With warmer weather on the way and nights getting lighter, thoughts naturally turn to the much-anticipated reopening of pubs. In February, Boris Johnson confirmed that pubs, restaurants and cafes could all reopen for outdoor service in England from 12 April. When hospitality does restart, rules will apply, including the rule of six or two-household rule.
Unlike before, though, there will be no curfew, or substantial meal rule, but customers must remain seated and not order at the bar.
We’ve found some of the best outdoor spaces to raise a glass and celebrate the arrival of spring and the return of our beloved watering holes.
Winner of the Best Pub/Bar in the Midlands at the 2019 National Pub & Bar Awards, it’s not hard to see why this bar is such a hit. Boasting great views of the canal basin, it’s the perfect spot to sit outside in the sun with a drink.
This bustling pub in Moseley contains original 18th century features and – most importantly – is home to a large beer garden.
Don’t be put off by the name – the Birmingham branch of bar chain Pitcher & Piano is situated in the heart of the city and has great views over the canal from its terrace.
The White Lion retains bragging rights to one of Bristol’s best views: Clifton suspension bridge and the Avon Gorge. Located in the city’s bouji Clifton district, the White Lion has a spacious outdoor terrace from which to enjoy said view.
The Apple offers some of the world’s best ciders and perries on a beautifully converted Dutch barge in the heart of Bristol’s Old City. Plenty of outdoor seating on the cobbled quayside makes this a lively spot close to the city centre.
Adjacent to St Werburgh’s city farm, The Farm is quintessentially Bristolian, with some of the best roast dinners the city has to offer. Outdoor seating here is available on the grassy lawn in this peaceful part of town.
Offering a welcome respite from the packed bars of central London, this 18th century pub overlooks the village pond and offers a relaxing place to sit in the sun in this leafy and tranquil part of the city.
This rooftop party spot in Waterloo offers great city skyline views with plenty of opportunities for soaking up the sun.
Outside this old 18th century gin palace is a large and colourful beer garden that’s perfect for catching up with friends (remember them?).
If you like a bit of history with your tipple, The Old Wellington makes an ideal spot for a drink. Built in 1552, this half-timbered traditional pub is the oldest of its kind in the city and once played host to some of the founders of Manchester commerce, including the people behinds its first bank, quay and the cotton industry. It also has plenty of outdoor seating for you and your squad.
While this bar and grill restaurant has an enviable south-facing patio and second-floor terrace next to Deansgate and the city canal, you’ll need to be over 21 and comply with their rigorous dress code to gain entry to this city centre drinking spot.
One of Manchester’s most popular outdoor spaces, The Oast House enjoys plenty of outdoor seating, plus a huge stage for live performances.
Located in the affluent area of Jesmond, 97 & Social prides itself on its range of cocktails. It also has a large front terrace for al fresco boozing.
As one of the city’s most beloved music venues, The Tyne Bar also has a beer garden beneath a bridge and a food menu with a good selection of vegan options.
If the pandemic has left you short on pennies, The Quay is the place to be. A Wetherspoon’s pub, this 16th century merchant’s house offers excellent views of the River Tyne and Tyne Bridge, as well as being easy on the purse strings.
This waterside pub has the added novelty of having a canal that extends into the building, complete with resident narrow boats. As well as claiming to have the best selection of world beers in the East Midlands, the venue is also home to a large outdoor seating area.
Located on the banks of the River Trent and boasting its own brewery, the Brewhouse & Kitchen is the perfect spot for real ale lovers.
As well as being a great spot to enjoy some music, The Bodega also has a great beer garden to enjoy a socially distanced tippled.