A beer in the sun is a precious thing; the sunlight streaming through the beer, the soft laughter, the sound of potato chips being opened to share.
London’s pub scene is still filled with glorious drinking spots, though it’s no surprise that outdoor space is still a tricky find in some parts of the city.
That said, pandemic-induced concerns about ventilation and space mean that in the last couple of years more places have reached out and claimed the stretches of sidewalk outside their doors, and now the city is filled with beautiful patios and places to drink alongside. open air. When the sun comes out, even the darkest spot seems to find a few chairs and a beer-branded canvas barrier to open up a makeshift terrace.
But while these will make a dash for thirst, some places go a little further. From quaint riverside terraces to lively neighborhood bars, here are some of our favorite pub gardens in London.
pub in the park
A favorite with larger groups, there are fantastic views of London Fields from this smart pub garden, which is always busy. If it seems a little busy, grab a beer to go and head to the nearby park.
19 Martello St, E8 3PE, pubonthepark. with
The Isle of Dogs is, strangely, something of a no-man’s land when it comes to pubs, with only a handful left over. Run by the trusty Hippo Inns, the George is a smart spot with a large conservatory that opens onto a large, leafy wooden deck that benefits from being tucked away off the road. Umbrellas come in handy here, unsurprisingly.
114 Glengall Grove, E14 3ND, georgepub.co.uk
The Camberwell Sun
This pub has a great selection of beers, an impressive food menu and – best of all – a beautiful large terrace, which they have covered to take in the unpredictable British summer weather. Brixton is spoiled for choice for boozers, and this one is one of the best.
Coldharbour Lane, SE5 9NS, suncamberwell. with
People’s Park Tavern
One of the largest and leafiest pub gardens in East London (with lots of pretty flags). Be sure to try one of the craft beers from their on-site microbrewery.
360 Victoria Park Road, E9 7BT, peoplesparktavern.pub
the red lion
As well as being one of East London’s best boozers, with plenty of good stuff to offer in the kitchen and a good selection of real ales, this smart pub opens out at the back with a spacious patio. They also open with lids in case of rain.
640 High Road Leytonstone, E11 3AA,theredlionleytonstone. with
Truman Social Club
A massive venue that launched last year with the pride of being the ‘largest socially distanced pub and garden’ in the UK, this was a hit when it launched near Blackhorse Lane. In addition to Truman’s on draft, the place serves 20 different beers, with street snacks as well. Keep an eye on their events calendar as well.
1 Priestley Way, Walthamstow, E17 6AL, trumansbeer.co.uk
Step inside this characteristic local favorite and you’ll see a lovely central bar with decent space for drinking and dining. In the back, things come to life, with a surprisingly spacious paved beer garden with plenty of benches and places to sit in the sun.
116 High Road Leyton, E15 2BX, leytonstar.co.uk
The Duke of Edinburgh
Tucked away from the main hustle and bustle of Brixton, this lovely spot with a truly huge garden creates practically rattles with the atmosphere. The paved patio is wonderfully leafy, and the White Men Can’t Jerk are still in residence offering, you guessed it, well-done jerk chicken and other Caribbean-inspired dishes.
204 Ferndale Road, SW9 8AG; dukeofedinburghpub. with
the white horse
Sitting on the corner of Parsons Green Road, the garden of this bustling Fulham spot is well positioned to sit back and watch the world go by – hence its popularity among the affluent locals who have given it the nickname ‘Sloaney Pony’. It is also known for its excellent range of 150 bottled beers and 20 draft beers.
1-3 Parson’s Green, SW6 4UL, whitehorsesw6.com
Hope and Anchor
Brixton is clearly filled with top-notch beer gardens, and Hope and Anchor is no exception. This is a beautiful spot – the hanging flowers and fairy lights ensure that – and it has a reputation for being a Prosecco party. Outdoor cabins help when the skies open.
123 Acre Lane, SW2 5UA, Hopeandanchorbrixton.co.uk
The Crabtree Tavern
Situated on the stretch of river between the Hammersmith and Putney Bridges, this grand Victorian pub has several outdoor spaces and views across the Thames to Barnes and the London Wetland Centre. Try sitting under the weeping willow and spending a lazy Sunday afternoon watching the rowers sweat in the water. A personal favourite.
Rainville Road, W6 9HA, thecrabtreew6.co.uk
the white swan
It is one of the most idyllic places in London and one of our favorite pubs in the capital. The outdoor porch and seating areas feel like a different world from the bustling city, and are some of the best places to spend a summer afternoon. You’ll probably be lucky to get a spot, though.
Riverside, Twickenham, TW1 3DN, whiteswantwickenham.co.uk
the white deer
Another gem on the Antic pub chain’s list – which also features the Sun of Camberwell, above – The White Hart is an unknown favorite in Stoke Newington. The pub’s huge garden is a sun trap filled with inviting tables. The food here is decent, too.
69 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 8EL, whitehartstokenewington. with
Probably one of the most versatile venues in town, the Prince’s beautiful dining room can be transformed into a huge terrace with a retractable roof at this popular spot in Earl’s Court. Expect it to be packed.
14 Lillie Road, SW6 1TT, theprincelondon. with
anchor on the shore
Located smack in the middle of one of London’s most touristy areas, this Bankside pub – just minutes from Borough Market and the Globe – is blessed with plenty of space outside the front. Ideal for a beer or two by the Thames, and visitors are welcome.
34 Park St, SE1 9EF, greenking-pubs.co.uk
The Duke of Hamilton
Found a short walk towards the heathland from Hampstead Station, this charming pub is one to take a trip to North West London. The front garden is limited to 25 people and the back garden has a capacity of 40, so the owners are asking guests to book in advance, although entrances are allowed. A new awning has been added in case of bad weather.
23-25 New End, NW3 1JD, thedukeofhamiltonnw3.com
This Shepherd’s Bush pub is all about the elegant garden, which makes for one of the best open-air pub spaces in West London. It’s huge, with plenty of comfy chairs and its own bar, and the entire space is covered and filled with heaters too.
215 Sloping Road, W12 9AZ, theeaglew12.co.uk
The Canonbury Tavern
Islington’s historic pub, the Canonbury, is worth a visit year-round, but the garden helps it stand out in the summer. It was also one of the pubs frequented by George Orwell, who wrote parts of 1984 Sitting in the Garden in the forties.
21 Canonbury Place, N1 2NS, thecanonbury.co.uk
A faithful Balham Hill, the Avalon caters for long leisurely lunches and large groups, and is ideal for families. It has not one, but three outdoor spaces, consisting of a patio, a terrace and a beautiful main garden. A local favorite for good reason.
16 Balham Hill, SW12 9EB, theavalonlondon. with
Afternoons easily turn into long nights at this adorable little hideaway tucked away behind Mornington Crescent. It has a good-sized garden covered in cozy foliage, with the added bonus of a convenient mini sunroom, heaters, and fairy lights for when the night chill sets in.
57 Mornington Terrace, NW1 7RU, edinborocastlepub.co.uk