50 of the best UK pubs with beer gardens to visit this summer
Indoor hospitality may be back on the menu, but a good beer garden remains a staple summer pastime.
While returning to pubs offers a respite from the unpredictable British weather, al fresco tables are perfect for occasions when you want to meet in groups larger than six, or make the most of rare sunshine.
Here you can find our favourite selections from Sawday’s Great British Pub Guide, along with the top-10 local recommendations of the Telegraph‘s food and drink writers – there are options for all.
Do call or check online first: most places will need to be booked. All can be found at sawdays.co.uk unless otherwise stated.
This red-brick local in Great Missenden, once a favourite of Roald Dahl, has a new giant outdoor tipi with a central wood burning stove to keep you warm and cosy. There’s also the lovely beer garden and wisteria-covered terrace, so there’s plenty of space to enjoy lunch and one of the week’s feature ales. Open Wed-Sun.
In a hamlet enfolded by acres of National Trust common land, this is a perfect pit-stop for cyclists, walkers and families. Take your pick of the teak tables on the sun-trapping front terrace, where there’s waiter service. Enjoy a local ale – or Nespresso coffee or Tregothnan tea for those negotiating wheels on the way home! Open daily.
This lively pub, in the centre of Goring, has used the lockdown downtime to spruce up the courtyard. There’s new heaters, umbrellas, a huge parasol and pretty lighting. Toast your return to the pub with a glass of sparkling house wine. There’s an extensive drinks list, including drinks to takeaway. Open Wed-Sun.
A country pub with wines by the glass and ales from the cask, modern British cooking that’s delicious and well-priced, and a landlord who’s knowledgeable and welcoming. This popular pub is owner-run and it shows. What’s more, it’s in a beautiful spot, overlooking the Essex Way. Walkers with dogs beat a path to its beer garden. Open daily.
History and heritage run deep at the Hoop; built in 1640 with timbers from the warships at Tilbury Docks, it’s been a stalwart in the pretty village of Stock ever since. Enjoy wine from local New Hall Vineyard or a pint of Adnams before tucking into a wood-fired pizza from the brand new outdoor oven. Open daily.
Stroll through Constable country and arrive in the picturesque village to finish a pleasant day in the sun with a pleasant pint in the Sun. The garden bar has plenty of space to keep you safe, there are garden games to keep everyone busy and you can bring your own picnic or choose from the menu of bar snacks. Open Fri-Mon.
Dining out in the garden with a new menu from the French head chef at this ivy-clad country pub will make you feel incredibly continental, plus there are heaters if the weather turns. The pub’s reopening for bookings only, so don’t forget to call ahead. Open Wed-Sun.
This 16th-century inn on the South Downs has won awards and with good reason – a cracking bar, tasty local food and an excellent array of ales and craft beers. The garden and terrace are winners, with a new outside bar and Bedouin garden tent. Pizzas and hot dogs are being served up in the garden, or choose from pub classics on the refreshed menu. Open daily.
A renovated 19th-century pub at the foot of the North Wessex Downs, overlooking the Test Valley, this is a treat for dog walkers, families and foodies. The outdoor sun terrace is perfect for sunny days and there’s an all-weather marquee in the garden. Open daily.
A medieval hall house with a Victorian extension, this 16th-century free house has a buzzing atmosphere and heaps of character plus a fabulous garden for distancing (with heaters and blankets). Open Wed-Sun: kitchen open Fri-Sun.
A garden big enough to lose your children in, a heated covered terrace, a warm welcome – what more could you ask for? This thriving pub on the edge of a hamlet can’t wait to fling the doors back open; order a pint of local Rebellion and check out the menu. Open daily.
The Lamb has gone to great lengths to make sure everyone feels safe; there are 50 seats spread around the courtyard and sun deck, including Covid-secure booths to soak up the country garden atmosphere. Dartmoor waits nearby, but you’ll have to tear yourself away from lunch and a local pint. Open daily.
