The new Glasgow and Edinburgh? OutUK's Adrian Gillan takes the high road to Dundee and Aberdeen. Sure, jock jewels Glasgow and Edinburgh make a shining Scottish pair, but there's another diamond duo a mere hour or so due north: Dundee and Aberdeen offer a warm and welcome alternative. Looking across the Firth of Tay towards Dundee.


Birthplace of Marmalade, Desparate Dan and The Beano plus a host of other sticky things, as you head north and cross the mouth of the mighty Tay, Dundee's compact and largely uncharted delights lie sprawled out and ready!
Good things come in threes! A short walk from the train station, lose it for an evening in the city's perfectly-proportioned 'Pink Triangle', comprising of two bars and a club, nestled together and with conveniently staggered closing times so you yourself can likewise neatly stagger from one t'other as the night scampers on. One of Dundee's most famous creations Desparate Dan immortalised in the city centre.
The Kandy Bar, formerly the Klozet Bar, on Seagate is a traditional, gay-dominated set-up, with a free disco on Friday and Saturday evenings when it tends to be pretty exclusively queer and a good place to down a few jars and flex a few choice cheesy steps on the spacious - yet woefully underused - dance floor before shimmying on. The bar boasts a classy, understated decor and a great selection of drinks, with karaoke, live music and special events taking place throughout the week.

The Salty Dog on Crichton Street is the other gay pub that's full of freindly people and has good music and a good atmosphere where it doesn't matter what gender or sexuality you are. Even straight men think that a night out in Dundee isn't complete without a few jars at the Salty. Gay Men love it even more, and there's always plenty of guys to choose from.

If things don't work out, you can always take a twenty minute stroll back past the train station towards the airport and cruise the truck stop on Riverside Drive and the sports pavilion opposite.


And so jump that train for the mere hour's journey north along a dramatic, cliffy coast to the brooding beauty that is the Granite City. Aberdeen is a fair wee bit larger than Dundee but has a scene about the same size, although perhaps slightly more male-dominated.

Established in 1996, Cheerz Bar has been at the heart of Aberdeen's small but welcoming gay scene for the best part of two decades. It is the only gay bar in the city, and thank goodness it's open seven days a week!

You can pop in to enjoy the weekly pub quiz on Wednesdays or karaoke on Mondays, Saturdays and Sundays, plus pop and dance music and good-value drinks throughout the rest of the week.

An early evening drink at Castlegate in the centre of Aberdeen, nicknamed Granite City as so many buildings were constructed using the local stone.
The only other queer Aberdonian treats include the gay-trendy Café 52 on The Green, just west of the bars, is open from lunch until late, serving creative and well-priced cuisine. It has become a leading light in attracting people to this amazing little quadrangle tucked in behind Union Street, and they can offer a good night out with an amazing meal.


The gay-friendly Jasmine Central Guest House formerly The Abacus Central Guest House, on Jasmine Terrace - a quiet old street just ten minutes stroll north of the city centre and scene - is recommended. You can also book other hotels online at our partners Bookings.


Dundee and Aberdeen are easily reached by London North East Railway's regular high-speed rail service. Information and online booking available at


The Kandy Bar (75 Seagate, Dundee; T: 01382 690403; facebook
The Salty Dog (9 Crichton St, Dundee; T: +44 7580 171426)
Jasmine Central Guest House (27 Jasmine Terrace, Aberdeen; T: 01224 641410; Website
Café 52 (52 The Green, Aberdeen; T: 01224 590094; Website
Cheerz Bar (2 Exchange St, Aberdeen; T: +44 1224 582648; Website

Revised October 2021.


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