There’s no place in Yorkshire, or Northern England for that matter, that feels quite as ‘medieval’ as York. Its age-old streets are brimming with history, attracting hordes of travelers looking for a classic historic English experience. The city is an incredible labyrinth of 13th-century walls, at the heart of which likes the magnificent York Minster, one of the world’s most beautiful Gothic cathedrals. York, just like the neighboring Leeds and English capital city London, is a gay friendly city. While it doesn’t particularly have a gay scene to speak of, there are many gay hotels in York that more than just welcome LGBTQ travelers. It’s no surprise that there are lots of options for gay hotels in Yorkshire generally, including neighboring cities like Leeds and Harrogate. These also include bed and breakfasts that the region is known for, which makes for excellent alternatives to hotels.
With York being one of The 12 Most Preserved Cities Medieval Cities In Europe, it’s a much sought-after destination with LGBTQ culture buffs. Straddling the gushing waters of the River Ouse, York brims with history, culture, and cosmopolitan charm, and really has it all. If you’re mesmerized by cobbled streets, Gothic structures, and England‘s rich history, then this is the city for you. To that end, here are the top 11 gay hotels in York, Yorkshire.
Gregory’s Guest House
York features tons of lovely green spaces, and the award-winning Gregory’s Guest House lies in the middle of them all. The stunning B&B lies on Bishy Road, voted the ‘Best High Street In The UK’ in a structure that dates back to 1900. It also lies on the direct bus route to the city center, which is a short 15-minute ride. Moreover, the boulevard it sits on is also the cycling route of Tour De France and Way Of The Roses, the newest cycling event in Great Britain.
The warm and welcoming B&B exudes a homely charm from every facet. It features a cozy lounge room with books, games, and even a TV with a DVD player. However, it’s food that’s the absolute standout here. The full Irish/English breakfast here comes highly recommended, complete with biscuits, marmalade, jams, and bread. What’s more, the hosts are terrific and even take into account any special dietary requests that you might have. Plus, the coffee is particularly great, and just the thing you need before you’re off to explore the city.
The rooms here are wonderfully cozy and modern at the same time, with a red color theme running through them all. Besides being ensuite, all rooms feature extra thoughtful touches that make your holiday as comfortable as possible. These include tea/coffee-making facilities, hairdryers, toiletries and towels in the bathrooms, and even free Wi-Fi. Fresh flowers brighten up the place, and they provide you a free map of York too.
The Principal York
The grand Victorian station hotel of The Principal York is easily one of the most luxurious gay hotels in York, Yorkshire. Sitting right next to the station, the hotel is even closer to York’s medieval walls, the Minster, and most other attractions. So, you’re close to the action without being in the hustle and bustle.
Don’t be fooled by the hotel’s monolithic, station-hotel appearance. For, on the inside, it’s modern and sleek while maintaining its elegance. Think lofty hallways, Corinthian pillars, mirrors on walls, velvet upholstery, and soft carpets. The bar and refectory-style restaurant is more industrial avant-garde, with the latter serving delicious meals including a hearty breakfast spread. What’s more, the hotel even has a basement leisure area with a pool and a gym, which is a rarity for a York hotel. The highlight is the airy Garden Room, where afternoon tea is served. During summers, the small garden across the car park is a lovely place to hang around. Everything is rounded up by traditional service levels of luxury hotels – crisp and up-to-the-minute.
You can choose to stay at any of the 155 rooms, all of which feature a soothing grey palette, marble-clad bathrooms, soft wool curtains. Dish out a bit extra and go for the Minster-view rooms or the suites which have huge, plush beds and even a goody box of local produce.
Marmadukes Town House Hotel
An award-winning restaurant, a tranquil, leafy location close to the city center, and oodles of Victorian charm – the Marmadukes Town House Hotel has it all. The homely hotel sits in the heart of buzzing Bootham and is a mere 10-minute walk to the historic city center. Oh, and it’s also gay friendly!
This 1881-built red-brick townhouse still has remnants of the original structure, like stained-glass windows and Victorian-tiled floors. Each room here is a treasure trove of vintage curios, due to the keen antique collecting nature of the owners. So, you’ll find a mixture of beds, chairs, rugs, and cabinets from every era from Edwardian to Georgian. Apart from the charming lounge, the restaurant and bar are the only public spaces. Everything from breakfast to dinner is a veritable feast, as is the list of cocktails. Props to the staff for knowing everything about pairings on the menu to the best things to do in town. Finally, the hotel offers parking for 7 GBP (9 USD) a day, which is a real perk for an expensive place like York.
21 rooms across two buildings mean staying here is as intimate as staying at a hotel can get. Every room is individually decked out in pale blues, yellows, reds, and mint greens with dark-wood antiques. While all rooms are ensuite, only a few have baths; so, check before booking. If you want to splash, choose the Loft Suite which has a sauna in the bathroom. It makes for the perfect nest for you and your partner.
Lamb & Lion Inn
If you literally want to stay thick in the middle of all the action, then the Lamb and Lion Inn is perfect. The Georgian pub is one of the most budget-friendly amazing gay hotels in York and is right down the street from York Minster. It sits right in the shadow of the architectural landmark of Bootham Bar (arched walkway) on the pedestrian-only High Petergate. Staying in York cannot get more central than this.
