Wish you were beer! England's top 25 pub gardens revealed

Wish you were beer! England’s top 25 pub gardens revealed, from a ‘hipster’ London watering hole to the UK’s only beach bar

  • The crown goes to The Watering Hole in Cornwall, ‘the UK’s only bar on a beach’ 
  • The Rising Sun in Somerset is second in the ranking, by travel site Big 7 Travel
  • READ MORE: Tourist coaches to be prohibited in the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’

Hop to it!

It’s that time of year when everybody starts scrambling to find the perfect beer garden with good drinks on tap, hearty pub grub and gorgeous views as a bonus. 

To get you there quicker, here we reveal England’s top 25 best beer gardens, as ranked by travel website Big 7 Travel.

To make the list pubs had to impress with their ambience, scenery and food and drink selection, with the final selection generated by analysing customer and critic reviews as well as editorial opinions, online presence, consistency, service, value for money, presentation, location and accessibility. 


The Ferry Inn, set in Salcombe in Devon, has a terrace ‘so close to the waterfront you can practically touch the waves’

Built in 1739, The Ferry Inn is the oldest and most famous pub in Salcombe, says Big 7 Travel. 

It notes: ‘The historic pub boasts a pretty stone terrace that is so close to the waterfront you can practically touch the waves. There are at least a dozen or so large picnic tables outside with umbrellas for sunny days and fairy lights for when the sun goes down.’ 

Offering views of Salcombe’s estuary, beaches and undulating countryside, it is a ‘prime spot’ for people-watching too, Big 7 Travel reveals. 


The Canal House in Birmingham is described as ‘the perfect place to soak in the sunshine with a drink’

Of this pub-restaurant, which claimed the title of Best Pub in the Midlands at The National Pub & Bar Awards, Big 7 Travel says: ‘While it’s easy to see why customers rave about its hearty Sunday Roasts and live music, it’s the beer garden we’re interested in. 

‘Boasting brilliant views of the canal basin, with plenty of seating on the outdoor terrace, it’s the perfect place to soak in the sunshine with a drink.’

The website adds that ‘with over 60 beers in the ale inventory, an extensive cocktail menu and a wide range of soft drinks on offer, you won’t be stuck for choice either’.


Sip on an ‘excellent range of local beers’ – and drink in ‘dazzling’ views of the North Sea – at Mundesley’s Ship Inn

Overlooking the ‘golden sands’ of Mundesley Beach, The Ship Inn is described as ‘an idyllic seaside escape’. 

Big 7 Travel says: ‘The 300-year-old pub is beloved by locals and visitors for its tasty and unpretentious food and an excellent range of local beers.

‘The large beer garden is located at the back of the red-brick pub and offers dazzling views of the North Sea.’ 


The Wheatsheaf in Somerset features sprawling terraced gardens overlooking the surrounding countryside

‘Bath has its fair share of historic pubs, but not all of them boast views like those at The Wheatsheaf.’ 

So says Big 7 Travel of this pub, a ‘whitewashed farmhouse-turned pub’ that lies an ‘easy 15-minute drive from Bath’s city centre’. 

Pictures show the sprawling terraced gardens overlooking the ‘bucolic’ countryside and ‘some of the region’s prettiest villages’. Big 7 Travel notes: ‘The drinks list is excellent but the food is even better. Keep an eye on the calendar as there’s always something going on, from steak nights to summer parties.’ 

Reviewer ‘Jason M’ on Tripadvisor describes it as a ‘country pub of the highest quality’ and a ‘beautiful pub in a glorious location’. 


The Gardeners Rest in Yorkshire boasts a beer garden that’s said to be ‘one of the quirkiest in the country’

The Gardeners Rest is described as ‘a proper pub with a difference’, as it is Sheffield’s first community-owned pub. 

Punters can enjoy a drink overlooking the River Don in its beer garden, which is ‘one of the quirkiest in the country’, according to Big 7 Travel. 

Features include a flower-filled labyrinth of picnic tables, sculptures, vegetables, quirky sculptures and fireplaces, Big 7 Travel reveals. Writing on Tripadvisor, ‘Dawn G’ said: ‘A very interesting beer garden awaits you at the back of this pub. It is full of curiosities and a lovely flower garden with tomatoes growing along with quirky sculptures and fireplaces embedded into the fabric of the walls.’ 


