Enjoy sports and the great outdoors
We’re big on the great outdoors here, and all the myriad activities – including mountaineering, biking, rafting, kayaking and just good ole’ fashioned walking – can be done on organised trips with kindred spirits. The Gay Outdoor Club and Outdoor Lads both offer an excellent ways in which to meet new people and see terrific landscapes.
The Gay Outdoor Club is a friendly organisation with three busy groups covering North, South and West Wales. LGBT+ people and their friends are welcome to join and enjoy a wide range of outdoor and indoor sports and recreational activities. Experience Wales including the Brecon Beacons, Wye Valley, Snowdonia and more, where you (and any four-legged friends) are welcome to join walks and activities.
You can contact each group coordinator by emailing:
- email@example.com (Paul Gannon)
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Alan Dack)
- email@example.com (Allyson Evans)
Run with the Foxes
Cardiff's LGBTQ+ Running Group, the Cardiff Foxes, meet every Sunday in Cardiff at 10.15am for a 10.30am start. Guest runners are always welcome. After the run the Foxes can normally be seen enjoying a coffee at The Queer Emporium.
You can contact the group via e-mail Cardifffoxes@gmail.com
Play ball with the Base Liners
If your world revolves around tennis, you can join the Cardiff Base Liners who meet every Saturday between 12-2pm at Heath Park.
You can contact them via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch gay and inclusive rugby
The Cardiff Lions were the first gay-inclusive rugby club in Wales and are now joined by the Swansea Vikings. Both teams encourage people to come and watch them play.
A fresh, new and vibrant space for bi and lesbian women. Escape Events organise monthly events bringing women from South Wales and the Borders together for an array of exciting experiences. Past events have included Clay Pigeon Shooting in Brecon, canoeing down the Wye River and eating out in the latest restaurant.
Places to visit
Visit Cardiff’s oldest gay bar
The Golden Cross is an historic Grade II listed pub in the centre of Cardiff. This Welsh institution was built in 1903 and today is popular with the young and young at heart. They have a popular garden; the Cardiff Base Liners call this place home and when they are not playing tennis, they can be heard singing karaoke!
If however your thing is BINGO you should head over to Mary’s for their Sunday night extravaganza, but get there early if you want to get a seat.
The Queer Emporium
The Queer Emporium is a social enterprise and non-profit that acts as a community hub and sells goods from local LGBTQ+ businesses and makers. It is the first of its kind in the world and even has an events programme that operates year-round. Regular events include The Welsh Ballroom Community, Draglings (a new drag act night), stand-up comedy and more! One of their flagship events is the annual Queer Fringe Festival, which takes place across Cardiff in June.
Read more: Guide to some of the best LGBT+ places in Cardiff
Best in the west
Aberystwyth has long had a reputation as the west’s most LGBT-friendly town, and once topped Stonewall’s annual survey of Britain’s most LGBT+ friendly universities. Much of this is due to the stalwart efforts of the uni’s LGBT society.
Dylan Thomas’ birthplace always scores high on student satisfaction surveys, thanks to its laid-back seaside ambience. There’s a small but lively scene in Swansea, largely based on its High Street where you’ll find The Kings Arms pub and Pulse nightclub. The Swansea Sparkle event is the focus for the transgender community every November, while Swansea Pride regularly pulls thousands to Singleton Park on the last Saturday in June.
Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival
Make new friends in the dark during Cardiff’s international LGBT+ film festival each October. Film makers from all over the word introduce their work and enjoy meeting the audience at daily happy hours, special events and parties including the annual karaoke competition with Canada defending their crown. The festival hands out many awards including the world’s largest short film prize at £30,000 – will you spot the winner?
LGBT+ History Month – February
You can see award winning films from the Iris Prize festival in Pontio in Bangor, Taliesin in Swansea and Aberystwyth Arts Centre. The Best of Iris is just one part of a month-long celebration of events that takes place across Wales in arts centres, museums, and Universities to mark LGBT+ History Month.