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16 great outdoor bars and pubs in Manchester

From canalside pub terraces to a railway platform, these are the best outdoor bars and pubs in Manchester for an alfresco drink

Rob Martin
Written by
Rob Martin
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When the sun comes out in Manchester – and we can confirm that it has been known to happen – there’s nothing better than enjoying a relaxing pint or chilled glass of wine al fresco.  

Here’s our round-up of some of the best outdoor bars in Manchester where you can do just that. From tiny pub courtyards to sprawling beer gardens via canalside terraces, these pubs and bars give you the full outdoor experience.  

Make the most of the sun – this is Manchester after all.
 (And if the sun goes in, check out these traditional pubs and classy cocktail bars).

RECOMMENDED: 20 great things to do in Manchester

Best outdoor bars in Manchester

It’s a far cry from the glass-fronted skyscrapers dominating Spinningfields elsewhere: the disarmingly rustic Oast House’s outdoor area has ample seating where you can sample one of their hanging kebabs or wide range of craft beer.

With its unique tiling, sloping floors and cosy atmosphere, the Marble Arch Inn is one of Manchester’s most beautiful pubs. But if you find the Victorian décor a bit overpowering for a warm day it also has an enclosed yard out the back with tables and chairs.

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Blackjack is back this year with its excellent selection of beer and lip-smacking food provided by street food traders. From late April their beer garden will be open for alfresco bevvies, and because British spring and summertime is always delightfully unpredictable, their outdoor area is mercifully covered. 

Located on the banks of the Rochdale Canal, this waterside pub makes the most of its outdoor space. With a two-level patio and a grassy bank next to the canal, it’s a popular place for a post-work beer in the summer months.

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If you prefer to relax in the sun with a G&T rather than a beer, Atlas Bar is the ideal spot for you. Located within the old railway arches on Deansgate, its enclosed beer garden is the perfect place to sample one of its extensive range of gins.

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In the summer months, MediaCity’s pub throws open the doors of its sister space DockBar – a converted shipping container located on the grass outside the bar. Grab a deckchair or just a spot on the grass and make the most of the Salford sun.

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Dating back to the seventeenth century, Church Inn is located on a quiet lane next to (unsurprisingly) a church. It has a good-sized outdoor space with plenty of seating.

Not a beer garden in the traditional sense, Trackside offers outdoor seating on the platform of the heritage railway at Bury Bolton Street station. It has a unique atmosphere, especially on the days it is visited by steam trains, and they’re currently in the process of adding a canopy so the outdoor area can be enjoyed when the weather is less than glorious.

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Set within the heart of Rochdale’s conservation area, this quaint, value-for-money pub also has the benefit of an enclosed beer garden which is ideal for dining or drinking in the sunshine.

You can’t mention outdoor drinking spaces in Manchester without bringing up the two pubs at The Shambles. Moved from their original locations in the 1970s, The Old Wellington and Sinclair’s Oyster Bar share one of the largest beer gardens in the city. But, thanks to their central location and proximity to areas such as the Printworks, they get extremely busy at the first hint of warm weather. So look lively if you want an alfresco drink in this iconic setting. 

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