The Drunken Duck Inn, set in the Lake District, is a popular spot with walkers

This Lake District gem is ‘set in a huge 400-year-old building in 60 private acres of rambling countryside’, offering ‘glorious fell views that stretch out for miles’, Big 7 Travel reveals. 

It says: ‘It’s a popular spot with walkers who hotfoot here after tackling the local peaks for brilliant beers brewed from the award-winning on-site microbrewery and a delicious daily changing menu. If you can’t face the walk home, there are 13 individually designed bedrooms to settle down into too.’ 

Writing on Tripadvisor, reviewer ‘CLP3210’ said that the pub lies ‘in a beautiful location’ and serves ‘excellent’ food. 


The beer garden of The Jolly Fisherman in Northumberland offers views out to sea

‘This award-winning pub pairs stunning sea views with fantastic food and good company,’ says Big 7 Travel.

When the weather gets hot, it recommends bagging one of the tables outside, ‘where the views extend past Dunstanburgh Castle and out to sea’. 

The website reveals: ‘There’s a good range of drinks to choose from but we recommend arriving hungry. What could be better than kipper scotch eggs, Shetland mussels and famous Craster crabs served with a sparkling sea view?’ 


The ‘trendy’ People’s Park Tavern is nestled in the heart of London’s Victoria Park

Praising this watering hole, Big 7 Travel says: ‘The chaotic capital isn’t short on excellent beer gardens, but the People’s Park Tavern comes up trumps.’

It continues: ‘Overlooking East London’s beloved Victoria Park, the beer garden is one of the largest in London, with an indoor-outdoor greenhouse, seasonal barbecue kitchen, pop-up cocktail bar and tap wall.’ 

What’s more, the website notes that the pub boasts its own on-site microbrewery and has more than 70 beers on tap. 


Punters can enjoy a ‘lovely, laid-back atmosphere’ at The Rising Sun in Somerset 

‘The Rising Sun is a mere 15 minutes away from Bristol’s city centre, but it feels worlds away thanks to its idyllic countryside location,’ Big 7 Travel declares. 

It continues: ‘Nestled at the foot of Pensford Viaduct by the River Chew, the large beer garden boasts stunning views and a lovely, laid-back atmosphere.’ 

Big 7 Travel notes that the Cornish brewery St Austell owns the pub, so there’s an ‘excellent’ selection of beers on tap. Plus, it describes the food menu as ‘fantastic and very reasonably priced’. 


Tuck into a good range of beach-friendly grub at The Watering Hole in Cornwall, which ranks first 

Describing The Watering Hole, the number-one-ranked pub, Big 7 Travel says: ‘The bar, restaurant and live music venue sit smack-bang in the middle of Perranporth’s golden sands, making it the UK’s only bar on the beach.’ 

The website continues: ‘Open all year round, it serves real ales from local breweries, cocktails and a wide variety of soft and hot drinks, including a dreamy hot chocolate. There’s a good range of beach-friendly grub on offer too.’ 

Not only that, but the venue ‘has become famous for its various live music events featuring lineups’, Big 7 Travel reveals, with Sam Ryder expected to perform this summer. 


1. The Watering Hole, Perranporth, Cornwall

2. The Rising Sun, Pensford, Somerset

3. The People’s Park Tavern, London

4. The Jolly Fisherman, Craster, Northumberland

5. The Drunken Duck Inn, Ambleside, Cumbria

6. The Gardeners Rest, Sheffield, South Yorkshire

7. The Wheatsheaf, Combe Hay, Bath, Somerset

8. The Ship Inn, Mundesley, Norfolk

9. The Canal House, Birmingham, West Midlands

10. The Ferry Inn, Salcombe, Devon

11. Prince Leopold Inn, Warminster, Wiltshire

12. Water Lane Boathouse, Leeds, West Yorkshire

13. The Perch Inn, Binsey, Oxford 

14. The Jolly Sportsman, Lewes, East Sussex

15. Seven Stones Inn, St Martin’s, Scilly Isles

16. The Boathouse Inn, Shrewsbury, Shropshire

17. Escape to Freight Island, Manchester

18. Kazimier Garden, Liverpool, Merseyside

19. The Pipe and Glass Inn, South Dalton, Yorkshire

20. Canalhouse, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

21. Topsham Brewery & Taproom, Exeter, Devon

22. Cholmondeley Arms, Malpas, Cheshire

23. The George, Alstonefield, Staffordshire

24. The Old Neptune, Whitstable, Kent

25. Twice Brewed Inn, Hexham, Northumberland

Source: Big 7 Travel 

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