The best beer gardens and outdoor drinking spots in Bristol
From urban hotspots to tranquil fairy-lit terraces, Bristol does beer gardens really well it would seem - so where are the best ones?
The days are warming up and the nights are getting longer, so looking out for the best beer gardens in the city to tick off our lists is becoming a regular hobby. Luckily for us, Bristol recently came out 5th in the country for having the best beer gardens, so we’ve got plenty of choices.
The new research by Electric Radiators Direct investigated the number of beer gardens per person in major UK cities, as well as average spring temperatures, sunshine and rainfall levels in each region, to determine the country’s beer garden hotspots.
Bristol ranked fifth among the ‘beer garden capitals of the UK’, scoring 72 out of a possible 100 points, thanks to its high number of beer gardens compared to its population (2.88 beer gardens for every 10,000 residents, to be exact).
With this weekend (13-15th May) set to be an absolute scorcher, too, it’s about time we rounded up some inspiration for you for the best beer gardens in Bristol. The good news? It turns out we’re a pretty great city for plenty of options, so there’s room for everyone! All you need to do is pick which one matches your vibe the most…
One of the largest beer gardens in the city and one of the best boozers in the city, The Ostrich has a pretty dreamy setting on the edge of the water, with a view across to Thekla and the city beyond. A great thing about this beer garden is that you can enjoy it whatever the weather, as since they revamped the space a couple of years ago, there are plenty of undercover areas to choose from as well as open-air spots. It’s all twinkly on an evening and fills you with that holiday feeling.
Think different sections, undercover areas too, as well as vibrant murals to reflect the street art found on the street beyond, and you’ve got a good idea of what to expect from this wonderful spot. Once the fairy lights come on in the evening, it’s a bustling and enchanting outdoor retreat to while away warm evenings and light nights in. It’s a great spot for families, too, with lawned areas perfect for setting the little ones down on.
The Farm is a great option for those of you who love to feel as though you’ve escaped the city! Set next to St Werburghs City Farm, it’s a beer garden that fills up fast but has plenty of outdoor space for you to enjoy. With plenty of tables, different areas from lawn to courtyard vibe, and a wide variety of good drinks, it’s a great place to head to when the nights start getting longer and warmer.
More terrace than beer garden, but certainly not an outdoor drinking space that could be passed up on this list, The Square Club has one of the most desirable outdoor settings for a beverage in the whole city. Known as The Secret Garden, its beauty means it isn’t staying secret for very long!
Okay, so it’s an obvious one! But, it wouldn’t be a round-up of the best beer gardens in Bristol without including the famous large terrace at The White Lion. Overlooking the suspension bridge, it’s perhaps got the best spot in the city and, on a warm day, it’s jam-packed with people and full of a buzzy atmosphere.
If the key to a good beer garden for you is somewhere with plenty of seating but also a bustling atmosphere and a good nightlife then The Christmas Steps garden is perfect. Often home to DJs and music events, the unassuming outdoor space to this old pub is a brilliant place to head to when the weather starts brightening up.
King Street, The Centre
While this might not be a beer garden, as such, we couldn’t not give a mention to the wonderful al fresco drinking hotspot that is King Street. Perhaps one of the busiest spots in the city when it comes to drinking outdoors, King Street really does have it all - a bustling and vibrant atmosphere, plenty of seating and outdoor tables, as well as a good variety of different drinks in different types of establishment. It’s no wonder it really comes alive as soon as the sun comes out. Ready, set, go!
A favourite among the locals, it’s not hard to see why this is a popular urban drinking spot. With a neat and tidy, and fairy light-filled courtyard area, the popular pub beer garden is heaving in the spring and summer months. Half of the garden is covered, too, so you can enjoy it even if the weather turns.
A little bit more upmarket in style than some of the other pubs mentioned, The Hole in the Wall is a brilliant spot for taking in the views of the harbourside, as well as people watching those making their way into town from Temple Meads. It’s a large space and nearly always possible to find somewhere to sneak a spot, so it’s worth keeping in mind when you’re around the harbourside or the centre on a sunny day.
If views are what you are after and a feeling of being on holiday somewhere a little more exotic than Bristol, then Bambalan roof terrace might be just the spot for you. Often filled with loud music, DJ sets and a summer island atmosphere, there’s good food on offer and plenty of cocktails, too.
The Lazy Dog in residential Ashley Down has a wonderful little beer garden (well, it’s not that small actually!) with a walled garden, lawn, plenty of tables and pontoon lights that twinkle away over your head.
If it’s a lovely view you are after, as well as some stellar people-watching opportunities, then The Pump House is a brilliant spot to while away a few hours on a sunny afternoon or evening. Slightly more upmarket again, it also serves wonderful food and is an absolute sun trap on a nice day.
Considered by many to have one of their favourite beer gardens in the whole of Bristol, this small terraced beer garden seems to have won everyone’s hearts. Perfectly situated a little hop, skip and jump away from the harbourside, it has a lovely courtyard feeling with plenty of plants and greenery to take you away from your urban surroundings.