Your Guide to London Pride Parade

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London Pride is many things – it’s a parade, a month-long festival packed with exciting LGBTQ events and, most importantly a great excuse to party hard.

What is London Pride?
 
The Pride movement dates back to 1969, when New York played host to the first ever Pride Parade. London got onboard two years later and hasn’t looked back since. Back then the march was made up of about 200 activists from the UK branch of the Gay Liberation Front, the following year that number rose to 2,000. These days London Pride attracts as many as 1 million revellers, transforming central London into a vibrant celebration of LGBTQ+ identities and culture.
 
At the centre of London Pride is a parade consisting of around 300 groups and floats moving through central London from Portland Place to Whitehall, before revellers make their way to Trafalgar Square, where the party really kicks off with a host of fabulous performances and plenty of music. Of course, while the parade provides Pride with a centrepiece, there’s plenty more going on through the day and deep into the night.
 
It’s too late to join the actual parade but there’s plenty of fun to be had on the sidelines, just turn up nice and early and enjoy a day of fierce and fabulous partying.
 
2019 looks set to be the biggest and best Pride yet with the Tony-winning star of ‘Pose’
Billy Porter, Gals Aloud, Pride’s Got Talent, and former RuPaul’s Drag Race contestants William, Soju and Scarlet Envy taking centre stage. The parade kicks off at Portland Place at 12 PM. So, if you happen to be staying with us at Generator London during the celebrations, be sure to get involved!
 

Where to watch the parade
 
Wondering where to head to get the best view of the parade? There are a few hot spots along the route – just remember to turn up early if you want to nab a decent position.
 
Portland Place
This is where the parade kicks off, so you’ll find all the marchers congregating here in the hours leading up to the big event.
 
Oxford Circus
Oxford Street is certain to be rammed and it’s definitely one of the best spots to take in the parade, just make sure you arrive early to get a good view.
 
Regent Street
Usually a bit less mobbed than Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street could be a good pick if you want to avoid the busiest crowds. 
 
Piccadilly Circus
Guaranteed to be extremely busy, it can be a challenge to get a decent view in Piccadilly Circus so you might be wise to give avoid it when the parade’s in full swing.
 
Whitehall
The Parade finishes in Whitehall at around 5.30, after which many of the marchers head over to Trafalgar Square to carry on the party.
 
The Grandstand
One of the great things about the Pride Parade is that it’s free to all, but Grandstand seats (situated in Waterloo Place) are available if you don’t mind stumping up £50 for a guaranteed good view and a bit of comfort.
 

Where to drink
 
Compton’s
Old Compton Street in Soho certainly isn’t going to be a relaxed spot to grab a quiet pint when the parade winds down; in fact, it’s guaranteed to be party central. Compton’s, one of London’s best-loved gay pubs and a true Soho institution, has the advantage of being big enough to house the crowds without getting too suffocating. Head upstairs to enjoy great views of Soho as the street party kicks into gear.
51-53 Old Compton Street, Soho, W1D 6HN
 
Trisha’s
Another legendary Soho institution, Trisha’s Bar on Greek Street (otherwise known as New Evaristo Club) epitomises ‘old Soho’. This gloriously eccentric subterranean drinking den is always packed with characters and feels like the perfect spot to escape the crowds on Saturday.
57 Greek St, W1D 3DX
 
This year’s hottest Pride after parties
Pride certainly doesn’t wind down when the floats begin to head out of Trafalgar Square and there’s no end of opportunities to keep the party going long into the night, and probably the next day.
 
Official Pride After Party – The Grand Goes Gaga
This year’s official Pride after party takes place in The Grand in Clapham. The theme is Lady Gaga, which offers plenty of opportunity for gloriously over the top flamboyance, Gaga-style. Donna Marie, widely considered the world’s finest Gaga tribute act, will grace the stage.
The Grand, SW11 1TT
 
Sink the Pink – Icons Ball ft. Melanie C
Mel C takes time out from the Spice Girls reunion to join in the festivities at Troxy alongside a winning line-up of London’s most fabulous drag queens.
Troxy, E10 0HX
 
Sodom & Begorrah: Pride Sandwich
Haggerston’s The Glory – one of London’s best queer pubs – is certain to be one of the capital’s hottest tickets on Saturday night. This year’s party takes inspiration from the emerald isle with an Irish theme and performances by Irish cabaret stars Xnthony, Mark T Cox, Cramps and Tilly Fletcher.
The Glory, E2 8AS