A pint in the sun is a precious thing; the sunlight filtering through the beer, the soft snorts of laughter, the sound of packets of crisps being opened to share.
London’s pub scene is still packed with glorious drinking spots, though it’s no surprise that outdoor space remains hard to come by in some parts of the city.
That said, pandemic-induced concerns about ventilation and space mean that the last two years have seen more places stretch out and reclaim the patches of pavement in front of their doors, and now the city is teeming with beautiful courtyards and venues. to drink outdoors. When the sun comes out, even the gloomiest local seems to find a few chairs and a beer-marked canvas barrier to open up a makeshift terrace.
But while these serve in a pinch, some places go a little further. From quaint riverside terraces to lively boozy neighborhoods, here are some of our favorite pub gardens in all of London.
pub in the park
A favorite with larger groups, there are fantastic views of the London Fields from this stylish garden pub, which is always buzzing. If it seems a bit busy, grab a pint to go and head to the nearby park.
Martello Street, 19, E8 3PE, pubonthepark.com
The Isle of Dogs is strangely something of a no man’s land when it comes to pubs, with only a handful. Run by the reliably good Hippo Inns, George’s is a stylish spot with a large conservatory that opens onto a large hardwood deck that benefits from being tucked away just off the road. Umbrellas come in handy here, no wonder.
114 Glengall Grove, E14 3ND, georgepub.es
This pub boasts a great selection of real ales, an impressive food menu and best of all a lovely large beer garden, which they have covered to bid farewell to the unpredictable British summer weather. Brixton has many options for drinkers, and this is one of the best.
Coldharbour Lane, SE5 9NS, suncamberwell.com
People’s Park Tavern
One of the largest and leafiest pub gardens in East London (with plenty of pretty bunting to boot). 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 the best places to drink in East London, with lots of great things on offer in the kitchen and a good selection of real ales, this stylish pub opens up to the rear with a spacious patio. They will also open with covers, in case of rain.
640 High Road Leytonstone, E11 3AA,theredlionleytonstone.com
Truman Social Club
A great venue that opened last year boasting of being the “largest socially distanced pub and garden” in the UK, this was a hit when it opened just off Blackhorse Lane. In addition to Truman’s on tap, the place serves 20 different beers, with street food on tap as well. Keep an eye on their calendar of events, too.
1 Priestley Street, Walthamstow, E17 6AL, trumansbeer.es
Step inside this characterful local favorite and you’ll see a lovely central bar, with a decent space for drinking and dining. At 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.es
the duke of edinburgh
Tucked away from the main hustle and bustle of Brixton, this charming venue with a truly huge garden practically rattles the atmosphere. The paved patio is wonderfully leafy, and White Men Can’t Jerk is still in residence providing, you guessed it, finely done jerk chicken and other Caribbean-inspired dishes.
204 Ferndale Street, SW9 8AG; dukeofedinburghpub.com
the White Horse
Sitting on the corner of Parsons Green Road, the garden of this bustling Fulham venue is well placed to sit and watch the world go by, hence its popularity with wealthy residents who gave it its nickname ‘Sloaney Pony’. It is also known for its excellent range of 150 bottled beers and 20 on tap.
1-3 Parson’s Green, SW6 4UL, whitehorsesw6.com
hope and anchor
Brixton is clearly packed with the best beer gardens, and Hope and Anchor is no exception. This is a beautiful venue, the hanging flowers and fairy lights make sure of that, and it has a reputation for being a Prosecco-fueled party. Outdoor cabins help when the skies open up.
123 acre lane, SW2 5UA, hopeyanchorbrixton.co.uk
The Crabtree Tavern
Located on the stretch of river between 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 tree and spend a lazy Sunday afternoon watching the rowers sweat on the water. A personal favourite.
Rainville Street, W6 9HA, thecrabtreew6.es
The white swan
It is one of the most idyllic places in London, and one of our favorite pubs in the capital. The outdoor terrace and seating areas feel like a world away from the busy city, and are some of the best places to spend a summer afternoon. However, you’ll probably be lucky if you get a spot.
Riverside, Twickenham, TW1 3DN, whiteswantwickenham.es
the white deer
Another gem on the list of the Antic pub chain, which also owns the Sun of Camberwell, above, The White Hart is an unsung favorite in Stoke Newington. The pub’s huge garden is a sun trap filled with cozy tables. The food here is also decent.
69 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 8EL, whitehartstokenewington.com
Probably one of the most versatile places in town, the Prince’s handsome dining room can be transformed into a huge beer garden with a retractable roof at this popular spot in Earl’s Court. Wait for it to be full.
14 Lillie Street, SW6 1TT, theprincelondon.com
Anchor next to the bench
Found 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 out front. Ideal for a pint or two right by the Thames, and walk-ins are welcome.
34 Park Street, SE1 9EF, greeneking-pubs.es
the duke of hamilton
Just a short walk over the moor from Hampstead Station, this charming pub is one to take on a trip to North West London. The front garden is capped at 25 people and the back garden has a capacity of 40, so the owners ask patrons to book in advance, though walk-ins will be 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, making it 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 Crooked Road, W12 9AZ, theeaglew12.co.uk
The Canonbury Tavern
Islington’s historic pub, the Canonbury, is worth a visit all year round, but the garden helps it to recover in the summer. It was also one of the pubs frequented by George Orwell, who wrote parts of 1984 Sitting in the Garden back in the 1940s.
21 Canonbury Place, N1 2NS, thecanonbury.es
A Balham Hill stalwart, the Avalon caters to long, leisurely lunches and large groups, and is ideal for families. It has not one but three outdoor spaces, made up of a patio, a terrace and a beautiful main garden. A local favorite for good reason.
16 Balham Hill, SW12 9EB, theavalonlondon.com
Afternoons easily turn into long evenings at this charming little hideaway, tucked away behind Mornington Crescent. It has a good sized garden covered in inviting foliage, with the added bonus of a comfortable mini-tent, heaters and fairy lights for when the evening chill descends.
57 Mornington Terrace, NW1 7RU, edinborocastlepub.es