London's best beer gardens

Our pick of the city's best pubs with outdoor spaces – perfect for summery, sun-soaked supping

0

Comments

Add +

We've rounded London's best beer gardens, some included for their bucolic atmosphere and fine foliage, some for their summery drinks or irresistible barbecue food, some for their riverside locations – and even a couple for their water features. We’ve organised them by compass points (North, South, East and West), or for a quick and easy overview, check out London's best beer gardens – ‘the map’.


Best beer gardens in East London

People's Park Tavern

One minute it was an everyday boozer, the next it had become a forward-thinking microbrewing gastropub destination. But the real appeal of the pub formerly known as the Britannia is its lush beer garden backing on to the vast Victoria Park, with an outdoor kitchen and a fantastic selection of drinks. It offers all the benefits of drinking in the park without looking like a derelict, accidentally tripping up an angry red-faced jogger or wandering around looking for a loo.

  1. 360 Victoria Park Road, E9 7BT
More info

Nags Head

Located in the more salubrious part of Walthamstow, the Nag’s Head could hardly be more accommodating, hosting everything from jazz and folk sessions to the odd vintage pop-up shop upstairs. For your alfresco entertainment, there are a few tables in front, and plenty more in the back garden, with heaters and a couple of awnings against the inevitable showers. The pub brims with good beer: there’s an assortment of English ales (Timothy Taylor Landlord, St Austell Tribute and the Oscar Wilde Mild are regulars), and a flurry of Belgian fruit beers in the summer – of which the Mongozo coconut beer is the most adventurous or, depending on your point of view, ill-advised.

  1. 9 Orford Road, E17 9LP
More info

Prospect of Whitby

It might seem odd to visit a stone-flagged, pewter-countered ye-olde watering hole when the sun is bright, but head through the darkly wooded interior and there’s a paved beer garden under a weeping tree, right alongside the Thames. A reorganisation a couple of years back also opened up a small first-floor terrace, open to the bracing salt breezes. Inside, there’s a basic selection of standard pub grub (ham, egg and chips; lasagne; bangers and mash) and a handful of cask ales to choose from as you ponder the nearly five centuries of seriously sinister shenanigans of the swashbuckling, smuggling and gangstering sort witnessed by this venerable boozer.

  1. 57 Wapping Wall, E1W 3SH
More info

Scolt Head

In a corner of Hackney where pool tables and a giant TV were until recently a prerequisite for survival, the former Sussex Arms did well out of its smartening up: out went the carpets and scruffier furniture and in came a more aspirational clientele, but it still manages to feel like a good old-fashioned pub. In summer, the best place to enjoy it from is the small, fenced beer garden, settled in the fork of roads in the front. Bad weather? Out comes the ‘jumbrella’, a squared-off parasol that covers half the garden. Rain or shine, sustain yourself with well-priced ales; a brief but thoughtful wine list; and good, fairly priced British food, stretching from carefully sourced gastropubby mains to own-made sausage rolls and epic, softball-sized scotch eggs.

  1. 107A Culford Road, N1 4HT
Book online

Water Poet

Truth be told, the space out the back of this trendy twist on a traditional boozer is less ‘garden’ and more ‘yard’, but it remains one of the few places to soak up the sun near the City. Attracting a mix of open-collared suits and a Shoreditch/Spitalfields crowd, the Water Poet boasts a sheltered spot in which to sip a pint of Landlord or Truman’s Runner. The barbecue is typically in action weekdays from the late afternoon, with a hog roast firing up on some Saturdays – weather permitting, of course.

  1. 9-11 Folgate Street, E1 6BX
Book online

Crate Brewery

Hackney Wick may be a hinterland of former industrial warehouses, but perched on the River Lea is a welcoming space filled with people, noise, pizza and beer. Crate serves up its own fine microbrews right by the water – and if you’re lucky, you can even sit in one of their rowing boats. A pleasant enough experience when sober, but a little dicey when sozzled. You have been warned.

  1. White Building, Unit 7, Queens Yard, E9 5EN
More info

Crooked Billet

Clapton is transforming quicker than Katy Perry doing a costume change, but the refurbed Crooked Billet remains a place for all E5-ers to enjoy. When the mercury rises its massive garden becomes a big boozy playground: there’s a food truck, beach-hut booths for groups, a ping-pong table and loads of plants and deckchairs for that Clapton-on-Sea feel. Grab a locally brewed beer, slap on a ‘kiss me quick’ hat and reveal your knobbly Hacknees.

