The Albion, Islington The Albion, Islington © The Albion

10 of the best beer gardens in London

The outdoor drinking season has begun, so pull up a pew, order something icy cold and sit back and relax at one of our favourite outdoor drinking spots in London

From glorious leafy gardens to raucous riverside decks and secluded urban enclaves, wherever you are in London there are beer gardens a plenty offering not only fabulous tipples and dishes, but stunning sun-soaked settings in which to wile away the hours...

NORTH

The Albion, Islington
This Georgian pub's picturesque olde-worlde walled garden draped in fragrant wisteria, just off Upper Street, offers thirsty drinkers a slice of village life in the heart of Islington. There are local ales, a good wine list, a yummy BBQ menu and The Guardian has rated it one of the "Best Pubs in the UK'.

The Spaniards Inn, Hampstead
Backing onto Hampstead Heath, The Spaniards Inn beer garden is a tardis for summer revellers (it can hold up to 300) and on a sunny afternoon is jam-packed. Its rich heritage (this drinking hole was built in 1585), regular BBQs, ales a plenty and even a dog washing machine in the car park, certainly pull in the punters.

The Spaniards Inn, Hampstead

The Spaniards Inn, Hampstead

WEST

The Eagle, Shepherd's Bush
Taking the beer garden concept to the max, The Eagle's sprawling garden is complete with a lawn, wooden decking, huts, deckchairs, giant colourful beanbags, swing chairs and bunting, not to mention fab food especially on sunny days when the BBQ is fired up.

The Eagle

© The Eagle

The City Barge, Chiswick
Nothing beats drinking by The Thames on a sunny day in London, and The City Barge, perched on the river in Chiswick has both a fab garden space on the river and out the back.

city-barge15

© The City Barge

The Garden Bar, Notting Hill
Boasting one of London's largest gardens, Garden Bar is the place to catch the summer's sporting events or an al fresco movie. As well as the outdoor thatched bar, leafy garden, BBQ and cute fairy lights, the pretty impressive outdoor screen is the highlight.

the garden bar

© The Garden Bar

SOUTH

The Ship, Wandsworth
Somewhat of a London institution, this decked beer garden on the edge of The Thames at Wandsworth Bridge is a great place for relaxed weekend revelling with friends. There's an outdoor bar, pergola, booths (complete with heaters) and the all-day weekend BBQ is not to be missed.

the ship2

© The Ship

The Avalon, Clapham
If The Avalon's three stunning al fresco areas were not enough, their famous, rather large, secluded 'garden' has now had a makeover and boasts its own fully stocked bar and kitchen including Josper grill and hog roast. You can also cook your own BBQ in their 'courtyard' and the 'terrace' is a super spot for watching the world go by.

The Avalon

© The Avalon

EAST

Crate Brewery, Hackney Wick
Right next to the canal, just around the corner from Hackney Wick Station, lies not your average beer garden, but a super hip outdoor space forming part of Crate Brewery. Park yourself on a pallet bench or in one of the moored boats and enjoy the unrivalled selection of home-brewed beers and hand-rolled pizza.

 Crate Brewery

© The Crate Brewery 

The Water Poet, Shoreditch
This may be more of sun trap back yard than a glorious green garden, but with its superb outdoor BBQ shack, hog roast and craft beers, The Water Poet is a seriously laid-back spot to wile away off-duty hours.

The Water Poet, Shoreditch

© The Water Poet, Shoreditch

CENTRAL

The Tattershall Castle, Whitehall
There aren't many beer gardens in central London, and while this may strike you as an old barge, it is actually a pub set in a moored boat and its outdoor deck, a superb spot for soaking up the rays, sinking some drinks and taking in the views of the London Eye and Westminster.

The Tattershall Castle

The Tattershall Castle, Whitehall

1 The Ship, Wandsworth
2 The Avalon, Clapham
3 CRATE Brewery & Pizzeria, Hackney Wick
4 The Water Poet, Spitalfields
5 Tattershall Castle
6 The Albion, Islington
7 The Spaniards Inn, Hampstead
8 The Eagle, Shepherd's Bush
9 The City Barge, Chiswick
10 Garden Bar, Notting Hill