could justify the membership fee…
Base Manchester -- Formally H20 Sauna, but now owned by the Basement group and newly refurbished. There is free membership, 24 hour weekend hours and student discounts at all times (including free on Tuesdays). A small venue with hot dry sauna, eucalyptus steam room, video rooms, Jacuzzi and secure lockers. Mostly older guys and frequently very quiet -- we blame gay hook up apps-, but given its central location in the Manchester Gay Village Base is at least easy to visit.
Gay Cruising and Fetish Clubs in Manchester
If the bars or gay parties in Manchester are too vanilla for you, perhaps these fetish clubs and cruise lounges are a better fit?
Manchester’s gay cruise clubs have extensive facilities and a variety of themed nights making them worth visiting if you want to play harder. Sure, there is no scene here like you might find in other Europe Capital’s of Kink like Rome, London, Berlin, Paris, and Prague, but there is still plenty of ways to satisfy yourself -- whether it’s in a dark dungeon dance party, frivolous sportswear fun or or an ultra-hardcore cruising night.
Use our Gay Manchester map at the end to find the closest to you.
The Big Scrum @ Sub 101 -- For men who like men in rugby and sports kits. Simple. An attitude free, fun, cheeky and horny club night held on the 1st Friday of every month. The Big Scrum is a wonderful opportunity to meet guys in kits and mingle with lots of new guys, most of who are genuinely friendly. The atmosphere and music is always just right, not too heavy so fetish fans, daddies, bears, and friends can all get down together.
ALERT! @ Night People -- A monthly night for those who prefer something sleazy and different. With music provided by their resident DJs, Alert! offers a safe, inclusive environment with plenty of dark spaces to explore your perversions. Alert! is a great chance to give your latest fetish gear an airing, in a welcoming atmosphere full of some of the horniest, sexiest men around, great music and the promise of a fantastic night. They attract people from all over the North West, from London, Edinburgh / Glasgow, and even Europe and are the longest-running monthly fetish event for gay men in the North of England. Making Tom Of Finland look like a nun, this is the space for Rubber, Pups and Furries, Boots, Jock and Underwear, Leather, Uniform, Workman, Skinhead, Spandex and Neoprene Sports Kit, and Biker fetishes. Check their website for a comprehensive dress code. Alert! is a private members club and as such, to gain entry you must be a member but they do allow you to buy a temporary membership for just £2 which covers you for a single event.
Jock @ Night People-- A underwear and sports kit party in Manchester, previous held at Eagle but now held at Night People. Everyone from twinks to daddies, cubs to bears, hairy, smooth is welcome at Jock, the best no-nonsense, check-your-ego-at-the-door gay fetish night in Manchester. You don’t need designer underwear or paint muscles to have a attend, so it’s just a good time for everyone!
Eagle Manchester -- The Eagle Bar located in the heart of Manchester’s gay village, offers a unique experience for men-only from all over the UK and beyond. Eagle is the perfect place for fetish fans in Manchester who are just starting out as it is certainly not a hardcore cruise club like you might be overwhelmed by in Amsterdam, Vienna, Munich etc but there themed parties are a great stepping-stone for the curious or uninitiated. Look out for events on their Facebook page but one popular on-going series is Pervert, where Fetish, Music, and Kink collide to create an unmissable event. Leave your inhibitions at the door and get involved in some hedonistic fetish clubbing under the lasers. Expect a room full of sexy fetish for a night not to be missed as they bring a taste of ‘European Gay Fetish Clubbing’ to Manchester.
Just add an adventurous attitude and plenty of smiles - they go a long way - and that about covers it all! Now go out, find your global rainbow family and don't forget to share your best gay stories with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram...We'd love to hear from you!