The hotel sits in two gorgeous Georgian buildings joint by delightful steep staircases and narrow passageways. On the inside, the look is simple yet homely, right from the six-seater dining room with a fire to the quaint bar. The showstopper is, undoubtedly, the expansive beer garden at the back. Apart from the old city walls bordering it on one side, it’s the views that do the trick. It enjoys a distinct cozy pub-like feeling and is serves both pub grub and a hearty English/Scottish breakfast. Rounding up everything in a neat little bow is the impeccable service by the staff.
You can choose from 12 rooms, all of which feature antique dark-wood/cast-iron beds and vintage showpieces. Over-long curtains allow you to sleep in late, while the views out of the windows are superb, to say the least.
The Queens Hotel
Stay on the quieter Western banks of the River Ouse at The Queens Hotel, a comfortable and value base for exploring York. One of the more well-placed gay hotels in York, Yorkshire, it’s one of only two central hotels right on the riverside. So, make the best of it and enjoy long walks with your partner or people-watch to your heart’s content. The cherry on top is that York’s historic center is a mere 10-20-minute walk.
The stone and red-brick exterior might blend in with neighboring warehouses-turned-apartments, but it’s a different story on the inside. Modern, eye-catching additions include comfy furnishings, honey-colored woods, and gold-and-blue patterned carpets. Framed prints add a dash of color to the surroundings. Even though it’s a value hotel, it does have a few frills. On sun-kissed days, the small balcony in the lounge is heavenly to soak up the sun and enjoy a cuppa. Spend mornings and evenings in the dining room-cum-bar, which serves delectable meals from breakfast to dinner.
If you prefer a serene, quiet stay, then you’ve come to the right place. Of the 78 rooms, the inner courtyard rooms are the quietest. Even the ones with gorgeous river views are decidedly quieter than most rooms in the city. Moreover, they’re all spacious and feature all the mod-cons you need for a comfortable stay.
The White Hart Hotel
The White Hart Hotel is one of the most premier hotels in the Yorkshire town of Harrogate, around half-an-hour away from York. One of the town’s best boutique gay hotels in Yorkshire, the hotel ticks all boxes for a perfect gaycation – a popular bar, a fresh design, and a fun, avant-garde style.
Overall, the White Hart Hotel is one chic and stylish dig with a great atmosphere. It channels an aesthetic that’s a cross between a quirky country house and a deluxe boudoir. So, expect to see modern art, oversized Baroque mirrors, and silver candlesticks against black, plum, and grey backgrounds. The bar is a very popular hangout for locals and is the perfect place to meet good-looking, dressed-up people. Come evening, and it feels like a bohemian drinking den with its carriage-style booths and its heavy-set bar counter. The more romantic restaurant serves delectable Scottish fare and is also where a full English breakfast with continental extras is served. Don’t miss the Sundays pub quiz – it makes for a good laugh. Ranging from cozy doubles to suites, rooms are smart and spacious with basic mod-cons and modern bathrooms. Some even have four-poster beds.
If you’re looking for an ultra-luxurious gaycation in York, then stay at The Grand York, the city’s only five-star offering. One of the most indulgent gay hotels in York, Yorkshire, the hotel retains its splendid Edwardian features while bringing it up-to-date with top-notch amenities and service. What’s more, it has one enviable location. It’s a 5-15-minute walk from the River Ouse, the medieval walls, shopping streets, the station, and major sights like York Minster.
The building in which the hotel sits had a former life as the headquarters of the deep-pocketed North Eastern Railway Company. Thus, the hotel features stunning original details like wide, arched hallways and a sweeping stone staircase. Modern, 21st-century details like velvet furniture and a charcoal grey and deep purple color palette lend it a luxurious and spacious feel. The fabulous service is helmed by cheery staff that is ready to cater to every request and whim. A visit to the ESPA spa with your partner is perfect after a long day of exploring York. It lies in the original vaults and includes a fantastic fitness room and a decadent pool. Rounding up the amenities are two restaurants and an atmospheric Whiskey Lounge.
Even the entry-level rooms at this hotel are spacious, with bathrooms in all rooms featuring both showers and bathtubs. All the same, we’d recommend the higher Executive category rooms which have a slew of mod-cons, even more space and access to the White Rose Lounge.
The Grange Hotel
The Grange Hotel is one of the most luxurious gay hotels in York, Yorkshire, and sits in an elegant Georgian townhouse. The hotel lies in Clifton away from the bustle of the city center, but a short stroll from it at the same time. Hence, it also makes for the perfect base to explore the Top 12 Things To Do In York.
A dark-brick Georgian facade with an ornate cornice and stone pillars is peppered with lush foliage, lending it a dreamy appearance. On the inside, it’s Georgian grandeur all the way; think gild-framed paintings, a sweeping staircase, and red-granite pillars. Funky lighting, velvet furnishings, and deep-blue walls lend it the townhouse feel. Dig into excellent meals at the atmospheric vaulted-cellar brasserie. The modern photography on exposed brick walls lends it a romantic ambiance. Speaking of which, we also have 11 Most Romantic Hotels In York UK for the best ambiance!
