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Manchester: The Village

The Village, also known as Gay Village, is home to one of the most established gay communities in Europe. During summer the area has a special cosmopolitan and continental ambience, attracting gay, lesbians and heterosexuals alike.

Location and how to get to the Village

The Village is set around Chorlton Street and Canal Street and stretch to Dale Street. It includes Sackville Street, Whitworth Street and Princess Street. The Village is really close to Piccadilly Gardens (just a few minutes walk).

What to do in the Village

Most the Manchester’s famous clubs and bars are located here.

Among the gay bars and clubs in the area we can list:

  • AXM Bar: famous for its cocktails, great atmosphere, friendly (and good looking) staff
  • Baa Bar: famous for the mirror walls and the 70s style dance room in the basement. Rather pricy but really appreciated by the gay community. It’s an excellent location to spend some intimate time
  • Manto: very famous in the city and still fabulous. Has everything from an internet café to club and balcony. It’s recommended though to check it out when it’s nice outside and you can enjoy your drinks in the balcony
  • Eden
  • Prague Five
  • TriBeCa and BED: New York themed cocktail bar, decorated in leather and wood and expensive drinks. The music is also great
  • Manhattan Showbar: is filled with drag queens and the music is great
  • Spirit: it’s really crowded during summer but the drinks are cheap and the atmosphere great. Great trance music
  • Essential: is a gay club, spreading over 3 floors. The music ranges from pop to dance. The prices are rather high
  • Club Alter Ego: great place to listen to house
  • Sub101
  • 46 Canal Street
  • Legends
  • Coyotes Bar: the staff actually dances on the bar (just like in the movie Coyote Ugly!).

There are also plenty of good restaurants in the area. One of the most famous is Velvet, where the food is great and the atmosphere really interesting. The prices are really affordable and the crowds are really “mixed”. It also has a bar.

The area hosts the Pride festival (see photo right), every year during the last weekend of August (August Bank Holiday). During the festival, the area is closed for the public in order to accommodate an expensive and exclusive charity raising weekend for gay and gay-friendly people from UK.

photo by: jez.atkinson