Ten of the UK’s best beer gardens to visit in 2021
DesignMyNight pick out the perfect places to enjoy an alfresco drink
Pubs will reopen for outdoor service from 12 April and there will be plenty of places to enjoy an alfresco tipple or two.
In this list, the team from DesignMyNight highlight ten of the UK’s most loved beer gardens, including a seaside favourite in Brighton and a spacious sun trap in Edinburgh that boasts views of the city’s famous castle.
For more information on the UK’s best beer gardens, see DesignMyNight.com or follow on Instagram and Facebook; @DesignMyNight.
Key West is a fantastic spot for drinks with a view. The seaside restaurant and bar juts out into the water, meaning panoramic vistas of Bournemouth’s blue coastline no matter where you sit. Perfect for nursing a pint on a warm day, there is a decent selection of draught beers on tap and offers such as two cocktails for £10 from 3pm everyday of the week. The food menu is a no-frills affair, broken down into different sections, including a number of seafood classics such as a “world famous” hand battered fish with chunky chips.
When it comes to beer gardens, The Ship is positioned as one of London’s most loved. Located in Wandsworth, this pub is tucked along the banks of the Thames and is known for its picturesque waterside views. The team pour a range of craft beers and ales and have an extensive wine menu alongside a selection of classic cocktails for those looking for something with a kick. Due to the pandemic, walk-ins are no longer accepted and booking is essential.
The Tempest Inn
Brighton is rich when it comes to its number of beer gardens but one worth taking note of is The Tempest Inn. Hailed as one of the coolest and most unique spaces in the city, this pub is home to intimate indoor caves with a terrace that spills onto the seafront. Brighton was placed as the most vegan-friendly city in 2020, so it comes as no surprise that the kitchen has a dedicated vegan menu with plant-based dishes like cauliflower wings and mushroom katsu curries. It’s a great place to nurse a pint and watch the sun set.
The Duke of Edinburgh
The Duke of Edinburgh in Brixton has one of south London’s biggest beer gardens, with picnic benches stretching as far as the eye can see. It’s one of the most popular outdoor areas south of the river, and has a touch of nature about it thanks to the surrounding trees which are lit up by hundreds of overhead fairy lights come nightfall. White Men Can’t Jerk has a kitchen residency and dishes out Caribbean fusion food seven days a week - perfect for soakage after a couple of drinks.
The Lawn Club
The Lawn Club is a favourite among Mancunians and the emerald green urban garden is prepared for all variations of British summertime thanks to a handful of private spaces. You can hire out a lawn house for as little as £30 come the weekend or one of the lawn pods which fit up to six people and are free to book seven days a week. The team have announced an exciting new menu for spring with a strawberry elderflower fizz and paradise margarita taking the spotlight.
Cold Town House
Calton Hill Brewery was the first in Britain to brew lager and Edinburgh’s Cold Town House was named after the famed Grassmarket destination. Opening in 2019, this relatively new outpost - which was previously a church - has already made a name for itself with its mission to make beer accessible for all. Its beer garden displays favourable views of Edinburgh Castle with a variety of seating to choose from, including gondola seats and ski lifts. Another unique feature of this outdoor space is its vintage Nissan van where you can order drams directly to your table.
The Ark in Glasgow prides itself on being the city’s biggest beer garden with the largest number of outdoor screens. It’s a prime destination to watch sport and will be a hotbed for football fans when the Euros take place this summer. The drinks menu has everything you’d expect: draft beer, cider, wines and spirits, but there’s more to be said about the food menu. It’s loaded with toasties, burgers, subs, pies and plant-based variations for the meat-free.
The Leather Bottle
The Leather Bottle has a rich history with more than 300 years of experience in pouring ales. It’s one of Earlsfield’s oldest pubs and has a fantastic beer garden packed with private huts, parasol-ready picnic benches and its very own BBQ station that’s looked after by the Burger Shack. The space has a dedicated outdoor bar and the huts come heated with individual log fires, making them sought-after spaces for small groups all year round.
Located in the heart of London Bridge, Vinegar Yard is constantly a buzz thanks to its plethora of pop-up bars and street food vendors - which include Baba G’s and Nanny Bill’s. This vast outdoor space is one of the largest in the city, with views of London’s iconic buildings including The Shard. Private rum shacks with dedicated table service are a new addition to the alfresco space and will be available to book all year round.
Cardiff Distillery is nestled away in the five-star boutique hotel Cathedral 73, and it’s known for producing some of the best gins in Wales. Home to its very own gin school where you can make your own bottle from the still, this juniper-led venue is also home to a sun-trapped beer garden which is open all year round. Pods are the newest addition to the space, which you can rent out if you want something a little more experiential during your visit.