Inclusive Cymru: Your LGBT+ Guide to Wales
Wales is known across the world for its warm and welcoming nature, something that really shines through with the number of LGBT+ friendly organisations, venues and teams across the country. So if you’re LGBT+ and visiting Wales, we’ve got you covered.
Manorhaus Hotel, Llangollen, North Wales by Joanne Burek & Lee StickleHotel owners Gavin and Chris provide a wonderfully stylish ‘croeso’ (that’s Welsh for welcome - you’ll hear it a lot when you first meet our people) at two fantastic boutique locations in Ruthin and Llangollen in North Wales. Features include a cinema and spa (at the Ruthin venue), roof top hot tub (in Llangollen), a smattering of modern art, and well curated menus which offer contemporary cuisine, cocktails, canapes and more.
The Golden Cross, Cardiff by nonsuchdjsThe Golden Cross is a historic Grade II listed pub in the centre of Cardiff. Something of a Welsh institution; this landmark pub built in 1903 attracts a crowd across the ages. It’s especially popular with old school Cardiff locals who walk up from Cardiff Bay (or Tiger Bay if you’re the real McCoy) to enjoy a pint of real ale (and maybe bash out a tune on the karaoke). If you’re visiting in the summer, be sure to check out the beer garden which is usually full of revellers enjoying the sunshine.
The Gay Outdoor Club is a friendly, national organisation which welcomes LGBT+ people and their friends to enjoy a wide range of outdoor and indoor sports and recreational activities. The Welsh arm of the GOC covers locations such as the Brecon Beacons, Wye Valley, Snowdonia, and more, where you (and any four legged friends) are welcome to join on walks and activities.
Felin Glais near Brecon, Mid Wales by Felin GlaisRun by David and Chris, this 5* star B&B offers four rooms, including a Super King with a spa bath. The breakfast menu - crafted from local produce - is delectable, and the location is absolutely stunning – you’ll want to explore the surrounding scenery all day long. Dog owners will be pleased to know that their furry friends are welcome, and the quiet atmosphere is perfect for some serious R&R.
5. Make the most of visiting the ‘land of song’ by watching an inclusive choir
The South Wales Gay Men’s Chorus are an audio pleasure that will make your heart soar. Their harmonies are exquisite, and their wonderful vocals have taken them all across the UK and beyond.
Also based in South Wales are the Songbirds, a choir for LBT+ people in Wales. And they certainly live up to their name, singing a wide variety of songs, ranging from Adele to the Lion King.
Cardiff Mardi GrasAn annual festival, Pride Cymru takes over the Welsh capital for an entire weekend every year to bring life, love, laughter and a serious amount of diversity to the streets, clubs and bars of Cardiff. 2017 boasted the biggest Pride Cymru event to date and it is widely regarded as one of the UK’s best Pride celebrations. Top tip: after watching the main stage shows and visiting the wide variety of stalls at the main festival space, head to Churchill Way for the infamous Pride Cymru street party which goes on until the early hours. Prepare for lots of glitter and a ride on a rodeo bull.
The Swansea Vikings are a gay and inclusive rugby team based not far from the beautiful Swansea Bay. The Vikings are only the second gay-inclusive rugby team to be founded in Wales (the Cardiff Lions were the first), but they are doing so well they have recently been nominated for a Welsh Diversity Award. Fast paced, and a lot of fun to watch, you can catch the Vikings playing at their home ground at Swansea Uplands Rugby Football Club. You can usually also catch the team on a night out in Swansea; they’re generally pretty easy to spot as they’re always in fancy dress.
The Iris Prize, Cardiff by The Iris Prize Festival combines Wales’ vibrant creative atmosphere with that famous warm and inclusive Welsh attitude. The world renowned LGBT+ film festival is held every autumn in Cardiff, showcasing and celebrating the LGBT+ community and film making.
Iris, which launched over a decade ago, is now internationally recognised as the perfect launch-pad for filmmakers wishing to tell LGBT+ stories on the big screen. Follow them on Twitter to keep updated with the next festival and the films they’re showing.