15 Best alfresco pubs & bars
Want to know where to head for a spritzer in the sunshine? We've cherry-picked the best spots for you from Ibiza-vibe gardens to circus-themed tipis by the riverside and laid back pub gardens.
Race you to the bar …
Burleigh Court Hotel, Stroud
Be the first to lounge on newly landscaped terraces complete with firepits, a woodfired pizza oven, delectable tapas and afternoon tea at the idyllic Burleigh Court Hotel. Plus, whatever you do don’t miss the fireside dinner and Spanish guitar nights on 7th and 14th May.
The Sheep on Sheep Street, Stow-on-the-Wold
Missed your trip to the White Isle? Fear not, the brilliant Sheep on Sheep Street in Stow-on-the-Wold has a newley madeover garden area with laid back Ibiza-esque music and a lovely vibe.
Bathurst Arms, North Cerney
If you loved The Greatest Showman, The Bathurst Arms in North Cerney has you covered with a new theatrical dining experience in its riverside beer garden! Head here on the Bank Holiday weekend to experience the 24-foot tipi which has been converted into a marvellous circus-themed dining space, inspired by favourite local show, @officialgiffordscircus. Sit by the riverside in the gorgeous beer garden and try out their extensive (and organic) Spring menu.
The dreamy Thyme at Southrop is just perfect for a spring or summers tipple with its south-facing terrace. And even better the Ox Barn here has been converted for full-on alfresco dining on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from midday to sunset. They aren’t taking reservations but offering picnic blankets to enjoy the orchard whilst waiting for a table.
The Bear of Rodborough, Stroud
Perched on Rodborough Common with views over the Cotswold countryside, we love this place because you never know when a Belted Galloway cow might rock up to join in as you sip your pint! The garden has a laid back Ibiza-vibe garden with deckchairs and comfy spaced out seating and tables – with lots of space for kids to run around in. Both food and drink will be on offer. Or head to its sister pubs The Close in Tetbury and The Swan in Bibury.
The Frogmill, Shipton Oliffe
One of Muddy’s fave pub gardens, a stone’s throw from Cheltenham but with a feel of being deep in the countryside. It is open for full on alfresco dining on the newly re-arranged (and semi-covered) sun terrace. Join in the Frogmill Sunday funday by booking your table.
Summer Garden Afternoon Tea, The Queens Hotel, Cheltenham
The iconic Queens Hotel in the heart of Montpellier in Cheltenham has reopened its doors after months of renovation (a gorgeous facelift will be unveiled in May) with a wondrous new summer garden to eat out in or enjoy some bubbles with a buddy. You can dine out from 10am to 8pm and guests can choose from the sheltered marquee or out in the open, beautifully landscaped garden. Opt for brunch, lunch or one if its famous Afternoon Teas, all made with local artisan products. Top tip – finish your visit with a signature cocktail or gin and tonic made from the hotel’s very own Queens gin.
The Wheatsheaf, Northleach
Why settle of one beer garden when you can have multiple beer terraces? The award-winning Wheatsheaf in Northleach reopens on 12 April and has lots of private garden nooks and crannies to settle into with your pint, dotted with sweet-smelling potted plants and tumbling climbers. Phone or email ahead to book your spot though.
The Bell, Sapperton, Glos
The Bell is a lovely, laidback Bank Holiday weekend hangout. A rural retreat off a quiet lane in Sapperton village, the most traffic you’ll hear from the lush garden is the odd horse trotting past (there’s a dedicated parking spot for your stead too!). Make sure to pre-book a table.
The Mount Inn, Stanton
This gorgeous traditional beer garden right on the Glos and Worcs border near Broadway is a really pretty spot to soak up some panoramic views of the Malvern Hills, we highly recommend staying for sunset. If you love supporting local then it also serves up loads of local craft beers. The large garden is dotted with wooden benches even features fruit, herbs and an orchard. There’s a one-way system in place, and make sure to book ahead for an outside table on the terrace or in the garden.
And over in Worcs …
Bank House Hotel & Spa, Worcester
Grab one of these lovely spots at the Bank House Hotel, located between Worcester and Malvern. There is a super spacious outdoor terrace to enjoy your first pint of freedom.Food will be served from 12 pm Monday to Friday and from 10:30am on Saturday and Sunday. This one is great for families as the expansive gardens are perfect for children to free range. Pooches on leads are also very welcome.
The Fleece Inn, Bretforton
You’d be hard pushed to find a more quirky and fairytale hangout than the beer orchard at The Fleece Inn (named Worcs Pub of the Year 2019). With its wonky 15th century timbers, and stone mushrooms dotted everywhere, this pub is a lovely place to while away the hours. The orchard beer garden will be fully open for both food and drink. And you can even bring your pooch along to meet the resident pub dog. Book ahead to avoid disappointment.
The Chase Inn, Malvern
The Chase Inn pub garden is the one in Worcs for stunning views, from the gorgeous outside space you can see over to the Malvern Hills and Black Mountains. A great one for some pre-pint rambling. Food served 12pm to 4pm.
The Holt Fleet, Ombersley
If you demand handsome canal boats sailing past on your afternoon out, then The Holt Fleet is a lovely visit. A hidden treasure within the landscape of Worcestershire, it’s right on the bank of the River Severn and set on an astonishing 14 acres of land. We also love the new VIP river pods which you can book to enjoy your sundowner with a river view come rain or shine.