Best beer gardens in London

When the weather's fine, a London beer garden is the perfect place to relax with a drink and soak up some sunshine.
Two people with drinks sit on a yellow picnic-style table on a sunny day, with London's skyline behind.
Enjoy views of London from The Terrace at Alexandra Palace © Lloyd Winters. Image courtesy of Bread and Butter PR.

It's hard to beat settling into a London pub garden for an afternoon of cold drinks and socialising in the sun.

Lots of pubs in London have outdoor spaces, from family-friendly lawns to shaded courtyards, so plan a trip to one of the best London beer gardens. 

Many of London's outdoor hospitality venues, including pub gardens, have reopened following the easing of coronavirus restrictions – some pub gardens remain closed and some require booking in advance, so check ahead of visiting. Indoor drinking and dining is not available until 17 May at the earliest.

Re-opened venues also have various measures in place to ensure your safety, such as socially distanced seating, one-way systems and hand sanitisers.

Central London

The Tattershall Castle

For a beer garden with a slight twist, hop aboard The Tattershall Castle, a moored boat on the banks of the River Thames on Victoria Embankment. Enjoy some of the most iconic views of London as you sit on river, ideally located opposite the London Eye and between Westminster and Embankment tube stations.

Punch & Judy

Stop by at this 18th century pub with a roof terrace overlooking the piazza in Covent Garden. Long-running pub Punch & Judy is in prime position for watching the entertainment that is usually on in Market Square. It's an ideal watering hole for a tipple in the sun after browsing the surrounding shops and market. 

Mercato Metropolitano

Sip on German craft beer from the on-site tap room and micro brewery within the huge outside space at Mercato Metropolitano in Elephant & Castle. Built on the site of a disused paper factory, this foodie hub hosts more than 40 vendors selling food from around the world.

Founders Arms

Find this riverside pub next to the southern exit of Blackfriars Bridge station on the South Bank of the Thames. The Founders Arms' alfresco beer garden is perfect for a cold beverage after visiting Tate Modern, which is just nearby.

The Fence

Discover Farringdon's popular post-work gathering spot, which also serves well as a Zone 1 beer garden, with its split level patio filled with plants and umbrellas. Order from The Fence's Mediterranean-inspired menu if you're feeling peckish.

Vinegar Yard

Walk around the corner from London Bridge station and find a large outdoor venue in the name of Vinegar Yard. Bask in the sunshine among the rows of benches or book a private Rum Shack, then enjoy wine, cocktails or beer from local London craft breweries plus food from the likes of Baba G's, Nanny Bill's and Sugo UK.

The Dickens Inn

Drink alfresco and admire the beauty of The Dickens Inn's tiered balconies covered in hanging flower baskets. Enjoy a peaceful pint at this historic St Katharine Docks favourite, and take plenty of pictures of the boats sitting pretty in the marina. 

Anchor Bankside

Step out of the famous Clink Street around the corner from Borough Market, and into the Anchor Bankside for a pint in the sun on its terrace with outside bar. Accompany your drinks with a traditional plate of fish and chips and gaze out over the Thames at stunning St Paul's Cathedral opposite. 

Big Chill

Pop in to this large Victorian pub in London's King's Cross for a beverage and a boogie. Soak up the sun, sip cocktails and beers from the outdoor bar, and bask in the glory of British summertime on Big Chill's wooden patio terrace. Check out the other Big Chill on Brick Lane for more locally brewed beers and try the burgers when you need to refuel.

Tanner and Co.

Head to Bermondsey Street and find Tanner and Co.'s stylish beer garden. Lose yourself in this unique London Bridge  hideaway, decked out with wooden floors and cool furnishings creating a relaxing environment.

South of the river

The Ship

Spend an afternoon on the large terraces at The Ship in Wandsworth, one of London's most picturesque outdoor drinking spots. Overlooking the river Thames, this beer garden has an outdoor bar, a barbecue, a pergola and private booths to book in advance.

The Magic Garden

Experience the unusual at Battersea pub The Magic Garden. This hangout aimed at festival-goers, music-lovers and foodies hosts regular live bands and DJs. Part covered by canvas evoking the festival spirit, its garden is the perfect place to unwind alongside like-minded locals.

The Rye

Sip on locally brewed beer or sample the house bitter at south London's popular pub, The Rye. Secure a picnic bench or courtyard table and enjoy the summer sunshine right up until it sets, because this Peckham beer garden follows the sun's daily path.

The Avalon

Head to sunny Clapham where you'll find The Avalon's huge beer garden at the rear of the pub. Open during the summer months, this green oasis has a beautiful terrace and plenty of seating. There's also a barbecue grill to enjoy at the weekend. 

Skehan's

Get a local experience and join in with the good craic at this family run joint five minute's walk from Nunhead station. Before you enter Skehan's, stop to admire the cityscape on the horizon before heading through to the wooden-decked beer garden. If you time it right, you can be treated to live music while you drink and tuck into its Thai food.

