Wooden picnic-style tables and being sat at in The Ship pub beer garden. There are strings of fairy lights hanging above the tables, and the river in the background

Best beer gardens in the UK

Summer is coming (or so we hope) and there's nothing better than a good beer garden when the sun comes out. Here's our pick of the best in the UK.

Looking for the best beer gardens in the UK? Check out our round-up of the best pubs with beer gardens and best beer gardens across London and the UK.


Best beer gardens in London…

The Faltering Fullback, London N4 (Finsbury Park)

The Faltering Fullback has a small but very popular beer garden split over higgledy-piggledy decking amongst plenty of ivy and other greenery. This clever use of space creates intimate corners to slouch into while enjoying the sunshine. 

This Irish pub has plenty of classic pints to choose from, and the food is of the Thai variety, so you can tuck into a feast of chicken satay, spring rolls and green curry in the secluded inner-city oasis.


Red Lion & Sun, London N6 (Highgate)

This dog-friendly neighbourhood pub, moments away from Hampstead Heath in leafy Highgate, is the perfect spot to spend a summer’s day sipping on local ales and fine wines. There’s a popular beer garden out front, but this summer sees another area to bask in the sunshine. Red Lion & Sun’s hidden back garden has been transformed into a Mediterranean pocket by the folks at Gin Mare – a pretty white pergola, blue-and-white-tiled picnic tables and plenty of plants put the brand’s breezy, summery stamp on the place.

Gin Mare is infused into three refreshing concoctions – with orange bitters, marmalade, tonic and orange in the Triple Orange, with crème de pêche, tonic and fresh basil in a sweet basil and peach spritz, and with spicy tomato juice, celery and lemon in aMed twist on the bloody mary. You can also sip on Gin Mare straight up with tonic and a sprig of rosemary to enjoy the gin’s herbaceous Spanish botanicals.

Proper pub food sits alongside twists from across the world – pan-fried sea trout comes with pak choi, sticky rice and a chilli-garlic oyster sauce; while chargrilled jerk chicken is served with rice’n’peas, mango and papaya salad and fried plantain. Go classic with a burger, and a very good one at that – a thick, juicy patty is served in a floury grilled bap with large juicy gherkins and hand-cut, skin-on chips.


Gin Mare Terrace Red Lion and Sun Highgate

The Albion, London N1 (Islington)

Sandwiched between Caledonian road and Upper Street, the garden at The Albion under the wisteria-draped pergolas is an oasis of calm in this busy area. Food is the focus and, alongside the classics, during the summer they have a BBQ. Grab a pint or glass of rosé, find a sunny spot and forget you’re in the middle of the city.


CRATE brewery, London E9 (Hackney)

There are few more lovely places to spend a sunny afternoon than on the canal outside CRATE’s tap room in Hackney. The full CRATE range will be on offer as well as some fantastic hand-picked guest brews. They do great pizza, too, such as sage and truffle, middle eastern lamb and spicy salami.


An old white printworks factory sits on the edge of the river, with a barge boat in front of it

The Great North Wood, London SE27 (West Norwood)

This lofty gastro pub really brightened up the local area, offering an all-day menu of pub classics, ales and craft spirits in an airy space with exposed brick walls.

The pub boasts a large beer garden out the back with its own dedicated bar housed in a wooden shack and a dedicate barbecue area. There are six burgers to choose from, so pick between crispy Cajun chicken, lamb, mint and coriander, or Korean fried vegan patties to tuck into beneath the pergolas climbing with plants. 


The Ferry Boat Inn, London N17 (Walthamstow)

Tucked between a nature park and a reservoir, in Walthamstow’s beautiful wetlands, The Ferry Boat Inn is the sort of London pub that will make you forget that you’re still very much within the M25. With a Pimms bar, and twinkly lights for when the sun sets, there’s always a fight for seats outside. On colder days, keep warm via the pub’s whisky passport – try four, get one free!