Deep in Wiltshire’s horse-racing country, the Wheatsheaf – thatched, 1750s – sits in a peaceful village. The pretty garden gets the best of the sun and grows much of the kitchen produce. Enjoy lunch or dinner from the outdoor wood-fired oven; chef Ollie is a former MasterChef finalist. Open Wed-Sat.
This place is 21st-century pub heaven disguised as a quiet village inn. Visitors this spring will be treated to a beautifully refreshed pub garden and new seasonal menu for lunch and dinner. For a quick drink, they will be continuing the popular Potting Shed takeaway, including bottled cocktails from the Rectory, for table service or to go. Open daily.
Enjoy the terrace with a 35-seat capacity and a stretched tent covering it. This is a great post-walk stop after a stomp on the Wayfarer’s Walk or the Test Way – bring the dog, too. Sip a G&T on the terrace or tuck into the varied menu, from pub classics to something more elaborate. For cooler days (and nights) there are outdoor heaters and even hot water bottles and blankets. Open Wed-Sun.
The coastline is magical and the hike to St Ives hard to beat. Secret beaches appear at low tide and wild flowers streak the land pink in summer. As for the pub, you couldn’t hope for better. Enjoy light bites, coffees and local ales in the garden – there’s a new marquee in case the weather turns. Open daily.
Perfectly placed for Bath and Bristol, tucked into the Mendips is this pretty village inn with an abundance of options for al fresco drinks or dining. Head for the large landscaped garden with the “Neighbar” – a converted horse box serving draught beers next to the BBQ or the courtyard – and Riverside Terrace. Both have a firepit, heaters, and blankets if there’s a chill in the air. Open daily.
This splendid renovation of the country pub from the Artist Residence team is reopening its doors (and garden) with a brand-new Garden Shed bar, serving rustic flatbreads and smoked meats from the Big Green Egg smoker, alongside frozen margaritas, garden cocktails and barrels of local ales. Enjoy the relaxed vibe sat out on the sunny terrace or, if the weather takes a turn, in the bohemian marquee. Open daily.
Here, on the old Roman road, rusticity and elegance achieve the perfect balance at this gorgeous 17th-century coaching inn. The pub garden is one of the largest and most attractive in the Cotswolds with a two-acre lake and mature trees. Bring the family, including the dog, and enjoy proper pub grub. Open daily.
The pretty outdoor garden is generous, with plenty of dining space, heaters and cushions, and converted dining sheds for you and your bubble to really relax in. Look forward to local ales on tap and the seasonal, inventive menu which showcases the produce of local organic suppliers. There are pretty Cotswold walks nearby too. Open daily.
This 18th-century red-brick pub is set on a quiet road in the heart of a small village close to the Uffington White Horse. The pretty, sunny garden is awash with flowers. Dine or drink from pub benches or glass topped tables with comfy chairs. Parasols provide shade. Families and dogs are welcome too. Open daily.
Getting to this idyllic country pub is half the fun, winding through the small roads of wild Herefordshire. Once you arrive, you realise it is totally worth it. The riverside setting is simply beautiful, and a new marquee and outdoor kitchen has been setup in the garden. The pub has even been busy making its own hand sanitiser, which you’ll find in the sanitisation stations dotted throughout. Open Tues-Sun.
This historic pub stands on the banks of the Severn. The decked terrace and garden allow plenty of space to showcase cool drinks, pretty views and top-notch bar food featuring the best of Shropshire ingredients. Open daily.
Set amongst 7-acres and a cider orchard, with space for everyone, pigs to meet and plenty for kids to explore, this pub is ideal for sunny days and enjoying the taste of freedom. Food and drink will be flowing from the outdoor bar and pizza oven. Westonbirt Arboretum is close by for walks and adventures. Open daily. Mid-week specials from £15 for three courses.
Bypass the front entrance and head around to the back where the views dazzle. The Ship is a red-brick and Norfolk flint affair facing the North Sea, and offering pub classics to hungry beachcombers. Toast your freedom whilst listening to the happy sounds of families playing on the flat sandy beach, working up an appetite for the hearty fare. Open daily.
