Wooden picnic tables at a pub's backyard

The 12 best beer gardens in London

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From leafy backyards dotted with beach huts to sun-filled patios and tucked-away courtyards, here’s our selection of the best beer gardens to visit in London

North

 

 

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Big Penny Social, Walthamstow

Walthamstow is getting cooler by the minute, and Big Penny Social has played its part. Grab a table at ‘Walthamstow-on-Sea’, the venue’s front yar,d which doubles as a beach this summer, to sip on frozen cocktails or tuck into a soft serve as you dip your toes in the sand. The garden of this pub-meets-community arts centre also comes with a backyard, which serves sourdough pizzas and its very own beer — plus, over the summer, you can order drinks or beer for a fiver during happy hour. This is where you can enjoy everything from comedy nights and live gigs to sports, film screenings and art exhibitions.

Best for: beach vibes and art shows

1 Priestley Way, E17 6AL. Nearest station: Blackhorse Road





The Garden Gate, Hampstead Heath

Combine your visit to Hampstead Heath with a lunch at this inviting neighbourhood pub just a few minutes from the park. The Garden Gate’s large, leafy garden often gets busy on Sundays, with punters calling in for an indulgent roast after their afternoon stroll on the Heath, so booking a table here is essential. You can also expect regular weekend barbecues and the occasional hog roast, served alongside your favourite seasonal ale. And if it gets too chilly, outdoor heaters mean you can let the good times roll long into the evening.

Best for: barbecues and post-walk pints

14 S End Rd, Greater, London NW3 2QE. Nearest station: Hampstead Heath

 





 

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The Albion, Islington

This beautiful pub will take you back to a time when Islington was mostly fields and farmland — think country-style tables and a wisteria-filled patio surrounded by trees. The Albion has been around since 1834, with its latest refurbishment in 2007 restoring its Georgian splendour. Sitting within the Barnsbury conservation area, it is sure to brighten up your Instagram feed. Take a selfie amid the flowers before diving into the menu’s delicious array of British farmhouse cheeses, served with quince and grapes.

Best for: fabulous foliage and country aesthetics

10 Thornhill Road, Islington, N1 1HW. Nearest station: Highbury & Islington

West

The White Swan, Twickenham

This cosy southwest London pub with its sugar-white facade is just steps away from the river, whose waters often come right up to its spacious garden at high tide. Grab a table on The White Swan’s front terrace beside the weeping willows or perch on the bank of the river and feast on scampi while you watch the boats sail past. The menu is short and seasonal, meaning everything you eat here will be one of a kind.

Best for: riverside views and fish and chips

Riverside, Twickenham, TW1 3DN. Nearest station: Twickenham

 

 

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The Eagle, Shepherd’s Bush

Kick back and soak up the sun with a cocktail in hand at one of Shepherd’s Bush’s most beloved haunts. The Eagle’s backyard serves as the ultimate summer oasis, fitted with homely beach huts (which can be heated when the sun goes down), wooden garden tables with large umbrellas, as well as deck chairs and bean bags for ultimate relaxation. Grab a bite from the burger shack, which offers meat classics next to veg delights such as the plant burger (including vegan cheddar, iceberg lettuce, pickles, ketchup, mayo and fries. At night, twinkling lights create a romantic ambience.

Best for: summer lounging and vegan dishes

215 Askew Road, Shepherd’s Bush, W12 9AZ. Nearest station: Goldhawk Road

The Prince, West Brompton

Home to London’s biggest pub garden (allegedly), The Prince, in West Brompton, is the place to be for street food and live music. Next to freshly prepared dishes such as chicken and ham hock pie from the pub’s own kitchen, the venue serves delicacies from London’s best purveyors of pub-friendly grub, including Patty & Bun and Homeslice. At night, expect live entertainment from bands and DJs, helped by The Prince’s late closing time on Friday and Saturday night.

Best for: street food and live music

14 Lillie Road, SW6 1TT. Nearest station: West Brompton

South

 

Hope & Anchor, Brixton

With private and communal seating areas, a covered sun deck and free-flowing cocktails, Brixton’s Hope & Anchor is primed for al fresco fun. Watch live sports from the inside of your own private hut seating up to 12; all are fitted with large TV screens, while there are more than 20 screens in total on site, so you’ll never miss a goal. During the summer, the pub hosts an array of fun events, from improv comedy shows to open-mic and trivia nights.

Best for: live sports and cool events

123 Acre Lane, Brixton, SW2 5UA. Nearest station: Brixton

The Avalon, Clapham South

If you haven’t made a reservation but are desperate for a good old Sunday roast at the last minute, The Avalon is where to head to. This Clapham South pub offers not one but three gardens, all beautifully landscaped and serving an array of summer cocktails and craft beers, next to free-range roasts and veggie alternatives. The highlight here is the juicy, tender steak, though — every Wednesday, you can have two 8oz sirloin steaks and two portions of chips with rocket salad to share and a bottle of Malbec, all for £40!

Best for: steaks and a range of gardens to choose from

16 Balham Hill, SW12 9EB. Nearest station: Clapham South

East

 

People’s Park Tavern, Victoria Park

Nestled in the heart of Victoria Park is People’s Park Tavern, one of the biggest beer gardens in London. Open seven days a week, the pub offers a great craft-beer selection, barbecue kitchen and tap wall. The terraced courtyard features rows of picnic benches and wooden booths, perfect for getting your sunbathing on and making the most of the British sun, while it lasts. There’s even a pop-up cocktail bar. peoplesparktavern.pub

Best for: craft beers and sunbathing

360 Victoria Park Road, E9 7BT. Nearest station: Homerton

Pub on the Park, London Fields

Do you spend your summer weekends idling away by the London Fields Lido? Pop into Pub on the Park post-dive to get some vitamin D on its sun-soaked deck, overlooking London Fields. Here, you can cheer on the Lionesses in the Women’s World Cup, thanks to seven screens, or wash down a hearty portion of Baby Back Ribs with a pint or two. On weekends, kick back with DJ sets blasting everything from disco and soul tunes to house and dubstep.

Best for: a post-swim pint and lively DJ sets

19 Martello Street, E8 3PE. Nearest station: London Fields

Central

 

 

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The George, London Bridge

When you’re busy running in between tourist attractions, or darting to and from business meetings, it’s good to know a spot where you can sit down and have a breather. Located just a two-minute walk from Borough Market, The George offers a winning combination of cold beer and hot food. Wine lovers will also appreciate its curated list of wines. Now that it’s summer, you can take advantage of the spacious beer garden and sit back in the sunshine. What’s more, the pub dates to the 17th century and is the last surviving galleried coaching inn — so you’ll technically become a part of London’s heritage. greeneking-pubs.co.uk/pubs/greater-london/george-southwark

Best for: lunch in a historic setting and flavourful wines

75-77 Borough High Street, SE1 1NH. Nearest station: London Bridge

The Woolpack, London Bridge

Dishes made with locally sourced ingredients — the signature cheeseburger and the pork belly are among the must-try offerings — as well as an extensive beer and wine list are some of the main draws at The Woolpack on Bermondsey Street. The pub makes for the ideal post-dinner spot, right after French dining at Casse-Croûte nearby. A mix of small and large seating areas in the garden will invite you in for a date night under little light bulbs or an outing with friends. The Woolpack is actively encouraging dogs to come along too, and, by the looks of the adorable Facebook photos, they’re loving it.

Best for: date nights and outings with your furry friend

98 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3UB. Nearest Station: London Bridge

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