The property has multiple nooks where you can relax, including a first-floor living room and the large, club-like bar. Moreover, the place even has regular events including gin tastings and soul and jazz evenings.
The room choices and decor range from a cool, chic townhouse to classic, country house, depending on what floats your boat. Nevertheless, they all have crisply contemporary bathrooms, seating areas, and mod-cons, notwithstanding the era.
The Judges Lodging
If you’re in York for shopping and sightseeing, then head straight to The Judges Lodging, one of its most gay friendly hotels. Moreover, it also happens to be one of the 11 Best Hotels In York and lies on Lendal Street, one of the city’s prime shopping spots. Major sights and attractions of the city are within walking distance, while the lovely banks of the River Ouse are one block down.
A double-door entrance leads you into this impressive, three-story Georgian townhouse, which offers hospitality, York-style. It boasts a smart, stylish townhouse feel, thanks to the bold wallpaper and modern upholstery, that sit pretty against original features like marble fireplaces and a striking curving staircase. Even though it’s an inn, there are many places where you can relax. These include the rear roof terrace, the rear courtyard, or the lovely front one overlooking the street. You can also hang out at the atmospheric cellar bar, where the all-day menu and breakfast, both are delicious.
21 rooms are divided into different categories, with the entry-level ones being more contemporary in character. Terrace rooms look onto the internal courtyard, but the best is the larger and attractive Feature and Character rooms. In fact, some of the best rooms in the house enjoy Minster-tower views.
All conventional notions you have of a hostel fly out of the room at Safestay York, one of the zaniest gay hotels in York, Yorkshire. This superb hostel sits in a grand Georgian building on one of York’s most important medieval streets, Micklegate. It’s tucked right between the River Ouse and the city’s medieval walls at Micklegate Bar, which is an impressive location for a hostel. Moreover, it lies within walking distance of the city center too, making it the perfect budget base for LGBTQ backpackers.
Even though it’s a hostel, Safestay punches well above its weight. A purple front door beckons you into the red-brick Georgian house with period features like a sweeping staircase and decorative cornices. Modern, 21st-century touches include striped carpets, velvet furniture, and colors like lemon, lime, purple, and pink. Elaborately framed portraits, candelabras, and big mirrors give it a completely ‘un-hostel’ look. The heart and soul of the hostel is the lounge-bar with a pool table. You might even spy some good-looking people strumming the free guitar that makes for very interesting conversations. A small courtyard, a refectory-style dining room, and a basement lounge area complete the communal areas of the hostel. Simple snacks are offered all day, and a basic breakfast completes the offerings.
With 145 choices for beds across 23 rooms, this is one huge hostel. It comprises female-only/mixed dorms as well as private rooms, depending on what suits you. While the dorms are spacious and lovely, the private rooms are particularly swish with flatscreen TVs, hot drinks, and more.
Guy Fawkes Inn
History lives and breathes on in the very walls of the Guy Fawkes Inn, a fabulous gay hotel in York, Yorkshire sitting right by the Minster. The historic pub-with-rooms is named after the best-known participant of the failed Gunpowder Plot, Guy Fawkes. In fact, it sits right opposite the 16th-century church where he was baptized in 1570. Its plum position at the top end of the High Petergate places it just a few steps from York Minster. If you were to live and breathe English history, then you can’t find a better place to stay in York.
The pub-hotel preserves its historic feel, right from the gas-lit bar to the atmospheric dining-room. Both places are darkly cozy, complete with gas lamps and the odd suit of armor. The pub menu here is a favorite with both locals and tourists, and it also serves a superb cooked breakfast. Also, it has a full roster of amazing events, including a very popular Sunday-night live blues gig. Since it’s a traditional inn, the focus is on the food. The narrow courtyard, complete with an eye-catching mural of Guy Fawkes, is also a nice place to chill.
Right off it sits wonky stairs leading up to the 13 rooms, which emanate the atmosphere of the Georgian building. Well-worn antiques, four-poster/cast-iron beds, and long, silk curtains are mainstays in all rooms. While bathrooms are on the small side, they’re immaculate and two even have roll-top baths. Splurge on the romantic top-floor Belfry Suite with excellent views of the Minster.
Get Some Culture in York:
- York Pride: York Pride celebrates the diversity of York’s LGBTQ community. Apart from a parade, there is a slew of other events, including fun-filled after-parties.
Best Gay Bars / Clubs in York:
Although York doesn’t specifically have a ‘gay bar,’ these establishments are very LGBTQ friendly.
- Nag’s Head: This LGBTQ friendly bar underwent a complete renovation before York Pride in 2014. Today, it’s one of the places where the official after-parties take place.
- Thomas’s of York: This bar popular with LGBTQ visitors hosts numerous Pride events. It’s also famous for its list of wines, which is one of the best in the UK.
Best Gay Saunas in York:
York doesn’t have a gay sauna scene yet. We’re hopeful that with the city’s open-minded nature, York will have gay saunas very soon.