Nothing represents summer in London more than pub gardens. From the ram-packed riverside terraces to the more idyllic courtyards and lush lawns, the city has plenty of pubs with picturesque beer gardens and pretty outdoor spaces for you to catch up with friends over a glass or two. If you are looking for a sunny spot for some alfresco drinks, these are the best pub gardens in London to visit this summer.
The Best Pub Gardens in London
The modern British tavern on Regent Street might be best known for its emerald green walls and Art Deco design touches, but beyond the main converted banking hall there’s a brand new al fresco space that is sure to draw crowds this summer. The gastropub team have connected their terrace with the adjoining Langham London hotel courtyard — they share the same owners — and have created an elegant terrace in the heart of London. Wooden benches and seating areas are partially covered, and there are twinkling fairy lights for evening drinks. Guests can order from the new outdoor bar, which serves frozen and specialty cocktails alongside the traditional options — and a special seasonal menu that includes lobster rolls, Buccleuch beef rib eye and more is also available.
5 Langham Place, Marylebone, London, W1B 3DE
An historic gastropub that’s been around for longer than most of the buildings that surround it, The Albion dates back to the time when Islington was farmland and fields. Pass through the beautifully restored Georgian building to reach the beer garden in the back – an oasis in the heart of London. Sit in the pretty walled garden, situated within the Barnsbury conservation area, and soak up the sun over cool drinks and gourmet British dishes – choose classics such as beer battered cod and triple-cooked chips or tuck into a rack of 21 day aged Mount Grace Farm ribs for two. And don’t forget puddings. From rhubarb and custard to sticky toffee pudding, favourites are given an elevated twist.
The Albion, 10 Thornhill Road, Islington, London, N1 1HW
The classic Victorian pub boasts both impressive views across Peckham Rye and its own picture-perfect garden. Traditional garden bench tables are dotted around the courtyard and lawn, which is decorated with potted plants and fairy lights. The garden is partially covered by a canvas awning to guard against the English elements in addition to having a number of trees leaning over the tables. Feast on a wide selection of pub classics, including a dedicated pie section, and a Sunday Roast menu that changes every week to reflect seasonal produce.
2 Forest Hill Road, East Dulwich, London, SE22 0RR
After a successful first run last summer, London’s biggest beer garden returns to Alexandra Palace this summer — and this time, without the entrance fee. Enjoy craft beers, prosecco and specialty cocktails with expansive views across the city, along with treats from a rotation of street food vendors, including Browski Burger and Last Night A Vegan Saved My Life. To accompany the outdoor gatherings over pints, the venue will also host a programme of live performances, including music from major artists, comedy nights and surprise shows.
Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, London, N22 7AY
This family-run pub is a traditional spot, with a large sweeping beer garden that wraps around the side of the building. The pub’s special touch is its Seafood Shack and Surf ‘n Turf BBQ, where you can pick up a plate of oysters, grilled lobster with garlic-drizzled chips or a decadent shellfish platter. The drinks menu is extensive, spanning classic and seasonal cocktails, an impressive wine list and a selection of beers that always includes a rotation of three guest ales. As well as the garden, there’s a covered terrace so you can enjoy an al fresco experience without being subjected to the whims of the weather.
414 Archway Road, Highgate, London, N6 5UA
An architectural gem hidden away on a leafy residential street in Stroud Green, The Faltering Fullback is also known for its terraced garden. Set out over five plant-filled tiers, there’s myriad nooks and crannies for couples and groups. Visit during the day to speak up the sunshine over cool drinks, or cosy up by the heaters with hot Thai food in the evening. During the summer months, additional tables are set up in the street, from which the pub is instantly recognisable due to its ivy-covered facade. Occasionally during the weekends, overflow extends into the yard of the school opposite the pub. The Faltering Fullback is also one of North London’s leading rugby pubs – during games, a giant screen is set up in the indoor hall, with smaller screens throughout. The pub doesn’t take bookings so arrive early to secure the best spot.
