Though most of us can’t physically travel right now, there’s still a wonderful world out there for us to explore together. Traveling IQuarantine spotlights people and places through which we can escape our sequestered realities… and in the process expand our Traveling IQ.

Ben and Sion are The Globetrotter Guys
Ben & Sion: The Globetrotter Guys

Traveling In Quarantine: The Globetrotter Guys in Manchester, UK

Ben and Sion–The Globetrotter Guys–left their UK home in January 2018 to embark on a two-year adventure, all the while documenting the best in gay travel on their blog and Instagram account.

They have been a couple since 2008 and married since 2017, they are both adorable and, lucky for us all, they don’t own many shirts.

The Guys have traveled across Central America, Europe and South East Asia and lived abroad in Melbourne, Madrid and Cape Town. Along the way, they’ve written detailed guides to some of the best-known gay destinations in the world, while also delving deeper into some lesser-known gems.

In 2019, they were nominated as one of the “Best LGBT Travel Blogs” by the British Travel Awards. They’ve collaborated with major gay-friendly travel brands including Celebrity Cruises, Travelzoo and Marriott, to name a few.

Now back in the UK, they continue producing gay travel content while using their time on lockdown to plan new exciting adventures to share with us all.

What’s next for the Guys?

Traveling IQuarantine interviews The Globetrotter Guys and together we explore Manchester, UK.

The Globetrotter Guys explore gay travel
The Globetrotter Guys

IQ: How did you meet? 

Sion: We first met on a night out in 2008 during my first year of University in Manchester and Ben’s first night out in Manchester (he had travelled from Halifax). We were at a club in the Gay Village and I spotted Ben, thought he was cute and went up and kissed him – the rest is history!

Where are you from and where do you live now? 

Ben: I am originally from Halifax (Yorkshire) but moved to be with Sion in Manchester in 2010 until 2018 when we left the UK. Right now we have just returned and set ourselves up back in Halifax which is a 40 minute train journey from Manchester.

Sion: I am from North Wales and moved to Manchester when I was 18 to study Physics at University, which is when I met Ben.

Describe your featured destination–Manchester:

Manchester is considered to be the gay capital of the North but in our opinion, we would class it as the gay capital of the UK, even beating the likes of London.

It’s a relatively small city such that you can walk pretty much everywhere you need (within the city centre) instead of relying on public transport. The people here are known for being very friendly and although its hard to articulate, Manchester has a very warm and welcoming vibe.

What makes Manchester a place for LGBTQ travelers?

As mentioned, Manchester is known as the gay capital of the North and its biggest offering for LGBTQ+ travellers is the Gay Village/Canal Street.

All of Manchester’s gay bars and clubs are clustered together along Canal Street and the surrounding blocks which make up the gay village. There are over 20 different bars/clubs catering to everyone (check out our Guide to Gay Bars in Manchester).

Manchester Pride is one of the biggest in the country and runs for 4 days over the bank holiday in August–it’s not to be missed!

What are three spots that you love in your Manchester and why?

We think you can guess our first, the gay village and it’s easy to guess why.

Spinningfields is the place to go for the fanciest restaurants and trendy (sometimes pretentious) bars if you want a treat.

Finally, the Northern Quarter is a very cool area to explore with lots of alternative cafes, bars and restaurants.

What are three LGBTQ highlights/ places in Manchester?

For this question I think we should share our favourite three bars/clubs for a night out in the Gay Village.

G-A-Y has the best music (in our opinion) for proper sing-your-heart-out pop tunes. Thompsons is a dive bar but we love it for its cheap drinks, great music and fun vibe. Finally, Cruz 101 is the biggest gay club on offer and where you should finish your night.

If Coronavirus is magically cured overnight and quarantine ends abruptly, where will you choose to celebrate?

We would get a group of friends together and do a bar crawl along Canal Street, hitting the bars mentioned above and many more!

If you could choose anywhere in the world to Quarantine, where would it be and why? 

We would choose the Corn Islands in Nicaragua. We went to these in 2018 and they are the definition of a hidden paradise that not many people have heard about. This was the first place in the world where we experienced the most perfect white Caribbean sand beach without any other tourists at all! (Read about them here).

What is coming up in 2020 for you guys?

For the next couple of months everything is on hold when it comes to travel (we should be in Amsterdam for our wedding anniversary right now!). All being well, our next trip is in August when we go on a gay sailing trip to Croatia with a group of guys from all over the world (if anyone wants to join us let us know!). Beyond that we are waiting before booking more trips although Gran Canaria in November may well be on the cards for Winter Pride!

To check out The Globetrotter Guys other adventures… 

And get in the mood for Manchester Pride, scheduled for August 28-31, 2020:

Follow the Traveling IQ (In Quarantine) series, highlighting people and places through which we can escape our sequestered realities.

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