The Best Pub Gardens In London |
When the sun comes out, naturally the whole of the capital decamps to the nearest pub garden the moment 6pm comes around. Whether you’re keen to test-drive a new local or are searching for the perfect summer spot for a spritz, here are 16 of SL’s favourite boozers with beer gardens…
Favourites 37

Smokehouse, Islington

This Islington dining room is located in a former neighbourhood boozer. Neil Rankin might have left the kitchen in 2016, but his region-spanning influence remains; many of the dishes that stole the show when it launched are still on the menu today – think Korean chopped brisket roll with gochujang; pork tacos with green sauce and chipotle aioli; smoked gammon steak with jalapeño, pineapple and duck egg. All are available to tuck into in its pretty beer garden, where guests can sip local ales in dimpled glass tankards.

63-69 Canonbury Road, Islington, N1 2DG


The Marksman, Hackney

This traditional East End pub serves local beers, ales, lagers and ciders alongside a selection of fine wines and spirits, but is perhaps more well-known these days for its dining room – that might be down to the fact that The Marksman became the first pub in London to be awarded the Michelin Pub of the Year in 2016. Guests can drink – and sample the likes of curd dumplings with nettle and hazelnut – on the pub’s atmospheric rooftop terrace.

254 Hackney Road, Shoreditch, E2 7SJ


The Avalon, Clapham South

Named after the mythical island at the centre of the legend of King Arthur, The Avalon is a striking red-brick public house located in Clapham South. Loved for its gastro-pub grub (think spatchcock chicken with quinoa and apricot tabbouleh), The Avalon’s main draw is its three outdoor spaces – a terrace, a courtyard and a main garden filled with plenty of plant life. Recently refurbished, the garden has feasting-style tables, wooden booths and its own bar and kitchen.

16 Balham Hill, Clapham South, SW12 9EB


Crown & Shuttle, Shoreditch

This award-winning craft beer pub in Shoreditch is popular with the post-work crowd. Upstairs you’ll find speakeasy-style cocktail bar Filthy Fanny’s, where ‘tacky’ cocktails, a 90s soundtrack and late-night lock-ins are a regular occurrence. Outside, expect to find a sunny courtyard patio that mixes colourful wooden furniture with living plant walls and vintage paraphernalia.

226 Shoreditch High Street, Shoreditch, E1 6PJ


Earl of Essex, Islington

Established in 2012, the Earl of Essex was Islington's first brewpub, and is the current home of Earl's Brewery. Within, you’ll find an ever-changing list of the best local and international beers, matched with a great food menu and one of the sunniest beer gardens in the neighbourhood – expect plants aplenty and an abundance of benches for groups. The kitchen turns out classic pub grub during the week, and one of Islington’s best traditional roasts come Sunday.

25 Danbury Street, Islington, N1 8LE


Faltering Fullback, Finsbury Park

One for sports fans, this Finsbury Park institution is an Irish pub with a permanent screen that shows everything from football to hurling. But it’s the spacious pub garden, resplendent with colourful hanging baskets, that makes it one of our favourite spots to sink a drink or two. A lively pub quiz every Monday and regular live music adds to Fullback’s popularity.

19 Perth Road, Finsbury Park, N4 3HB


Magic Garden Pub, Battersea

Often described as a ‘festival in a pub’, weekends at the Magic Garden are all about bands and some of the finest DJs from the London scene: expect to hear everything from funk, Balkan and reggae to hip-hop, ska and Latin. Once the sun goes down, the heaters come on and the blankets come out, while calmer weekdays see the huge garden and covered terrace taken over by newspapers and cappuccinos.

231 Battersea Park Road, Battersea, SW11 4LG


The Prince, West Brompton

A hotspot team behind Pergola Paddington, The Prince in West Brompton has been drawing locals and young Londoners alike since it opened in winter 2017. And now that the sun’s out, the renovated Victorian pub’s al fresco space has really come into its own. A pergola covers the huge terrace with drapes of wisteria, there are secret cabins, and food comes from the likes of Patty & Bun, Homeslice and Honi Poke. The best bit? If the weather does threaten to turn, then the retractable roof comes into play.

14 Lillie Road, West Brompton, SW6 1TT


Pub on the Park, Hackney

Located on the very edge of London Fields, Pub on the Park has spectacular views across the greenery. Filled with rows of two-seat tables and banquet-style benches, the pub’s decking area is designed for long afternoons and sporting screenings. At the weekend, DJs are on hand, Big Belly Chefs take control of the kitchen and boules are available to play.

19 Martello Street, Hackney, E8 3PE


The Ship, Wandsworth

Perhaps one of the capital’s most popular Thameside drinking destinations, The Ship has been serving pints to thirsty Londoners since 1786. Comprising a gastropub, outdoor BBQ kitchen and riverside terrace, The Ship is a particularly popular place for groups to share jugs of Pimm’s and for lively al fresco birthday parties. Make sure you book one of the 15-capacity outdoor cabins, complete with a private TV screen, for a great view of the sunset.

41 Jews Road, Wandsworth, SW18 1TB


Garden Gate, Hampstead

Indoors, this is a 19th-century boozer decked out with original wood panelling, period features and stained-glass windows. But hidden away at the back, as its name suggests, there’s an enormous beer garden. Billing itself as the perfect spot for “lazy afternoons, outdoor dining, or just the simple enjoyment of a glass of something special on a sunny day”, this is a great spot for family get-togethers and long weekend afternoons with friends.

14 South End Road, Hampstead, NW3 2QE


The Guildford Arms, Greenwich

This relaxed pub and kitchen is so good that it’s made its way into The Good Pub Guide and the Michelin Guide. Set in a three-floor Georgian building, this is one of the cosiest spots in Greenwich in the winter months but come summer its extensive sunken garden comes into its own: picture a terrace with well-kept lawns, white birches, tall grass and a kitchen herb garden.

55 Guildford Grove, Greenwich, SE10 8JY; closed for reburbishment until August/September 


Four Thieves, Battersea

Housed in a former music hall, this Battersea hotspot is less a pub and more an arcade extravaganza. Away from pulling pints (from its own on-site brewery, no less), groups can get stuck into VR games, a remote-control car racing track, retro arcade games and mini-golf. When the sun’s out, head for its wisteria-lined courtyard – the perfect spot to continue the fun after one of Four Thieves’ bottomless Sunday brunches.

51 Lavender Gardens, Battersea, SW11 1DJ


Crate Brewery, Hackney Wick

Crate Brewery has a colourful history as a print factory and a squat. Today, it’s a canal-side bar, complete with a riverside garden, built with the help of the local creative community. The experimental brewhouse serves the full Crate range and rotating taps, plus wine, cocktails and superlative sourdough pizzas. Keep an eye out for the Alfred Le Roy, a bar on a boat which moors nearby and takes guests for drinks-filled trips on the water.

Unit 7, Queen's Yard, Hackney Wick, E9 5EN


The Lighterman, King’s Cross

This slickly designed, modern British gastropub offers big windows and a canal-side al fresco bar. Located on the towpath of Regent’s Canal, the three-floor waterside bar and terrace is open every evening and all-day at the weekends. The bar offers a wide selection of sustainable and biodynamic wines, as well as independently produced local craft beers. Seasonal produce is at the forefront of its menus, which offer everything from salads and flatbreads to meat and fish cooked on a wood-fired grill.

3 Granary Square, Kings Cross, N1C 4BH


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