There’s something undeniably special about summer in the UK. Perhaps it’s the fact that we get approximately 10 days of decent weather, or that we have an abundance of things to do alfresco, but one thing’s for sure – we know how to celebrate when the sun does decide to show up; from picnics in the park (complete with Pimms, of course), to heading down to your nearest, and inevitably packed out beach.
Our most favourite summer activity of all, though? Spending the day with a pair of shades in a sun-soaked beer garden. Whilst the past two years of social distancing and curfews may have got in between the British public and our favourite pastime, balmy evenings spent with an Aperol spritz in hand are once again on the cards. So, get ready to dig out your summer dress and dust off your sandals because we’ve teamed up with DesignMyNight to get the scoop on the best beer gardens from around the UK (for when those 10 days of sunshine decide to appear).
Sat right on the beach front, Patterns offers unparalleled sea views, an all-day food menu and the very best talent from the music scene. Sip on a tipple from their carefully curated cocktail menu and dance the day away on their breezy terrace at one of their legendary summer parties – which inevitably turns into an unparalleled club night in the popular basement area. In the mood for food? Patterns also offer a bottomless disco brunch, fuelled by all you can eat pizza (there’s three bases available, including veggie and vegan options) and bottomless prosecco, mimosas or bloody mary’s. Sounds good, right? We thought so, too.
10 Marine Parade, Brighton BN2 1TL
Londoners from every borough can be seen flocking to The Ship on a warm day, and for good reason. Boasting views of the Thames, the best burgers in Wandsworth and cocktail pitchers (Aperol Spritz included), it’s no wonder that this place is known as SW’s coolest hangout. New to the capital? We’re here to tell you that Ship Sundays are a rite of passage. Sunday roasts here are done differently – served with hefty Yorkshire puds, plenty of gravy and lashings of rose, all to a soundtrack provided by their resident DJ. Are Sundays the new Fridays?! At The Ship they are.
41 Jews Row, Wandsworth, London SW18 1TB
Another SW London gem, The King’s Arms, nestled on Wandsworth High Street, is the ultimate alfresco location. With a big top tent to keep you dry in the likely event of a summer rain storm, and heated garden huts to keep you cosy whilst you dine on a late summer’s evening, this Instagrammable location needs to be on your list of places to book. The cocktail list boasts familiar favourites including the trusty mimosa and passion fruit martini, as well as more daring sips, including a moreish hazelnut espresso martini.
94 – 96 Wandsworth High Street, Wandsworth, London SW18 4LB
More than just a beer garden, Vinegar Yard is a cultural destination home to an eclectic mix of food, drink, and on the weekend, an actual flea market. Sat adjacent to The Shard, the venue showcases flavours from the likes of Nik’s Kitchen and Baba G’s, as well as a range of innovative cocktails from various bars and a famed craft beer selection, all of which can be enjoyed in the large alfresco dining space. Head down on a sunny weekend for quality food and drinks, and to, of course, experience all their quirky vintage market.
72 – 82 St. Thomas Street, London SE1 3QX
One for the Northerners, The Lawn Club in Manchester will soon become your go to spot for midsummer after work drinks and weekends spent with friends. The venue was designed to have an inside-outside feel, boasting a pergola, fairy lights and bespoke, bookable pods. Enjoy innovative cocktails such as the white choc bliss (that’s brandy, lavender and white chocolate liquor), or head down on a Wednesday to get competitive at quiz and fizz or bingo and bubbles, both serving up bottles of £20 fizz – All. Night. Long.
Hardman Square, Spinningfields, Manchester M3 3HG
We’re all adults until we see a slushy, and that’s a fact. Red Door put an adult spin on a childhood favourite, serving up ice cold slushies with lashings of vodka or rum, and, what’s more, your fruity cocktail can be enjoyed on their tropical summer terrace hideaway. Fancy going all out? This place offers two hours of bottomless bevs for just £35 per person, with a choice of five cocktails, bubbles or beer available. Grab your tribe and head on down to the floral escape, but remember to keep it under wraps – this place is Liverpool’s best kept secret.
21 – 23 Berry Street, Liverpool L1 9DF
The sight of a packed out beach during peak British summertime is enough to keep anyone confined to the streets of London. But fear not, The Leather Bottle (home to one of London’s largest beer gardens, FYI) are on hand to serve up holiday vibes in the heart of South West London with their colourful beach huts, juicy patties and extensive drinks list. If you really want to celebrate, these guys can organise summer parties that include delicious BBQ food, a constant flow of drinks and entertaining garden games.
538 Garratt Lane, Earlsfield, London SW17 0NY
This place is less than an hour’s journey from London, but feels like another world altogether. Sitting directly overlooking its own 26-acre lake, The Wiremill offers a feeling of complete calm. Kick back on the terrace and enjoy a seasonal menu crafted using fresh British produce, and indulge your sweet-tooth with one of their expertly crafted cocktails – choose from a Biscoff espresso martini (yes, actual Biscoff) or a bubblegum daiquiri if you’re looking for an intense sugar buzz. Fancy making a night of it? This place boasts six boutique ensuite bedrooms, and is the perfect place to spend a UK staycation.
Wire Mill House, Wire Mill Lane, Newchapel, Surrey RH7 6HJ
Consider yourself a bit of a craft beer connoisseur? This buzzing venue in Leeds needs to be at the top of your list. With two alfresco terraces overlooking the streets below, Headrow House is home to an impressive beer hall, regular DJ nights and a Michelin Guide recommended kitchen called Ox Club. The multi-story venue will soon become your new go to place for a meal with friends, drinks on the terrace or to work your brain cells at their weekly quiz, hosted every Tuesday and offering the chance to bag you and your friends free gig and cinema tickets alongside actual cash prizes.
19A The Headrow, Leeds LS1 6PU
Another must-visit Brighton gem, this boozer sits directly on the beach front. Getting tired of your local beer garden? This venue boasts a space like no other, with tables inside and out – the tables inside being housed in actual caves. With lanterns and cosy booths, this place exudes plenty of first date vibes. If all goes well, party until sunrise (literally – this place is open until 3am from Thursday to Saturday and hosts some of Brighton’s most memorable parties), on the beach with a drink in hand. Who knows – this place might just be the start of a summer romance.
159 – 161 Kings Road Arches, The Lanes, Brighton BN1 1NB
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