London’s 19 Best and Biggest Pub Gardens

Beer gardens, rooftop terraces and London's best pubs for a socially distanced drink, here's where we're heading once pubs reopen.

With rising temperatures and four months of pub closures under our belt, we can't think of anything we'd rather do than while away a summer's day in a beer garden with friends. Ahead of London's bars and boozers reopening on 12 April, we're spotlighting those with the best and biggest outdoor spaces, perfect for a physically distanced tipple.

Beer gardens, rooftop terraces and London's best pubs for a socially distanced drink

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The Prince

Earls Court

Sprawling across a handful of buildings, The Prince enjoys a host of street-food options, three bars and a garden that ranks among London's largest - and it's blooming beautiful. Strewn with hanging plants, pink neon and low-hanging rattan pendants, the so-called "woodland" has a retractable roof, making this a go-to come rain or shine.

Reopening: 12 April

Address

14 Lillie Road, SW6 1TT

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The Stag

Belsize Park

The crowd here tends to be of the young and cool persuasion, so you'll often find something going on in The Stag's lively courtyard, whether it's a live DJ pumping out jams, acoustic sets from up-and-coming artists or a smokin' barbecue churning out griddled halloumi and hot dogs. Order from a long list of beers and pitch up in one of the private cabanas (heated and covered) on the periphery of the leafy garden.

Reopening: 12 April

Address

67 Fleet Road, NW3 2QU

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Pub on the Park

London Fields

Gazing over London Fields from its northeastern corner, Pub on the Park is a hip answer to the traditional British boozer, with a warren of rooms, several big screens and tipples from the likes of Five Points Brewing Co. Come summer, patrons spill into the tree-lined garden - there's space aplenty for spreading out, giving it something of a buzzy, festival atmosphere.

Reopening: 12 April

Address

19 Martello Street, E8 3PE

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Crooked Billet

Clapton

Decked out with exposed brick, faded family portraits and granny lamps, Crooked Billet draws a predictably edgy E5 crowd. As the mercury rises, the outdoor area fills up fast - it's particularly good, with several distinct areas, beach-hut booths, plants, a ping-pong table and its own bar. Craft beers are best paired with Caribbean fare from Andi Oliver's Wadadli Kitchen.

Reopening: 12 April

Address

84 Upper Clapton Road, E5 9JP

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The Crabtree

Fulham

A stone's throw from the River Café, between the Hammersmith and Putney bridges, this chichi spot has a sombre, Victorian interior - though you hardly notice it; the main attraction is the enormous Thameside garden. Head here on a summer evening, find a spot beneath the weeping willow and gaze across to Barnes and the London Wetland Centre.

Reopening: 12 April

Address

Rainville Road, W6 9HA

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The Ship

Wandsworth

This historic riverside pub is loved by South West Londoners for its huge decked garden. Expect private, heated booths (you'll have to come early to nab one), a dedicated alfresco bar and great burgers. British weather not playing ball? Make a beeline for the glass-roofed garden room.

Reopening: 12 April

Address

41 Jews Row, SW18 1TB

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White Hart

Stoke Newington

A medley of worn leather Chesterfields, exposed-brick walls, a refined take on pub grub and a calendar packed with sports and quizzes, the White Hart is a hotspot among Stokey's residents. Throughout late spring and summer, the spacious garden comes into its own, with picnic benches spread out across two leafy tiers.

Reopening: 12 April

Address

69 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 8EL

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The Faltering Fullback

Finsbury Park

Sure, this Irish pub's outdoor area is a far cry from London's biggest, but it's a hot contender for the city's most clever. Split across multiple levels and strung with ivy, the small courtyard has been transformed into a warren of cosy drinking nooks that feels at once spacious and intimate. Head here in the early afternoon, when the sun streams in. And do beware: there's a lot of stairs to contend with once you've had a few.

Reopening: 12 April

Address

19 Perth Road, N4 3HB

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The Magic Garden

Battersea

If you missed Glastonbury, this is the place to come to drown your sorrows. Tent-like tarpaulins, a graffitied black cab and mismatched furniture peppered with blankets and hot-water bottles are illuminated by fairy lights. Eclectic atmosphere aside, live music is the headline act here.

Reopening: TBC

Address

231 Battersea Park Road, SW11 4LG

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Pergola

Paddington

The Pergola (sibling to The Prince) may feel a little overdone, but it stands out as Central London's biggest and most-loved summertime terrace. Head here for bottomless Sunday brunch followed by an afternoon snoozing on the daybeds - there's a covered section if the weather turns nasty. For something more east, try Skylight in Tobacco Dock.