This pub has history and hearty fare, plus one of the biggest (and loveliest) outdoor spaces we’ve seen. Sup craft beers, or a chilled white, from the garden bar and enjoy a wood-fired pizza. A footpath brings you straight from the fields so bring the dog, too. Open daily.
Ideally placed, with Grantchester Meadows for a front garden, this pretty pub serves home-cooked fare with a warm welcome. Head to the beer garden or take a pew on the terrace. A fine establishment in which to savour that first, post lockdown pint. Make it a day out and stroll across the Meadows to Cambridge. Open daily.
Under the hands of the owners of the Red Lion at Hinxton, the Black Bull in nearby Balsham has been spruced up to create pretty thatched pub. Try a pint of Rusty Bucket in the back garden or patio, where there’s a pagoda tent for rainy days. The kitchen will be serving up pub classics. Open daily.
In pretty, peaceful Hinxton, the rambling Red Lion is a popular place. Its secluded garden is a lovely spot for peaceful summer sipping; there’s the patio, lawn or under-cover pagoda to choose from. Own-label ale Red & Black and others from the local microbrewery add to the appeal. Open daily.
Georgian walls ripple around the Saracen’s Head, encircling a beautiful courtyard where you can sit for socially-distanced dining. If the weather’s not on-side, there’s a new outdoor marquee for shelter. Enjoy a locally sourced menu and Norfolk ales on tap. Open Fri-Sun.
This friendly local pub has a true community feel; locals love the fairy-lit terrace that seats up to 45, and there’s plenty of room in the meadow that runs alongside the pub, too. Order a pint from the outdoor Horse Box Bar, or try a taste of Europe; the menu will have a different country theme each week. Open Tues-Sun.
There’s an easy-going atmosphere here, ideal for your first post-lockdown pint, and the garden is a suntrap. Socially-distanced pergolas have been set up in the outside meadow, making it the perfect spot to enjoy some tasty treats from the outdoor kitchen. Choose from wood-fired pizzas or BBQ classics, including good veggie options. Open daily: restaurant closed Monday & Tuesday.
This pub offers a lovely slice of the Mediterranean in deepest Cheshire. From the cobbled pavement planted with trees to the split-level terrace that catches the sun, you’ll believe you’re in a French valley rather than an English village. The “Pub Hub” shop, started during lockdown, still operates today and features local produce, a wine shop and home-cooked meals to go. Open daily.
This converted old schoolhouse is famously dog-friendly, with extensive grounds and plenty of garden benches. Choose from the malted charms of Cholmondeley Best Bitter and other local ales as well as a staggering 366 varieties of ruinously good gin (the charming staff will help you choose). There’s a reduced garden menu if you feel peckish. Open daily.
A sparkling gem in the Derbyshire countryside, this is a stylish and friendly village pub with super food. Over 100 gins are on offer here, including local craft producers, so ask the friendly team for a recommendation. The spacious garden will be open for table service. Book one of the outdoor “garden rooms” in advance for your bubble of six. Open daily.
Arrive at this 200-year-old inn to find views of field, hill, loch and sky. It’s a magical spot, with a garden to the front that drinks it all in. Owners Alice and Jade have refreshed the lovely terrace and beer garden during lockdown, even creating a new kitchen garden to grow their own produce. Open Wed-Sun.
This inn is a treat – it sits on the only street in town with a garden that backs onto open country. Have lunch in the sun while watching the farmer plough his fields. There’s a large outdoor marquee, in case the weather turns. Tuck into the likes of an Eyemouth fish platter, rump of local lamb, lavender and raspberry brûlée. Open daily: closed for lunch Tuesday & Wednesday.
The Felin Fach Griffin is always a treat. Al fresco lunches, brunches and drinks into the evening can all be enjoyed in the grassy beer garden. Food is taken seriously here, much of what you eat comes from a half-acre kitchen garden, with meat and game from the hills around you. Open daily from 10-7.
The position here is magical: an ancient stone bridge, a river snaking through the valley, glorious hills rising beyond, cows grazing in lush fields. Spread out across the large terrace, garden or orchard and let the kids run wild. Order a picnic and soak up rays on the rug or shelter in the covered area on rainy days. Open daily.
