The most colourful event of the year has arrived! While Pride is a state of mind all-year round, the vibrant celebration parade lands in London on Saturday 1st July, following the month-long festivities that occur throughout June. London’s official Pride parade provides a home for every member of the LGBTQIA+ community, and supports positive social change, getting bigger, better, and more diverse every year. There are no rules as to how to celebrate – everything goes, and everyone is invited – but London can be a hectic city to navigate at the best of times. If you’re a seasoned visitor or heading to Pride for the very first time, here are a few handy tips to make the most out of your experience this summer and wave that rainbow flag high. 

Scout Out a Good Spot

The Pride route is historic and has been running through famous spots in the West End of London since 1972. It starts right by Marble Arch Station, looping around Hyde Park before making its way through Piccadilly Circus and ending in iconic Trafalgar Square. The latter two destinations are the busiest sections of the route, so if you’re after a more lowkey experience (well, as lowkey as it gets at Pride), then head to where the festivities kick off initially. There’ll be plenty of al fresco bars dotted along the course of the parade too, a perfect option if you want to people watch while the magic happens – ideal if you want to stay close to a restroom too. Ultimately, all things come to an end in Trafalgar Square so if you’re in the mood for a party, this is the place to head. 

Getty Images 1160754716

Plan in Advance

Marching in the parade itself is an experience like no other – but it requires a little advance planning. You must pre-register with a group to be right in the thick of the action, and the demand is pretty high. Or why not register as an independent participant? You and other independent Pride-goers can march alongside each other without a specific named group. There are other ways to get involved too – if you’re a community organisation/​group, a LGBT+ owned business or a major brand, you can hire a stall and set up at one of the six locations along the route. Stewarding is also a popular way to participate as it takes over 1,000 people to help the event run smoothly. Who can say no to a free t‑shirt?

Getty Images 1161561048 1

Make It an Overnighter

Whether you’re a London native or an out-of-towner, one thing is for sure – the Pride festivities will have you wiped out. Celebrations tend to carry on until the early hours of the morning at a minimum, so staying in the city is always the best option to extend your experience until the last minute possible, and trust us, you’re going to need the recovery time the next day. It’s also worth mentioning that there’ll be limited TFL services over parade weekend, and the entire route is pedestrianised, so it’ll be a bit of a walk to find buses or taxis. You can’t go wrong with a stay at Comfort Inn Hyde Park, putting you right in the heart of the action and within walking distance to the main Pride route.

Getty Images 1161564063

Fill Your Social Calendar 

London’s Pride parade is an occasion unto itself, but it’s important to remember that Pride is an event that is celebrated worldwide all-month long. So, naturally, the festivities extend across the whole 30 days in June, turning London into a hubbub of happiness and a city that can be a little gloomy, glamorous. There’s no shortage of events happening throughout the Big Smoke so gather your friends and loved ones, and click here to discover all the goings on: https://​pridein​lon​don​.org/expl…

Getty Images 1155237469

The Brighter, The Better

The flag is a rainbow for a reason! Bright colours, fancy dress, glitter – there’s no such thing as colour clashing when it comes to Pride. You’ll see people in a whole manner of vibrant costumes, but if you’re not in the mood to dress up, that’s fine too. The event is all about embracing everyone no matter their race, gender, sexual orientation, or appearance so whether you’re dressed head to toe in black or wearing your most out-there outfit, a good time is guaranteed to be had by all.

Getty Images 1160744510 1

Choice Hotels in London