The Edinboro Castle, London NW1 (Camden)

Young folk gather in this lively beer garden after picnics in Regent’s Park and shopping in Camden. Surrounded by trees and bushes, this sheltered courtyard is packed with long tables to drink craft ales round (go for the local Camden Hells lager), with plenty of sheltered huts in case the rain comes. There’s a menu of pub classics, as well as regular barbecues in the garden, plus the occasional hog roast.


The Ship, London SW18 (Wandsworth)

As soon as the sun puts its hat on the beer garden at The Ship gets rammed. Right on the river with beautiful sunsets and summer BBQs, it’s easy to see why. They’re dedicated to serving the freshest beers here with a focus on local London breweries, but you’ll also find big names on the American craft brew scene. Don’t miss the scotch egg – it’s legendary.


The Beer Garden at The Ship Pub, Wandsworth

Best beer gardens across the country…

The Old Neptune, Whitstable

Perched at the start of Whitstable’s pebbly beach, The Old Neptune offers an undisturbed sea view as you sip your pint. Known to the locals as ‘The Neppy’, this popular pub has been standing strong since the early 20th century. Take a seat on a picnic bench and tuck into fish and chips, or, in the summer, enjoy burgers and hotdogs straight from the beach BBQ.


The Potting Shed, Cotswolds

Snuggled in to the heart of the Cotswolds village of Crudwell, The Potting Shed is the epitome of a country local. There’s an outdoor patio and garden from which you can peek into the neighbouring allotments or challenge your friends to a game of boules on the pitch out back. Try a Cotswolds dry gin (here are our favourite English gins), or taste local ales such as Elmers pale bitter from Flying Monk Brewery in neighbouring Malmesbury. The pie of the day (ham with a poached egg on top, or chicken, sweetcorn and black pudding) is a must, served, as it should be, with creamy mash and rich gravy.

The Potting Shed Crudwell Beer Garden

The Packhorse, Bath

Re-opened in spring 2018 after a community buy-out and restoration, the Packhorse Inn makes a great destination to aim for on a walk from the centre of Bath up to the city’s southern slopes (there are also a handful of parking spaces if you want to head straight there; if you change your mind when you arrive you can pick up one of its leaflets of local walks and stride out into the surrounding valleys, or along the route of the old Somerset coal canal).

In the postcard-perfect, honey-stone village of South Stoke, a sensitive refurb has stripped this ancient, dog-friendly inn (the building dates back to the 17th century) down to its picturesque bones (inglenook fireplaces, mullioned windows, simple wooden tables and chairs) and now makes one of the most convivial spots in the area for a pint of Brotherhood 1618 (or Honeys Midford Cider) and a posh sausage roll, a cider-glazed ham and Dijon sandwich or a full Sunday lunch.

Food is overseen by Rob Clayton (of Clayton’s Kitchen, in Bath) and ticks all the right boxes. In season there are plates of buttered Wye Valley asparagus, herb gnocchi with roast beetroot, pickled carrot and ewe’s curd or grilled Cornish mackerel but the menu mostly sticks to reassuring pub classics: beer-battered fish and chips, steak with triple-cooked chips, roast local beef or pork belly. There’s also a small but well thought-through kids’ menu.

The Packhorse also has one other killer attribute: arguably the best beer garden in Bath, with a backdrop of South Stoke’s pretty rooftops and wide-angle views out across the leafy Midford Valley below.


On a wooden table sits a white bowl filled with orange soup with a vase of flowers in the background

Queen’s Head, Blyford

This 15th century pub is close to the Adnams brewery in Southwold, so you’re guaranteed to get a good pint. There’s lot of green space surrounding the pub, as well as a dedicated beer garden where you’ll find ducks, chickens and pigs sharing the sunshine.


