On the menu

13 of the UK’s best beer gardens

The perfect places to enjoy an alfresco pint, cocktail or glass of wine

1

Kent, England

The Old Neptune pub in Whitstable, Kent, England

Robert Harding/Alamy Stock Photo

The Old Neptune, Whitstable

Nicknamed “The Neppy” by locals, this 19th-century Whitstable boozer doesn’t just have a beer garden – it has a beer “beach”. One of the few pubs that can be found on a beach in Britain, its menu is filled with classic pub grub options, such as traditional favourites fish and chips, pie and mash and burgers. If “only views of the crashing waves will do”, then head to The Old Neptune, said Time Out. “Sit outside with salty shingle underfoot for unobstructed views of the sand, the sea and the watery horizon.”

2

Lake District, England

The Mortal Man pub in Troutbeck in the Lake District, Cumbria, England 

John Keates/Alamy Stock Photo

The Mortal Man, Troutbeck

If you’re taking a trip to Lake Windermere, or seeking a base in the Lake District, then this quirky traditional English inn offers not just food and drink, but 12 rooms as well. The large beer garden is “tucked among rolling green hills with spectacular views over the fells and dales”, said Allie D’Almo on Big Seven Travel. It’s “perfect” for lazy afternoons after long walks in the Lakes. According to the owners it’s “probably” the best beer garden in the Lake District.

3

Belfast, Northern Ireland

Cutters Wharf Bar and Restaurant in Belfast

visitbelfast.com

Cutters Wharf Bar and Restaurant, Belfast

Regarded as Belfast’s best riverside bar, Cutters Wharf is located right on the banks of the River Lagan. This “buzzy” bar has three terraces – River, Sunset, and Celebration – from which to enjoy live music from Belfast’s best traditional Irish bands, as well as views of the river and the setting sun, said Time Out. The perfect spot to enjoy a casual lunch, bottle of wine or gin cocktail. 

4

Cornwall, England

The Pandora Inn in Mylor, Falmouth in Cornwall, England

Browny/Alamy Stock Photo

Pandora Inn, Falmouth 

This 13th century pub is set in a pretty thatched cottage on the edge of Restronguet Creek in Cornwall. Its beer garden extends out onto a pontoon, where visitors can sit at a table and enjoy fresh food, an extensive wine list and traditional real ales from St Austell Brewery. One word of caution though, drivers should be aware that the pub’s car park is quite small and it can get pretty crowded in summer. So why not arrive by boat, said Allie D’Almo on Big Seven Travel. Falmouth Water Taxi and St Mawes Mini Cruises both stop directly outside the inn. “Not quite the French Riviera but every bit as pretty.”

5

Edinburgh, Scotland

Cold Town House in Edinburgh 

Cold Town House, Edinburgh

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 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. 

6

Dorset, England

Key West in Bournemouth

Key West Restaurant Bar & Grill, Bournemouth

Located at the end of Bournemouth Pier, 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. 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. 

7

London, England

The Ship in London

The Ship, Wandsworth

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 River 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. 

8

East Sussex, England

The Tempest Inn in Brighton    

The Tempest Inn, Brighton

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. 

9

London, England

The Duke Of Edinburgh in Brixton, London

The Duke of Edinburgh, Brixton

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 beer garden closes every night at 9.30pm.

10

Greater Manchester, England

The Lawn Club in Manchester 

The Lawn Club, Manchester

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 pergola or one of the pods, which fit up to six people and are free to book seven days a week. 

11

Glasgow, Scotland

The Ark in Glasgow

The Ark, Glasgow

The Ark prides itself on being Glasgows biggest beer garden with the largest number of outdoor screens. It’s a prime destination to watch sport and 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 burgers, subs, pies and plant-based variations for the meat-free. 

12

London, England

The Leather Bottle in London

The Leather Bottle, Earlsfield

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. 

13

London, England

Vinegar Yard in London

Vinegar Yard, London Bridge

Located in the heart of London Bridge, Vinegar Yard is constantly abuzz thanks to its plethora of pop-up bars and street food vendors. This vast outdoor space is one of the largest in the city, with views of London’s iconic buildings including The Shard. You can sample a great range of draught beers, with the selection featuring some of London’s best breweries. There’s also a huge range of spirits, wines and cocktails.

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