7 of the best pub gardens
by DON'T USE Abigail Spooner
There’s no denying the UK’s love of pubs. With more and more now offering outdoor space where you can sip on a pint, dig into an eyes-bigger-than-your-stomach plate of fish and chips or just while away a sunny afternoon, there’s no shortage of choice. From riverside locations and city-centre hidey-holes to family-friendly lawns and sizzling barbecues, we’ve whittled down the best of the best.
Take a stroll along the River Stour and treat yourself to a restorative lunch break at this traditional country pub. Sit back and relax with a local Adnam’s ale while you watch the canoeists meander past. And don’t miss the tempting specialities from the pub’s own smokehouse; they claim their smoky BBQ ribs are the best in the valley.
A welcome sight after a long Lakeland walk, the Mortal Man is tucked beneath the fells of the scenic Troutbeck Valley, high in the hills above Windermere. Enjoy a well-earned beverage and a bite to eat in the large beer garden and take in the panoramic views stretching all the way down to the lake.
A suntrap of tiered seating in the day and a magical forest come the evening, this beer garden off the cobbled backstreets of Glasgow’s West End is a popular hub for locals and students alike. With twinkling lights, beautiful curved benches and overhanging trees, it feels like the setting for a fairy tale. Book your own private BBQ, or ‘BrelBQ’, for parties of 10-100; with true Scottish optimism, they’ll even provide complimentary sunscreen.
Wallow in a rare oasis of London calm in this Georgian gem’s picturesque walled garden. Pretty wooden pergolas are draped with purple fountains of wisteria, creating a secluded spot to meet with friends. In the summer months, the sizzling barbecue takes centre stage or, if you fancy pushing the boat out, you can feast on roast suckling pig with all the trimmings.
The enormous garden of this south London pub comes as something of a surprise from its unassuming exterior. Follow the sweet smells wafting from its BBQ pit and make your way out the back to a sea of picnic tables. With its buzzing atmosphere, Caribbean street food pop-up and even a wacky jungle-themed mini-golf course, this is the place to be on a chilled summer evening with friends.
In an idyllic setting alongside the banks of the River Dee, this traditional Welsh pub is a beautifully converted mill with a working water wheel and at least 700 years of history to its name. An outside decking area directly above the gushing currents of water provides the perfect lunch spot to take in picturesque views of the river and mountains beyond. On the opposite side of the bank, steam trains come and go from the restored station.
Escape the hustle and bustle of Oxford city centre and head for this old village pub overlooking the banks of The Cherwell River; meaning you can even arrive by punt for a pint. Sprawling gardens provide plenty of child and dog-friendly space for roaming families and larger groups, or enjoy some traditional pub grub on the terrace.