15 bars for al fresco drinks in Manchester despite the rain in the North cliches

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Cities in the North are famed for their cliches about wet weather.

But as the summer properly kicks in, it is sometimes surprising to learn how much sunshine the northern metropolis of Manchester enjoys.

The number of alfresco bars are dotted around the city, reports 2Chill, and there are plenty of beer gardens and rooftop bars to suit every pocket and preference.

20 Stories

Located high above Spinningfields is this glamorous glass-surround roof terrace, which provides stunning 360-degree views across the city if you ever get tired of people watching. The fire pits, cushioned seats and outdoor heating also make it a great place for a cocktail come sundown.


The Deansgate Tavern

This traditional boozer is dwarfed by the imposing Beetham Tower and located on one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares, but you’re not bothered by either once you step across the threshold. There’s plenty of character inside, but the highlight is its garden roof terrace, a little haven from the bustle beneath.


The White Lion

This no-frills pub is located on a side-road off Deansgate, so you’ve got the benefit of the pub’s central location without having to shout over the sound of traffic. There are lots of benches out the front, so plenty of room to soak up the sun while you’re enjoying your pint.

The Atlas

Nestled within railway arches at the end of Deansgate you’ll find The Atlas, which provides a lively atmosphere. This might have something to do with the 500-plus gins on offer, as it’s something of a speciality here. Head to the back of the bar and you’ll find a terrace oasis, with cushioned benches, as well as outdoor heaters for chillier days.


Crown and Anchor

You wouldn’t know it if you were just passing by, but this traditional pub in the Northern Quarter has outdoor seating with a modern, urban vibe hidden away at the back. There’s a main beer garden with Astroturf benches and vibrant artwork on the walls, as well as a small balcony overlooking it with further seating.


The Pilcrow Pub

From the outside, this bar resembles an extended Scandi-inspired shed, which seems at odds with the high-rise buildings that surround it, but there’s lots of space outside, and they really know their beers.


The Oast House

You’ll find this bar and its huge terrace in the heart of Spinningfields, so it’s impossible to ignore whatever direction you come from. Due to demand, there are usually additional pop-up bars outside, including twinkling teepees at Christmas, as well as special events and live music throughout the year.


Cain and Grain

This Northern Quarter bar has three distinct levels, including the Caribbean-infused Liars Lounge bar and cocktail den Science and Industry, but on sunny days you want the ground floor taproom. It used to have very limited seating outside, but a section of Thomas Street has now been pedestrianised with a plethora of open-air tables to nab.


Dukes 92

This canal side bar in Castlefield is a real sun-trap, so it’s no surprise it’s one of the busiest spots in the city during the summer. If you’re after a bit of bustle with your beverage then this is the spot.

Castle Street, Castlefield, M3 4LZ


Terrace NQ

Located on one of the Northern Quarter’s busiest streets, the ground floor bar with its stripped-back feel and bare brick walls is always lively, even if its dark interiors give it a late-night feel on the sunniest days. To get your Vitamin D fill, head up to the roof terrace where you’ll find a separate bar as well as plenty of seating.


Constructed from shipping containers, this multi-level space is described as ‘a food, drink and retail destination’, which means you can sample a range of beverages and bites from local traders to enjoy in the designated outdoor seating areas.

Oxford Road, M1 7ED


The Wharf

You might be in the middle of the city, but The Wharf gives off a country pub feel even if numerous skyscrapers have sprung up nearby. Located along the cobbled streets of Castlefield and next to the canal, you’ll find lots of outdoor seating in a surprisingly tranquil setting.

6 Slate Wharf, M15 4ST


Old Wellington


Opposite Selfridges and the Arndale shopping centre is The Old Wellington, which stands out with its black and white façade. The location makes it hugely popular, as does the massive beer garden, which is usually heaving when the sun’s out.

4 Cathedral Gates, M3 1SW


Escape to Freight Island


A relatively new addition to the city, you’ll find a food market and a selection of bars, including a craft beer tap room and cocktail bar in what was a former freight depot near Piccadilly Station. They also host special events, including live music and DJ sets.

11 Baring Street, M1 2PY


The Alchemist

Close to the Coronation Street set and Old Trafford on the outskirts of Manchester is MediaCityUK. One of the best bars here is The Alchemist, which provides a glamorously chilled vibe, stunning cocktails and views across the waterway.

The Bund, The Quays, MediaCityUK M50 3AB


  • 2Chill
  • Pubs

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