Reopening: 12 April

Address

4 Kingdom Street, W2 6PY

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The Duke of Edinburgh

Brixton

Step into this Brixton beer garden and you'd be forgiven for thinking you'd landed in a suburban neighbourhood; this paved courtyard is awash with greenery and, by London standards, generously roomy. Have a whirl on the Tiki-themed crazy-golf course before coupling a Brixton Brewery pale ale with grub from White Men Can't Jerk.

Reopening: 12 April

Address

204 Ferndale Road, SW9 8AG

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The Albion

Islington

The Albion is known for looking its best in April, when its bows of wisteria decorate the terrace with purple-blue blooms, it is truthfully a great spot throughout the warmer months too. Halfway between Upper Street and the Caledonian Road, this Georgian pub is sheltered from traffic noise, giving the feel of a countryside drinking den. The wine list here is great, as is the Sunday roast.

Reopening: 12 April

Address

10 Thornhill Road, N1 1HW

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The Avalon

Clapham

With three separate outdoor areas - a massive rear garden, lively terrace and patio - The Avalon is a go-to for Londoners who don't want to be knocking elbows with their drinking neighbours. Against a backdrop of secluded booths and a living wall, wash down Josper-grilled meats with a summery cocktail or two.

Reopening: 12 April

Address

16 Balham Hill, SW12 9EB

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People’s Park Tavern

Hackney

This place is regularly namechecked among the capital's best beer gardens. Though it has the feel of a proper village pub, it's also home to an on-site microbrewery and a taproom serving a roll-call of world beers. The outside space backs onto Victoria park and is dotted with heated booths - ideal for eeking out those summer sessions.

Reopening: 12 April

Address

360 Victoria Park Road, E9 7BT

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The Spaniards Inn

Hampstead Heath

Strolling across Hampstead Heath? The Spaniards Inn is a great lunchtime pit-stop or late-afternoon endpoint. Roaring fires and romantic nooks are great in winter, but this place is at its best in summer, when the 400-seat garden with plant-covered walls and fairy-lit huts welcomes punters with barbecue, jugs of Pimms and a dog wash, for those of the four-legged variety.

Reopening: 12 April

Address

Spaniards Road, NW3 7JJ

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The Rye

Peckham

Think of urban Peckham's outdoor drinking dens and you think of Frank's Cafe where a pink stairwell leads you to the roof of a multi-storey car park for sunset negronis gazing across London's skyline. It's what we've grown to expect from SE15. More surprising is The Rye, where an outdoor garden isn't a paltry decking area but a great expanse of grass lined with old-school picnic tables, a split-level terrace and glass-roofed sunroom.

Reopening: TBC

Address

31 Peckham Rye, SE15 3NX

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Rosendale

Dulwich

Dreamed up by the same people who brought us The Avalon, The Rosendale comes complex with a boules pitch, table tennis and table football all on site. We're sure swigging bottles of rosé won't be the only activity you've excelled at during lockdown (better dust off those gym trainers). If you weren't already sold, this secluded sun-trap offers a menu that mixes proper pub grub with snacky, ideal-with-Aperol nibbles - think flatbreads, burrata bowls and a banging sausage and mash.

Reopening: 12 April

Address

65 Rosendale Road, West Dulwich, London SE21 8EZ

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The Canonbury Tavern

Islington

If it was good enough for George Orwell, then it's certainly good enough for us. In a quest to find London's perfect watering hole, Orwell once ranked The Canonbury Tavern as one of the three boozers that inspired his Moon Under Water Essay. History aside, sunny, weekend (or weekday, we're not fussed) afternoons should be spent in the leafy garden lounging on the rattan sofas. Crisp pinot gris comes as standard.

Reopening: 12 April

Address

21 Canonbury Place, London N1 2NS

The Crown and Greyhound

Dulwich

Looking to swerve the freedom-seeking crowds? There's no better place to gulp a bucketful of beers than in this large breezy garden. Nicknamed 'The Dog' by local patrons, The Crown And Greyhound has had a lockdown facelift - think plenty of restriction-approved alfresco seating and outdoor heaters should (read: when) it rains. Pair your booze with a burger for extra drinking sustenance. We're particularly fond of the hefty beyond meat burger.

Reopening: 12 April

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