Here are some of the best British beers to try including:

  • Magic Rock High Wire 
  • Cloudwater Session Bitter 
  • Wiper & True Milk Shake 
  • Wild Beer Co Millionaire 
  • Beavertown Gamma Ray


Best British Beers From British Craft Breweries

The Cary Arms, Babbacombe

The Cary Arms must be the most tranquil place for a pint in Devon. Happily sat inside the curve of Babbacombe bay, right next to Oddicombe beach, the view from the inn stretches to Portland Bill in Dorset and takes in the pink-soil cliffs of the English Riviera and an old pier where both seals and locals like to fish.  Outside is a series of tiered terraces separated by pristine rock gardens, all with beautiful views of the bay (there’s no such thing as a bad table).


Hare & Hounds, Bath

Head to the Hare & Hounds for the best views of Bath. Perched above the city, sit on the sunny terrace and you’ll be able to see down into the town and out across the Bath countryside. The food is great, too, with dishes such as honey-baked figs, slow-cooked pork belly and pub classics.


The Bridges, Shropshire

This particular pocket of south Shropshire is home to more than its fair share of small, independent breweries. The Bridges in Ratlinghope is the Three Tuns’ bucolic country tap house. Set by a brook at the foot of the sweeping Long Mynd mountain, there are plenty of wooden benches to slouch around and enjoy a sunny afternoon. Five seasonal beers are on tap, including Clerics Cure IPA, which also features in the pub’s beer-battered fish and chips.


The Bridges Pub Shropshire

The Dolaucothi Arms, Carmarthenshire, Wales

In the rolling greenery of the Cothi Valley, this pub dates back to the 16th century. There’s a big beer garden with views over the valley and the rivers Cothi and Twrch to which the pub has fishing rights. There are friendly hens to become aquainted with, a pub cat, Lily, and even beehives. There are great walking trails across the National Trust Dolaucothi Estate for you to explore, too. Click here to read our full review of the Dolaucothi Arms


A white buildings with a red door surrounded by a large green garden

The Dundas Arms, Berkshire

The vast beer garden here, stretching between the Kennet River and the Kennet and Avon Canal and home to flowering shurbs, knobbly apple trees and dramatic willows, is the perfect place to unwind in the sunshine. Their menu offers a good range of classic and modern dishes, and during the summer they open a dedicated outdoor bar.


The Bell at Skenfrith, Monmouthshire

On the banks of the River Monnow in Monmouthshire sits The Bell at Skenfrith, a former 17th century coaching inn with rooms which boasts a kitchen garden, leafy grassed area and paved terrace. Sit outside and sip on a tropical Hopfather from Wye Valley Brewery or a spiced Dabinett Medium from Apple County Cider Co.


The Stag Inn, Dufton

This cosy Cumbrian pub makes the perfect stopping-off point on the Pennine Way (if you want to stay overnight there’s a great little youth hostel just across the village green). Not only does it serve fireside pints of Black Sheep ales (and many others from small breweries across the north) it also plays host to its own beer festival every August, with music from local bands as rousing as the booze.

Food-wise, it punches well above your average pub grub. On a previous visit we enjoyed some of the best homemade fishcakes in memory, plus an exemplary burger and a rich chickpea curry (you won’t want to miss the pies if you’re a pastry lover). But on a sunny day the beer garden is the real draw here. Don’t expect fancy umbrellas or garden furniture. Among its rugged setting the garden is suitably wild-edged with a jumble of plain picnic benches, a beautifully gnarled old tree that begs to be climbed if you’re under 10 and wide open views of Dufton Pike off in the distance beyond sculptural stone walls.


The Free Trade Inn, Newcastle

Beer ‘garden’ might be a strong term for this pub, but sit outside and you can enjoy great views of the river Tyne and many of Newcastle’s most iconic sights as you enjoy your beverage. Their beer range changes so frequently that it’s hard to keep up, but they regularly feature breweries such as Brooklyn.


The Perch, Oxford

One of the oldest pubs in Oxford, it’s just a short walk to the Thames and Port Meadow, so makes a perfect pit-stop. The large garden here is the best in the city, so grab a pint from its ever-changing ale selections, a glass of English wine, or a pitcher ginger mojito and set up camp.