The UK capital is always an exciting place to explore – but when hot weather hits, you may find your enthusiasm for strenuous sightseeing becomes diminished... and instead, the thought of chilling out al fresco with a drink in your hand becomes infinitely more appealing.
However, if you don’t count the city’s incredible parks, the busy old streets of London aren’t exactly famed for relaxed outdoor spaces – especially if you want to be served rather than going to the effort of preparing a picnic basket. So we’ve hunted around and found some of the best beer gardens for you to enjoy this summer...
Earl Of Essex
WHERE IN LONDON? Islington
THE PUB: The choice of beers at this Georgian pub is truly astounding. In fact, it’s a self-professed ‘beer bar’, with a constantly revolving selection of 20 different ales and a brewery on-site. It’s also got staff who love their craft and a well-regarded food menu with suggested beer pairings.
THE BEER GARDEN: Picnic tables, bunting and plant pots filled with hops give the large garden a colourful character – and it’s got a very friendly atmosphere to match. Plus, with occasional barbecues and Sunday roasts served outside, you could almost believe you’re in a family back garden.
More about The Earl of Essex >
People’s Park Tavern
WHERE IN LONDON? South Hackney
THE PUB: Now, this one actually IS like a park (more about that later) – except with comfortable seats, tables and its own microbrewery. It’s also a great place for gin, food, big-screen sport, quizzes and comedy nights – and even dogs, as owners often stop by after walks in nearby green spaces.
THE BEER GARDEN: A huge lawn bordered by trees and shrubs give the outdoor space a fresh, vibrant feel, especially with Victoria Park as a backdrop. There’s also an outdoor kitchen and DJs at weekends, making for the very best kind of garden party.
More about The People's Park Tavern >
WHERE IN LONDON? Greenwich
THE PUB: For foodies who like their al fresco experience more refined – yet with the relaxed edge that comes with a pub history – the Guilford Arms is a real find. High-quality, thoughtfully sourced ingredients and pretty presentation create dishes worth remembering, while the decor is contemporary and artistic.
THE BEER GARDEN: Decking, trees, well-stocked borders and beautiful lighting surround the many tables, making it a lovely spot for a leisurely meal with friends. And if you’re just visiting for drinks, the option of table service means you can spend less time queuing at the bar and more time enjoying yourself.
More about The Guidford Arms >
WHERE IN LONDON? Shepherd’s Bush
THE PUB: Reliably good seasonal food and extremely comfortable interiors are just two of the benefits of this pub on the edge of Ravenscourt Park, which aims to “bring a taste of country life to London’s bustling suburbs”. There’s a quiz, real ale, a great wine list and plenty of music.
THE BEER GARDEN: You’ll find a pleasing variety of seating options here, from beanbags on the huge lawn to swing chairs around the edges. Beach huts, deckchairs and a lounge terrace also add to the holiday vibe – and it’s even got an outdoor bar and barbecue.
More about The Eagle >
The Perkin Reveller
WHERE IN LONDON? City of London
THE PUB: We have to confess that it’s a restaurant, not a pub. But it’s in central London AND has incredible views of Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and the Thames – so how could we not include it? There’s a seasonal menu of British food, complemented by a superb wine list and even a fine selection of teas.
THE BEER GARDEN: Despite not being a pub, The Perkin Reveller definitely has a garden in which beer can be very much enjoyed, thanks to those wonderful views we’ve described above. It’s popular for cocktails and al fresco dining – and in the evening it’s really rather romantic, too.
More about The Perkin Reveller >
Enjoy a summer city break
MegabusGold’s great-value, comfortable service means you can save your pennies and your energy to make the most of London in the warmer months. And if you don’t want to waste any waking hours on travel, the comfortable bunks on our sleeper service are the ideal solution – each equipped with free wi-fi and power sockets.
Book your trip now >