What is the best thing about summer? To us, it’s about basking in the sunshine, with refreshing drinks and the company of all our friends. There’s no better way to enjoy all three than with time spent in a pub garden. What we’re looking for is lots of space to seat everyone, pretty surroundings that glisten in the sun and a great pub attached serving a great range of beverages. So here’s our guide to the very best pub beer gardens in Bristol.
1. The Ostrich
Summer in Bristol to most means spending lots of time by the harbour. Whether heading out on the water yourself or just enjoying the lapping tide, a pint by the water’s edge is the ultimate way to spend the day. The Ostrich’s cosy interiors make for a lovely and lively winter pub but come sunshine, it truly is abuzz. Its massive harbourside beer garden is unrivalled in Bristol, with a mix of suntrap seating areas, shady spots, and covered and heated all-weather teepees. Its extensive rum menu is a nod to The Ostrich’s roots as a dockside inn where sailors, merchants and dock workers once drank. So it has history on its side too. Learn more here.
Lower Guinea St, Redcliffe, Bristol BS1 6TJ
2. The Spotted Cow
A green oasis in busy Bedminster’s North Street, The Spotted Cow offers one of the more idyllic beer gardens in Bristol. Spacious pub gardens aren’t easy to find in this part of the city, so the sun-trapped, walled-off retreat is a special place to drink in the summer. A well-maintained lawn also means that if you can’t find a seat, the floor is as soft and welcoming as anywhere else. (The shady insides are also a blessing if you can’t stand the heat too.) The pub is also great for food, particularly Sunday roasts, while regular music adds to the overall vibes.
139 North St, Bedminster, Bristol BS3 1EZ
3. The White Lion
If you’re visiting Bristol this summer, or just want to spend more time in Clifton, The White Lion is a must. It’s undoubtedly one of the best beer gardens in Bristol with awe-inspiring views. The large terrace is sleek and modern and is definitely unique, especially thanks to its panoramic views of the countryside just beyond Bristol. Grab a pint from The White Lion and soak in the backdrop sights of Clifton Suspension Bridge and the Avon Gorge. Beautiful. (It’s also attached to the gorgeous Hotel du Vin, so you can stay within touching distance.)
Avon Gorge Hotel, Sion Hill, Clifton, Bristol BS8 4LD
4. Beese’s Riverside Bar and Garden
The easiest way to visit Beeses Bar is by ferry boat. Sitting on River Avon in Brislington, on the edge of Eastwood Farm nature reserve, its tranquil setting was made for summer. Do we even need to say more to convince you to visit? Head down on Fridays when you’ll find live music playing every night, while Sundays offer a cracking roast dinner, too. Surrounded by ancient trees and wildflowers, birds gently wading through the water too, you might forget you are even in Bristol. To learn how you can visit one of the best beer gardens in Bristol head here.
Wyndham Cres, Brislington, Bristol BS4 4SX
5. King Street
We’re cheating here slightly by combining all of the pubs on King Street into one. We could have chosen any of the 10 pubs on this street (including The Apple at the very end) among Bristol’s best pub gardens. But really King Street is greater than the sum of its parts as the whole place feels like one giant beer garden. Which pub you go to – from The Llandoger Trow (once the drinking hole of Blackbeard, which these days throws techno nights) to the quirky and colourful Hey Dude bar; The Old Duke for jazz and blues music or the King Street Brew House for football – is a matter of personal preference. You might even consider a bar crawl!
King Street, Bristol
6. The Farm
A lively, vibrant pub in St Werburgh’s is as loved for its dance parties as it is for the beer garden. And that’s saying something! Its lush green space, equally colourful and roomy pub, and free-spirit feel, mean The Farm is ideal for unwinding in the sunshine. Enjoy a range of beer and ciders while DJs spin a mix of reggae, soul, funk and hip-hop outside in the beer garden (a regular occurrence on summer days). Situated next to St Werburghs City Farm, it’s the perfect pitstop for a pint after a day trip to visit the animals.
Hopetoun Rd, Bristol BS2 9YL
7. The Hope & Anchor
A five-minute walk from Brandon Hill, the best way to describe The Hope & Anchor is cosy, homely, snug and warm. Not exactly words you associate with a place with a great pub garden. But trust us! Looks can be deceiving. Outback in this traditional pub’s ‘hidden oasis’, the beer garden can seat up to 78 people. Thanks to its location, it’s a suntrap during the summer months. But its cosy design, with overgrown greenery and covered seating areas, makes it just as attractive in the winter months. One of the best beer gardens in Bristol all year round.
38 Jacob’s Wells Rd, Bristol BS8 1DR
8. Rack’s Bar & Kitchen
Modern and stylish, fit for all weather, Rack’s terrace is the ultimate heated (if needed) outdoor space for use all year round. It changes seasonally too, transforming from sun-soaked al fresco dining and drinking space in the Summer into an Alpine Ski Lodge for Christmas. Meaning you never get caught in the rain or miss out on the sunshine. On top of this, you can all enjoy the garden that wraps around the adjoining Clifton Hotel. An all-day sun trap in the summer, it’s the perfect spot for enjoying Rack’s’ numerous food and drinks deals.
St Paul’s Rd, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1LX