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 +
  1. North
  2. South
  3. East
  4. West

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 West London

Aragon House

This handsome Parsons Green public house is well known for its smart and spacious beer garden (not to mention its smart crowd: they don’t call it 'arrogant house' for nothing). A line-up of crowd-pleasing beers, plus cider, Sharps Doom Bar and a regularly-changing guest ale, is one attraction, as is the popular summer barbecue.

  1. 247 New King's Road, SW6 4XG
More info

Crabtree

On a fine stretch of riverbank between Hammersmith and Putney bridges, in shouting distance of the Michael Jackson statue at Fulham’s Craven Cottage, this big Victorian boozer was gastrofied a couple of years back. On a sunny day locals can be found in their droves enjoying some of the nicest waterside drinking in the city, a gorgeous, gigantic beer garden bedecked in wood and stylish shrubbery. The seats under the weeping willow deserve especial mention. Inside, at a big lounge bar furnished with deep leather banquettes, weighty wooden tables and a smattering of stools you can sup a daily-changing roster of ales, or a couple of ciders. As befits a chalk-board clad boozer, the wine list is extensive, while the food offering includes simple summer barbecue fare, or a slightly dearer dinner menu.

  1. Rainville Road, W6 9HA
Book online

Eagle

The Eagle on the fringes of Ravenscourt Park is a great escape. It’s a Geronimo Inns establishment, so the wine list is well chosen, the interiors are luxurious and the grub is reliably good. The star, however, is the back garden – a vast lawn for stretching out on beanbags on a summer’s day, swing chairs for couples to sway at sunset, and tables for dinners with friends. At weekends on warm days the garden bar is open and the barbecue gets fired up.

  1. 215 Askew Road, W12 9AZ
Book online

Drayton Court

The Drayton Court Hotel is really a pub with rooms (albeit 27 rooms), so don’t feel like you need to be an overnight guest to enjoy drinks here. Come summer, the huge landscaped gardens come into their own, offering ample seating on picnic tables set either over the verdant groomed lawns, or over a stylish decked area. Lagers and ales come courtesy of Fuller’s (who own the building), and there is a perfectly pleasant range of pubby food if you’re hungry.
 

  1. 2 The Avenue, W13 8PH
More info

Old Ship

The tree-fringed deck, overlooking the languid curves of the Thames, is probably one of London’s best spots for getting a cold-one outside. There’s an appealing selection of simple pubby food but the big attraction in summer are the barbecues, held every weekend, weather permitting. The alfresco area is split into a fully covered, heated terrace, and a more open balcony. There’s also a less formal section featuring ten picnic tables.

  1. 25 Upper Mall, W6 9TD
More info

Phene

Once known as the Phene Arms, The Phene enjoyed a wonderful garden refurb back in 2010. It’s a good-looking space filled not only with comfy seating, a water feature and patio heating, but with exceptionally well-heeled customers, which makes it great for people-watching. Be warned that this is not the place for a lively knees-up – the security staff ensure drinkers don’t make too much of a racket, and also that they leave the garden by 10pm sharp – part of the licence agreement in this very well-to-do residential area.

  1. 9 Phene Street, SW3 5NY
More info

Stein's

This is a leafy, lederhosen-slapping, stein-swaying, pretzel-munching Bavarian beer garden perched right on the Richmond riverside overlooking the Thames. A selection of unfeasibly large sausages is the ‘wurst’ they can do, while the Bavarian beers, available in towering 1 litre steins, include the golden Helles from Paulaner, Erdinger weissbier and, in bottle, the delectable dark Erdinger Dunkelweiss. There’s a small children’s play area too. In spring and summer, if the weather’s good, it’s open noon until 10pm daily. There’s a branch at Kingston (again, overlooking the Thames), too, that’s open even later.

  1. 55 Richmond Towpath, TW10 6UX
More info

Swan

Sweltering in central London? Then jump on the 94 bus heading west and don’t get off until it stops. Within seconds, you can be sitting in the dappled light of The Swan’s lush and leafy 30-table garden sipping well-kept cask ales from one of Chiswick’s best-kept secrets. As the local hero, Fuller’s ales are ever-present at the pumps. Table service keeps things civilised, as does the tempting gastropub menu. There’s a strong wine list too, and super-friendly staff.

  1. Evershed Walk, (119 Acton Lane), W4 5HH
Book online

White Horse

Perched on the corner of Parson’s Green, this popular pub takes barbecuing seriously. Every summer weekend from noon (plus sunny weekdays from 6pm), the pavement jams with eager drinkers queuing to rip into char-grilled burgers and sausages. Alternatively, there’s gastropubby food from the kitchen. There’s limited outdoor seating (with only 16 tables), but at least heaters and brollies help guard from inclement weather. You can expect plenty of turned-up collars and rugby shirts here, but the spread of customers is wider than you might imagine. Beer is the great leveller: there are usually eight ales on offer, with Hobson’s Best Bitter, Adnam’s Broadside and Oakham JHB making regular appearances, and the glorious list of bottled brews is particularly strong on Belgian and American beers. Of the pub’s four regular beer festivals, those most apt for alfresco boozers are May’s London Beer Festival, the American Beer Festival around Independence Day and August’s Belgian Beer Festival.

  1. 1-3 Parsons Green, SW6 4UL
Book online

White Swan

The interior of the White Swan has seen better days, but this doesn’t matter. You’ll be sitting outside at one of the dozen or so picnic tables across the road on the sun-drenched riverside terrace with the Thames lapping at the slipways either side of you, and views of boaters and weeping willows stretching either way. On the pub’s terrace, a gas-fired barbecue does simple barbie dishes on sunny weekends. Cold refreshments include Peroni, Asahi and Orchard’s cider, while the regular ale (Sharp’s Doom Bar) is supplemented by four regularly-changing guests.

  1. Riverside, (Twickenham), TW1 3DN
More info

London's best beer gardens mapped

  1. North
  2. South
  3. East
  4. West

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

22 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