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Our pick of the best pub beer gardens in the UK

As the sun makes its grand reappearance and the days begin to stretch out longer, there's one thing we can’t wait to do: get friends and family together for a tasty meal and an icy-cool pint in a beer garden. At Greene King, we believe these golden moments are worth making the most of, which is why we’ve handpicked a selection of our pubs that boast some of the best beer gardens across the country. 

From the cosmopolitan buzz of busy beer gardens in bustling city centres, to laid back spots perched on the river in the peaceful countryside, each of our beer gardens are truly unique, with as much character as our pubs themselves. Feeling thirsty? Time to dig out the shades and shorts! Here are seven of our favourite Greene King pub beer gardens:
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Hartford Mill, Wyton - A serene spot overlooking the marina

Sometimes, the best accompaniment to a perfectly-poured, icy cool pint is a slice of peace, calm and tranquillity. And that’s exactly what you’ll find at Hartford Mill, just a short distance between St. Ives and Huntington on the outskirts of Cambridge. 

This Greene King Pub & Carvery is a top spot to bring the family along for a relaxing Sunday lunch. That’s because not only is there a Wacky Warehouse indoor play area that’ll keep the little ones entertained for hours, but ‘The Mill’ also offers a choice of two beer gardens. One is grassed, perfect for grabbing a drink, kicking your shoes off and enjoying the sunny weather in style. The other is terraced, looking right out on the marina at the foot of the River Ouse. Make no mistake, this is one of the best spots to enjoy delicious pub grub al fresco, with idyllic views of the water and a kids’ menu to delight even the most discerning young foodies. Planning a weekend visit? Be sure to book a table as it can get pretty busy here on sunny afternoons!

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The Punch & Judy, Covent Garden, London - Dinner and a show

With its prime spot in the centre of Covent Garden, the Punch & Judy is a classic example of what makes London pubs so special. This spot is all about lively atmospheres and fantastic views, whether you’re popping in after a matinee show on Drury Lane or meeting mates after work for a casual drink and a catch-up. 

This landmark pub’s balcony looks out on the famous market, and makes the perfect viewing platform to catch street performers captivating crowds as you tuck into tasty food and a refreshingly crisp lager. You’ll find even more outdoor seating right in the centre of the market too, meaning there are few better spots to grab a drink and soak up the atmosphere of the West End.

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The Anchor, Cambridge - The perfect garden to people-watch

If you’re an in-the-know ‘Cantabrigian’, there’s a good chance you know about the Anchor already. But if you’re new to the city of Cambridge or visiting for a relaxing break, this pub is simply a must-visit. Next to the River Cam and moments from Queens’ College and the beautiful Mathematical Bridge, you’d struggle to find a more picturesque spot to stumble upon a pub. And the beer garden? It’s right on the banks of the river, making it the ultimate spot to watch people punting along.

A sophisticated menu that combines British classics with contemporary twists makes the Anchor a popular place for foodies. Plus, it’s both family friendly and pooch friendly, so weekend lunches in the beer garden are a real hit. Just be sure to book a table in advance as it can be a little busy!

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The Old Manse Hotel, Bourton-On-The-Water - Quintessentially English beer garden in the heart of the village

There’s a reason Bourton-on-the-Water is hailed as the 'Venice of the Cotswolds'. This beautiful village is home to no less than 114 Grade II listed buildings, and many of those that aren’t listed have an equally extensive history. One of those is the Old Manse Hotel, which has been a fixture of the village since 1748. Today, this pub and hotel has one of the most idyllic beer gardens in the UK. Perched on the River Windrush looking out on the heart of the village, there is no better place to sit and watch the world go by with a glass of red or a crisp ale in hand. 

The pub itself is a welcoming spot for families and their four-legged companions, making it a favoured choice for Cotswolds residents and visitors seeking a slice of tranquillity with their tipple. It's not just the setting that draws the crowds, though. The pub's menu, brimming with hearty fare and local ales, means that every visit is as delicious as it is memorable.


The Turf Tavern - Oxford’s hidden oasis

If you’re in the heart of Oxford’s many colleges searching for somewhere to get a drink and catch some sun, don’t miss out on the Turf Tavern. Known simply as “The Turf” to locals and students, this pub is home to Oxford’s only city walled beer garden, making it truly one of a kind. It’s got centuries of history, too, dating back all the way to 1381. 

Not just loved among locals, the Turf has played host to an array of famous faces over the years, from Stephen Hawking to David Bowie, Ben Kingsley to Thomas Hardy, and even Ernest Hemingway. It's dog-friendly too, so your furry friend is more than welcome. Whether you're here to grab a cold drink in the sunshine or to chase the ghostly tales of Rosie, the Turf’s beer garden is a great spot from which to take in the history of the city.

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Overstone Manor, Northampton - A Jane Austen-esque retreat with a beautiful garden

Just a short drive away from Northampton and Kettering, Overstone Manor offers a peaceful escape and a refreshing drink in the countryside. Formerly a manor house, the building itself looks like a setting straight from a classic novel with its picturesque architecture and expansive grounds.

In the Summer, Overstone Manor’s beer garden is the place to be. Set on a beautifully manicured lawn, there’s plenty of space for everyone to unwind with a chilled pint, crisp glass of wine, or a plate of something savoury and tasty. With deliciously slow-roasted meats served every day in the pub’s carvery, we can’t think of a better place to enjoy a classic roast than in Overstone Manor’s typically English, stately garden.

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The Malt House, Birmingham - Chilled outdoor dining in the city centre

Birmingham’s canal network is a scenic backdrop to many a good day out (not to mention a certain gangster drama set in the early 20th century), and at the heart of it is the Malt House. Once an historic maltings and nail warehouse, this pub has become a firm favourite for those looking to enjoy a pint with views of the water. Today it stands as a testament to Birmingham's rich industrial past, with a contemporary twist.

Right by Old Turn Junction and The NIA arena, the Malt House’s relaxing beer garden and balcony offer amazing views over the canal, making it a prime location for sunny afternoons and warm evenings. With a menu that showcases the best of British pub cuisine and a cracking selection of lagers and ales, it’s easy to while away the hours here, soaking up the atmosphere and the sunshine.

Find  a Pub Nearby with a Beer Garden

Those are just seven of our favourite pubs with a nice beer garden. It was a tough pick, and you’ll find hundreds of Greene King pubs around the UK with an amazing outdoor space to unwind in. From the historic alleys of Oxford to the buzz of London, and the peaceful riverside scenery of Cambridge to the quaint charm of the Cotswolds, we’ve got the perfect beer garden for your next outing.

Fancy basking in the sunshine at a beer garden a little closer to home? Check out our full range of pubs with a beer garden and enter your postcode to find your nearest spot. There’s always a reason to step out and enjoy the great British outdoors, especially when it comes with the promise of good food, great drinks, and even better company. Grab your sunglasses and join us!