It’s that time of year again, parents break into empty nest syndrome, Tesco runs out of Baked Beans, and the fountains in the centre creak under mountains of foam after some jolly soul empties fairy liquid down the spout.
That’s right, Bristol, Bath and the surrounding areas fling open it’s doors to an influx of students to both Bristol University, University of the West of England (UWE), Bath Spa Uni and Bath University.
So, you’ve arrived and are wondering what the west country is all about ? Doubtless you’ll have heard what a great area this is for music, clubbing, boozing and shopping, but no doubt you’ll want to explore what Bristol, Somerset and Wiltshire has to offer in the way of a Gay scene…
Well, You’ve made the first correct move, you’ve found PrideWest (that’s right – bookmark us now, you’ll want to come back later!) this is your handy website for finding out about all things “LGBT” in the area.
We cover local news stories that concern the gay community from new venue openings right through to the meaty stories like that can strike up a healthy debate.
PrideWest is also the home to a comprehensive events guide. We work together with the local venues to ensure that we let you know what’s going on where and when. We even give you door to door directions – what bus to catch and where to get off.
There are venues catering for all tastes, with everything from women-only socials through to specialist fetish club nights; from traditional boozers with cabaret and karaoke through to something geared more towards the younger student-age population.
We’ve everything from social and sports groups – with one of the country’s top L&G footy teams, the Bristol Panthers – to karaoke and cabaret. Rambling group Wild Walking Women host monthly hikes and most of the UK’s gay sporting associations, including GLUG – the Gay and Lesbian Underwater Group – and the Gay Outdoor Club, have local representatives.
Bristol has one of the largest gay and lesbian communities in the UK, so it comes as quite a surprise to a lot of people to find so few dedicated L&G bars.
That is until they realise that, in such an integrated and cosmopolitan city, almost every bar and pub you enter welcomes you. But if you’re looking for something specifically gay (or gay-friendly), despite not having as vibrant a gay scene as Brighton, Manchester or London, if you look hard enough you’ll discover that the West’s scene is as varied as we are.
A few of Bristol’s gay venues have undergone refurbishment in recent months, with a new ‘village feel’ springing up in the Old Market area of the City – handily located just round the corner from the new Cabot Circus shopping centre.
Some may find the move a bit too much, or even be taking the first steps to accepting their sexuality, we also offer links to local support groups and helplines.
Meanwhile, have fun, and don’t forget to do just a bit of studying while you’re here!