Tulse Hill Hotel

Venture into this south London institution and you'll discover a range of beers, as well as top-notch modern British cuisine. But the Tulse Hill Hotel's jewel is its lively garden, complete with pergolas and bench seating.

The Gipsy Moth

Soak up the sun next to one of Greenwich’s landmarks, the Cutty Sark, at character-filled The Gipsy Moth. Its charming beer garden offers fantastic views of the world’s last surviving tea clipper, and has a retractable cover in case of sudden showers.

Vauxhall Food & Beer Garden

Settle down for some cold draft beer and a bite to eat in Vauxhall Food & Beer Garden, next to Vauxhall Station. Three big screens dotted around the garden show all the major live sports, while the selection of international cuisine, including French, Mexican and Chinese, is enough to keep you there long into a summer's evening.

Duke of Edinburgh

Relax in one of the biggest beer gardens in south London at Duke of Edinburgh in Brixton. Tucked away on a side road between Clapham North and Brixton, this classic pub boasts a giant rear courtyard with plenty of seating and an outdoor bar. Indulge in mouthwatering burgers from the barbecue, and watch sport on the big screens.

The Tankard

Catch some rays on the terrace of The Tankard pub in Lambeth, which was once used for punters to look into the Bedlam asylum next-door. Nowadays, you can instead admire views over the park and the Imperial War Museum, which was built on the site of the asylum.

The White Hart

Let your mind drift and warm your face in the sun on a picnic bench in the beer garden of The White Hart. This Barnes pub, next to the usual finish line of The Boat Races, enjoys sweeping views across the river Thames from either its elevated terrace and balcony or picnic benches on the river bank.

North of the river

The Terrace at Ally Pally

Take in the panoramic views of London while enjoying an ice-cold pint on The Terrace at Alexandra Palace, the largest beer garden in London. Tuck into food from five vendors to accompany your drinks and book in for a weekend brunch to make the most of the summer sun in the grounds of this iconic building near Muswell Hill.

Truman's Social Club

Enjoy ice-cold and locally brewed beer alongside a range of wine, spirits and soft drinks in the sunny beer garden at Truman's Social Club in Walthamstow. Soak up some sun at this vast new venue with its own tap room, street food market, live music venue and artist studios.

The Spaniards Inn

Treat yourself to a stroll across Hampstead Heath then rest a while in the large beer garden at The Spaniards Inn. This north London favourite has a barbecue for alfresco dining and is popular with dog lovers, as dog snacks and a dog wash are provided.

The Crown & Shuttle

Unwind long into the evening among a trendy crowd at Shoreditch’s The Crown & Shuttle. Match one of its many craft beers with a burger from the truck housed in the lively beer garden, which is decked out with colourful benches and sprawling plants. There’s a covered area for those sudden summer downpours and heaters to take the edge off chilly evenings.

Brewhouse & Kitchen

One for the beer and ale enthusiasts, Highbury's Brewhouse & Kitchen features a menu packed with international and home-brewed craft beers, alongside a selection of tempting dishes to order. Grab a stool or perch on a bench and soak up the sun in the idyllic beer garden.

The Spread Eagle

London's first totally vegan pub and a Homerton locals' favourite, The Spread Eagle's garden is a great place to enjoy it's famous meatless pub grub, including its signature ploughmans with porkless pie and vegan cheese, burgers, roasts, and pie mash and liquor. What's more, its new weatherproof space will help to keep you dry in sudden downpours!

The Albion

With its trailing wisteria and log fires, The Albion resembles a country pub in London. This Islington local is a Georgian gem left over from the time when the area was fields and farmland. There's a pretty courtyard and a barbecue in the summer months.

Barrio Shoreditch

Discover a little slice of paradise in east London at Barrio Shoreditch. Relax with a drink in hand, including wine, beer and a vast selection of carefully crafted cocktails, and enjoy the Latin-inspired food menu. The brightly coloured decor makes it feel like summer even when the sun is feeling a little shy.

The Crabtree

Book an afternoon at one of London's best hidden gem pubs, The Crabtree in Fulham, where you can watch the sun set over the river Thames with a pint of beer in hand. Look out for the Orchard Bar and Grill menu for alfresco dining, too.

The Eagle

Grab a colourful deckchair and enjoy the sunshine on the faux grass in The Eagle's garden. This elegant gastropub in Shepherd's Bush is just around the corner from the Sipsmith Distillery, so expect G&Ts to feature heavily on the menu.

The White Swan

Beat the scrum as you aim to pinch a spot at this rugby fans’ favourite on the banks of the Thames in Twickenham. The small yet perfectly located beer garden at The White Swan is usually a great place for the build-up to a big match at nearby Twickenham Stadium; or simply a place to unwind with a quiet pint on non-matchdays.

Find more outside food and drink ideas with London's top rooftop bar, the best alfresco restaurants and picnic spots. Discover what's open and when as lockdown restrictions begin to ease in London.