  1. 84 Upper Clapton Road, E5 9JP
More info

London's best beer gardens mapped

More outdoor options

London's best rooftop bars

Like your alcohol at altitude? Make tracks for these classy spots

London's best outdoor restaurants

For dinner with a side of sunshine and fresh air, look no further

London's best waterside restaurants

Book a table at a restaurant with a view that's as good as the food

London's best park cafés

The city's best destinations for coffee and cakes in gorgeous surroundings


Users say

24 comments
Chris G
Chris G

Having been to a number of the pubs on the list, I would urge anyone in deep zone 4 SE to check out the Bridge House, right next to Penge West on the overground and by an entrance to Crystal Palace park.


It has a 2-tier split level open air garden which is awesome for the summer. Plenty of big dogs to stroke and a wide range of ales on tap. Crackin food too as it goes.


IMHO this boozer is a hidden gem. 

MiruPotop
MiruPotop

New Cross House in New Cross, SE14.

iainh
iainh

Now London's most overcrowded beer gardens.

ginglesnuff
ginglesnuff

How is the crown and shuttle not on here?!

Andy H
Andy H

Some good boozers. That said I have no idea how the County Arms in Wandsworth got onto the list. It's basically a pretty mediocre pub - with particularly poor food - that has simply been tarted up. There are several better places in the area.

David E
David E

Anywhere central...? A hidden oasis that I have overlooked...?

What about the White Rabbit in Stoke Newington?? It would be more appropriate to call it a cocktail garden but still, so much outdoor space that feels like we're in Wonderland, sipping some "drink me" beverage. Loving it.

Joseph Campbell
Joseph Campbell

Genuinely need to make a visit to the Duke of Edinburgh in Brixton. Off the busy high street, one would walk past in a hurry from the outside but once you go in you see a nice indoors, however it is the beer garden in the back that really impresses. Always busy on the weekends and the BBQ also provides amazing food for those that get hungry.

Kathy
Kathy

I'm shocked Gypsy Moth at Cutty Sark, Maritime Greenwich hasnt been mentioned, most scenic beer garden you can get with the contrast of the old repaired cutty sark boat looming next to the bench's and canary wharf in the background, The sunset on a lazy sunday evening is AMAZING!!

Dave
Dave

Avoid that 'Avalon' place in Balham. Not a place for a quiet drink in an over manufactured garden. The clientele are also very up themselves.

Peeb Rewer
Peeb Rewer

Dulwich Wood House has got to be up there. Walk through Sydenham Woods on a summers eve. What's the problem with you guys never getting further south than Brixton?

Jo
Jo

The Marlborough in Richmond and The Ship in Wandsworth have great beer gardens!

johnson
johnson

was just about to say the garden and grill but topbanana beat me to it! ah well, I'll say it again!

Dean
Dean

Henry.J.Bean on Kings road has a massive secluded garden at the back that's well worth the try,

Milo
Milo

Missed a few around south and west London. the Ship by Wandsworth Bridge is an absolute gem, over looking the Thames, a popular spott on a sunny evening. the food is pretty decent too. The Castle Pub, Battersea High Street, possibly my all time favorite garden. (may have since closed down actually) Ye old White heart in Barnes, again, over looking the Thames, the garden is very basic, put the location is absolutely superb.

topbanana
topbanana

The Garden Bar & Grill, near Latimer Road tube, is outstanding (used to be called The Station)

Sharon
Sharon

In SE London, The Station in Hither Green has a great and very large beer garden (and all brand new - completely reopened last year). And for East Londoners the Red Lion in Leytonstone has a surprising amount of space out the back.

Howard
Howard

Worrabout the Freemason's Arms on Downshire Hill in Hampstead?

Cathy
Cathy

I think the 'Dulwich Wood House' should also have been included in the South list, near Crystal Palace. It has a FAB beer garden. We go there quite a lot, especially in the summer.. Quite big ,so can accommodate lots of people, and in a nice location. Great food and drinks also. This is there link: http://www.youngs.co.uk/pub-detail.asp?PubID=395&image=1

South west Londoner
South west Londoner

Did you mean the best pub gardens in north London? Daan sarf we've got the Ship in Wandsworth, the Telegraph in Putney, countless in Wimbledon, Barnes, Mortlake, Richmond etc etc. I don't now SE very well, but I'm pretty sure they have loads too.

SJ
SJ

This list has a striking N/NW lean to it.....