This lovely inn sits in a village that’s marooned in beautiful country – it’s a few miles back from the sea. Outside, the pub is drenched in honeysuckle. Head to the small garden to the front for a drop of Welsh ale and tuck into delicious food, available for takeaway at weekends. Open daily.
Telegraph Food’s favourite pubs with outdoor spaces
The best sunsets in London, and therefore the world, are to be enjoyed from Richmond Hill. Which by some measures isn’t in London at all. Whatever. It’s got great sunsets. Just stay with me. Before the Bad Thing I often used to meet my friend Mike there. On fine evenings we’d time it so we hit the Roebuck in time to appreciate the said sunsets from the long, thin terrace opposite the pub, which looks down across Petersham meadows and the looping, thickly wooded river, to the western marches beyond.
With its glorious Georgian high ceilings and windows looking out onto the rolling hills of Bath, the Hare and Hounds is up there with the most bucolic places for a pint. Bag a spot on the decking or a white picnic table on the lawn in front and take in the views with a pint of Hare and Hounds ale – and if you’re lucky, they might have their outdoor pizza oven fired up.
Escape London on the M40 and turn right as soon as the landscape turns green to find this large converted country house on a high hill overlooking the Colne Valley Regional Park, which is 40 square miles of rivers, canals, lakes, waterbirds and distant scudding sails.
A lively and much-loved brewery taproom that sits alongside the Exeter Canal basin, snuck away in a stone-built warehouse. Thankfully, there’s a sizeable beer garden to the side, plus a bevy of table-and-bench combos on the quay. Come mid-April, I dream of sunny afternoons sampling beers brewed on site, such as the 6.8% IPA Iceworks.
I find it impossible not to feel my mood soar sitting in the patio and beer garden of this family-run waterside pub overlooking the gently bobbing sailing boats of Bosham Quay. Opt for a Jarrold’s gin, brewed locally at the the Nodding Donkey Distillery in nearby Chichester, and order the fresh sea bass with lemon butter. Afterwards, you might enjoy a pleasant stroll along the surrounding quayside paths, spotting wildfowl and waders as you meander.
Small but with a perfectly formed and recently-refurbished deck, the Rake on the edge of Borough Market has long been one of the beer destination pubs in the capital, and for good reason. With everything from reasonably-priced cask beer to seriously spendy big fancy bottles, it has something for everyone.
Take a short stroll down the Thames and along Port Meadow, a historic common stretching from trendy Jericho to Wolvercote, and you’ll reach the Perch. One of Oxford’s oldest watering holes, the 17th-century thatched pub has bucketloads of charm, a menu of British pub classics and craft beer. Flanked by towering willows, the patio and garden area can seat up to 120 covers and guests can visit the Shed Bar, which offers a full bar service and gourmet-burger menu.
“Neppy” is a short walk from the centre of Whitstable at one end of the beach – not by it, not near it, but on it. This venerable sailor’s haunt is everything I love in a pub: cosy, rustic, unpretentious. A fantastic range of ales from the local Whitstable Brewery will help lubricate a long sunny afternoon in the extensive beer garden (or, rather, beer beach), which overlooks the famous oyster beds.
Whereas beer gardens – pah! – are for sunburnt rosbifs, sophisticated drinkers may prefer to wash down their pint with some pétanque at a convenient boozer-cum-boulodrome. Cleaver Square, cleverly hidden away from the A2 in south London, is dusty, shady and (largely) Georgian, which, as the mercury tentatively rises, makes it an idyllic place to toss a boule or two. The Prince of Wales, a charming pub in the square’s corner, will let you borrow a set for £1.
This riverside favourite basks in the sun near where the Ouseburn flows into the Tyne. It features two outdoor areas; one’s a suntrap, the other affords cover under the arch of a bridge in case of rain. The pub’s laid-back approach is sustained by local beers from Almasty, Wylam and Two By Two breweries, weekend live music (when available) and an ever-unfolding menu.