The Faltering Fullback, 19 Perth Road, Finsbury Park, London, N4 3HB
Home to London’s biggest beer garden, The Prince is more than a pub. Rejuvenated from the grand old Prince of Wales, its interior is filled with restored historic features including wooden floors, marble counters and low-hanging brass lights. Its giant garden, filled with colourful plants and trees, is what it’s famous for, however, and it’s always busy on a summer’s day, particularly during a sporting event when giant screens are set up outside. The venue also comprises three restaurants: Filth&Co, serving up American-style burgers and loaded fries; Boludo, offering Latin street food and tapas-style sharing plates; and Rudie’s Jerk Shack, where you can sample Caribbean favourites such as jerk chicken, curry goat and saltfish fritters.
The Prince, 14 Lillie Road, Earls Court London, SW6 1TT
The North London pub dates back to the 17th century, lending the whole place irresistible charm — it’s rumoured that George Orwell once sat writing 1984 here in the late 1940s. Outside, the partially covered garden transports you to the countryside, with fragrant flowers, trees and a mix of courtyard and lawn. The beer garden is one of the largest in the area, so there’s an impressive amount of space between tables — a rare feat for London pubs. There’s an extensive menu of beers, wines and cocktails to peruse, as well as a brand new food menu of seasonal fare.
21 Canonbury Place, Islington, London, N1 2NS
A stone’s throw from Hampstead Heath, The Spaniards Inn is an iconic gastro pub that’s popular with local Hampstead residents, dog walkers and visitors alike. A leafy urban retreat in north-west London, it’s known for its expansive garden and quality British fare. From classic favourites such as sausage and mash, chicken pie and beer battered fish and chips, to modern dishes such as roast Atlantic cod and chorizo and the world-famous Beyond Meat Burger, there’s something for everyone. Make sure to book in advance if you’re visiting for a Sunday roast with all the trimmings – one of London’s best.
The Spaniards Inn, Spaniards Road, Hampstead, London, NW3 7JJ
Set on the banks of the River Thames, The White Swan is a Twickenham institution. Dating back to the 17th century, the traditional free house is a piece of history – look above the bar to spot a print made by Samuel Scott in 1760. When the sun is shining, choose a spot on the terrace balcony or in the garden, which extends to the water’s edge, and enjoy British seasonal dishes washed down with local beers – some ales, such as Naked Ladies, hail from Twickenham itself. If you’re sitting on the riverbank, be aware that at high tide the river may extend into the garden, but it never stays long.
The White Swan, Riverside, Twickenham TW1 3DN
The leafy and bright sun trap behind the Fulham pub is a perfect spot to soak in the afternoon rays. The terrace boasts idyllic views across the Thames, giving you the best of both worlds. Classic gastropub fare is served alongside seasonal cocktails and a changing selection of guest ales. A summer BBQ will be serving up and will also host a number of pop up bars with Pimm’s and Aperol throughout the season.
Rainville Road, Fulham, London, W6 9HA
A neighbourhood pub close to Crystal Palace Park, The Faber Fox is one of the best venues in the area to watch sports. With a large bar and dining room inside and a roomy garden and heated terrace outside, it caters to all weathers. During the summer, reserve a table in the sun and feast your eyes on Instagrammable views of the capital and snack on food and drinks sourced from local suppliers. And the party continues long after the sun sets, with a busy schedule of sports showing on the big screens and pub quizzes to keep the whole family entertained.
The Fabar Fox, 25 Westow Hill, Norwood, London, SE19 1TQ
A majestic pub and garden in Clapham South, The Avalon is as British as they come. Named after the mythical island in the tale of King Arther, the pub specialises in seasonal produce sourced from leading supplies across the UK. It’s home to not one but three outdoor spaces – the brand new all-year covered Courtyard, the lively heated Terrace and the relaxing Summer Garden (open April to October) that’s filled with so many plants and shrubs you’ll forget you’re in the city. Visit on a Sunday for one of the best all-day roast dinners in south London.
The Avalon, 16 Balham Hill, Clapham South, London, SW12 9EB