Wish you weren't here: What the Devon hotel landlady told gay David and Bryn

Arriving at the award-winning Pine Lodge guest house, the couple explained that they had reserved a double room and were looking forward to discovering the surrounding West Lyn Valley. The response was curt: gay men were not welcome.

Such discrimination is still not illegal and is far from rare. The problem runs so deep that VisitBritain has drawn up a code of conduct for affiliated hotels and guest houses that explicitly bans what has come to be called "hotel homophobia".

And while tourism industry leaders market the UK as gay-friendly, they are receiving more and more complaints from couples who have been turned away from hotels and b&bs.

Pine Lodge, in Lynton, is run by Malcolm and Pat Davies, and has four stars from the AA and the English Tourism Council, which also bestowed a Silver Award upon it.

Mr Allard, 37, said Mrs Davies was shocked when she realised that he and Mr Hughes were gay. "She said we should have told them we were gay so they could warn the other guests - it would upset them." Mr Davies told the men: "I won't have two men sharing a bed. This is my house."

Mr Allard said they felt "knocked sideways", and found accommodation elsewhere.

When The Independent on Sunday asked for an explanation, Mrs Davies referred us to a solicitor, who said, "... this matter has been dealt with in a robust and professional manner by the appropriate bodies and a line drawn under it."

Michael Cashman, the Labour MEP and former EastEnders actor, said he and his partner, Paul, had once been refused a double room at a hotel in Leeds. "When Paul turned up, the woman at reception said: 'Oh my God, it's a double bed.' If I hadn't been so determined, they would have thrown us out."

The writer and broadcaster Sandi Toksvig had a similar experience. At a Glasgow hotel, she and her partner were told it was illegal for them to share a double room. They demanded to know which law forbade them sleeping together. The hotel relented.

And last summer, a gay couple from London were refused a double room at Cromasaig guest house in Wester Ross, Scotland. Tom Forrest, the owner, later said: "There is no way on earth I'll allow poofs, sorry, homosexuals, to share a double room in my house."

Ben Summerskill, of the gay rights group Stonewall, said: "There used to be signs saying 'no blacks, no Irish, no dogs'. It is shocking it is still legal to put signs up saying 'no gays'. We are calling on the Government to amend the Equality Bill to sort this out." The Bill will be introduced in the House of Lords on Wednesday.

Additional reporting by David Greene


'The Independent on Sunday' last week tried to book a room for a gay couple at Maesyllan, Boncath, Pembrokeshire. This is what happened...

IoS: "I wondered if you had a double room available for any two nights, from the 14 November onwards?"

OWNER, LIZ BOLDERSTON: "The 14 November, for two nights?"

IoS: "Yes."

MRS BOLDERSTON: "Yes. Hold on for a second, I'll go and get our book ... So it was for a double ensuite room?"

IoS: "Yes."

MRS BOLDERSTON: "OK. Would you prefer a double ensuite bathroom or shower? I'll give you the choice because we haven't got anybody staying that week."

IoS: "OK, probably the bathroom. Can I just check - it would be for my partner, Tom, and me. Is that OK?"

MRS BOLDERSTON: "Your partner, Tom. Right. So, do you want a twin, would you like a twin room?"

IoS: "A double if possible."

MRS BOLDERSTON: "A double. Right. OK. Hmm, we'll see ... I'll just check a minute about the whole thing. We're actually doing big alterations at the moment." (Long pause.) "I'm sure you can hear all the bangings and things that are going on in the background. I don't think we're going to be able to manage that."

IoS: "Ah. OK."


IoS: "OK. Thank you for your time anyway."


IoS: "Bye."

Suggested Topics
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
Arts and Entertainment
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Quantitative Analyst (Financial Services, Graduate, SQL, VBA)

£45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Analyst (Financial Services, ...

Application Support Engineer (C++, .NET, VB, Perl, Bash, SQL)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Application Support Engineer (C++, .NET, VB, Per...

C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB6, WinForms)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB...

C# Developer (Genetic Algorithms, .NET 4.5, TDD, SQL, AI)

£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home