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Call the sheriff! OutUK's Adrian Gillan takes a trip to the East Midlands to visit Nottingham where gay boys in the ‘hood had better watch out.
Boys beware: Nottingham’s scene is awash with male youths but also with a refreshing and seemingly inexplicable number of gay girls on a scale one must see to believe - a kind of inland Midland Lesbos, sucking ladies in from surrounding shires.

You’d best start off relaxed so check out Chill Out, a daytime gay-friendly café in the queer quarter just north east of centre, trolling coffee and soothing aromas. If you like a good gay caf, squeeze yet another in just a few streets away: the Broadway Café Bar is a spacious mixed haunt beneath the cinema that hosts the annual Lesbian & Gay Film Festival whenever that hits town, offering a wide choice of snacks and candle-lit booze.


Eating out in Nottingham.
Jaunt north and call in at the Foresters Inn, a gay pub with pool, food and slightly older clientele and a real roaring fire to warm your cockles and raise more than just a smile. And then over the road to the New Foresters, a fine refurbished gay community hub now largely occupied by boisterous lasses with male guests in tow, the start of a Notts theme one fast discovers! Due south again and The Lord Roberts is a predominantly gay pub next to a theatre attracting a lovie loved-up crowd.

But for the gay bars proper cross to Central., a large and extremely friendly bar-cum-club where DJs lace the floor with thick molten musical cheese of a weekend - and who needs a smoke machine when you’ve got some balloons?!

NG1 next door is the town’s only gay nightclub and quite right too: with four bars, two dance floors - one R&B/Pop, the other House - and a chill-out area for the ultra-cool, the loos are again quite unique with unisex scrubbing ‘troughs’, and the crowd is typically young with loads of lez ladies to scare away the hags.

You can steam and cruise at Manzfield sauna if you trek out Mansfield way. It's open from noon until 9pm daily. For those with a car seeking authentic forest fun can try Thieves Wood: just take the A60 from Nottingham past Newstead Abbey and then follow the B6020 towards Kirkby. The second turning on the right veers to the left into the woods. The car park is up on the left and there are several clear fairy trails to lead you to your fancy. Otherwise, try the riverside down by Trent Bridge.

Nottingham is approximately 1¾ hours from London St Pancras by East Midlands Trains. Get special deals on gay-friendly hotels with our partners Bookings.

THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK

Chill Out (33 Heathcoat Street; T: 0845 125 9333)
Broadway Café Bar (Broad Street; T: 0115 952 1551)
Foresters Inn (183 Huntingdon Street; T: 0115 958 0393)
New Foresters (St. Anns Street; T: 0115 958 0432)
The Lord Roberts (14 Broad Street; T: 0115 941 4886)
Central (Huntingdon Street; T: 0115 958 5883)
NG1 (76-80 Lower Parliament Street; T: 0115 958 8440)
Manzfield (71 Ratcliffe Gate, Mansfield NG18; T: 01623 422 257)

Revised August 2016.

 

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