9 Nottinghamshire pub beer gardens with shelter come rain or shine

Lucy Richards and Hannah Lloyd pictured alongside one of the pods at Ye Olde Bridge Inn in Oxton
Lucy Richards and Hannah Lloyd pictured alongside one of the pods at Ye Olde Bridge Inn in Oxton -Credit:Joseph Raynor/ Nottingham Post

It's finally starting to warm up and with two bank holiday weekends this month, May 6 and May 27, you might be thinking of an outing to a beer garden. But as we've seen this week, one day it can be gloriously sunny, the next overcast and threatening to rain.

So if you are wanting to sink a pint or sip on a glass of Pinot Grigio outside, without it being diluted in a downpour, you're advised to pick your location carefully. The weather is so changeable that there could be a heatwave, showers or even hail.

You need to be prepared for all eventualities. We've checked out some of the beer gardens at Nottinghamshire pubs with an undercover area so even if the heavens open you can stay dry.


Sheltered at the Canalhouse
Sheltered at the Canalhouse -Credit:Joseph Raynor/ Nottingham Post

One of the biggest and best sheltered beer gardens in Nottingham city centre can be found at the Canalhouse, a quaint pub by the side of the canal which actually extends into the building. Outside is a static glass canopy which is perfect for keeping the rain off. As it's open sided it's not too much of greenhouse in the summer.

Bank holiday bevs are always popular here with a range of Castle Rock's finest as well as guest beers. There's a decent food menu too, from pub classics to Sunday roasts. Burgers, paninis, jacket potatoes and are on offer and from personal experience the Philly steak and southern fried chicken rustic sandwiches are absolutely banging.

Location: 48-52 Canal Street, Nottingham NG1 7EH

Robin Hood & Little John

-Credit:Joseph Raynor/ Nottingham Post
-Credit:Joseph Raynor/ Nottingham Post

It was a wise move turning an old skittle alley in the courtyard into a undercover drinking spot at the popular real ale pub that features in CAMRA's 2024 Good Beer Guide. "It's not a bad little area," said landlord Dave Pears.

There's seating there for around 30-40 if the heavens decide to open. But if the sun's out, the best spot is the new rooftop terrace. Those who sit inside the pub itself will find it decked out with Home Ales memorabilia.

The Lincoln Green pub is renowned for its huge choice of cask ales. With 20 different pumps it's one of the biggest choices in Nottinghamshire. Archer, Hood, Marion and Tuck are always on, the rest are ever changing. A proper drinkers' pub there's no food other than cobs and pork pies for snacking on.

Location: 1 Church Street, Arnold NG5 8FD

Victoria Hotel

Tucked away down a side street, away from the main town centre, this redbrick Victorian pub is in the perfect location for train passengers who can disembark and walk from the platform straight into the pub garden.

The garden's huge marquee has plenty of seating and is quite a fancy one with chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and bunting. The Vic has a reputation for excellent home-cooked food so be sure to go hungry to take advantage of all it has to offer. Alternatively one of the 14 cask ales or a glass of wine with a bag of crisps is sometimes all you need.

Location: 85 Dovecote Lane, Beeston NG9 1JG

The Embankment

The Embankment's beer garden
The Vic's undercover beer garden

The pub, part of Nottingham's history, has a range of open and undercover seating in the rear garden. Located on the city side of Trent Bridge, the building was the second Boots store to open in 1907 after the city's flagship shop in Pelham Street.

John Boot, the son of Jesse, is credited with inventing the weekend when he chose to give his factory workers Saturdays off with no reduction in pay rather than make redundancies during the Great Depression, so really it's him we should be thanking.

Drinkers will find a wide range of ales and craft beers to enjoy in the sun or sitting in one of the booths in the wooden shelter.

Location: 282-284 Arkwright St, Nottingham NG2 2GR

The Lion

The pandemic had a negative impact on many pubs but if there is anything positive to be taken from the whole coronavirus>Covid fiasco it saw pub owners zhuzh up their outside spaces. One pub to do just that was the Lion in Basford, which had an extensive refit of its sizable beer garden.

Very accessible on the tram line, the beer garden now has a large covered area, complete with heaters for those cooler times when the temperatures drop. Drinkers can sample ten cask ales, seven craft ales and at least nine real ciders. As well as a cracking Sunday lunch, the rest of the time the pub serves tapas, top notch burgers and dirty fries.

Location: 44 Mosley Street, New Basford, Nottingham NG7 7FQ

Ye Olde Bridge Inn

The stretch canopy at Ye Olde Bridge Inn's beer garden
The Embankment's beer garden -Credit:Visit Notts

The award-winning pub, named the best in Nottinghamshire for families in 2022, has dining domes on the terrace for groups of up to eight. With faux fur throws and heaters, they're cosy and you can make it your own party pod with bluetooth speakers, LED lighting and a waiter call system.

Diners can chow down on small plates, burgers, pub classics, such as pies and fish and chips. Slow-cooked beef ravioli and Korean bulgogi noodle bowls are amongst the mouth-watering dishes.

Alternatively, there's cover from a stretch canopy in the beer garden.

Location: Nottingham Road, Oxton, Southwell NG25 0SE

Trent Navigation

The all-weather fan zone at Trent Navigation
The Lion at Basford

Given its proximity to the City Ground and the home of Notts County, the undercover structure outside the Trent Navigation is hugely popular on match days. But the Big Shed, as it's known, is in use any day of the week.

With plenty of seating and space for 500 people standing, there's plenty of room for a cheeky bank holiday pint or two from a dedicated outdoor bar stocking draught beers from the award winning Navigation Brewery, just a stone’s throw away.

Location: 17 Meadow Lane, Nottingham NG2 3HS

The Magic Garden

A sprawling canopy brings almost brings the outdoors inside at this picturesque bar that's hidden from street view. But if it's sunny, there's the rest of the garden to soak up the rays. Both are filled with colourful flowers, making it an attractive spot whatever the weather.

Cocktails are a speciality and there's always something a bit out of the ordinary as well as the classics. We're loving the musically-inspired names Ginny Hendrix, Re-Lychee My Fire and Livin' Tequila Loca. And if you're feeling peckish check out the menu of burgers, wraps, flatbreads and small plates.

Location: 24-26 Low Pavement, Nottingham NG1 7DL

The White Lion

Picnic benches fill the garden at the Kimberley pub for drinks in the sun but as we know only too well the Great British weather is unpredictable. To cover all bases the pub has a big marquee where customers can shelter from a downpour.

If you go on a Monday you'll find cheaper beer prices too with 50p off a pint of cask ales, Coors, John Smith's and Carling. At least six local real ales are available, plus a wide range of wines and spirits. Keep an eye out for the real ale beer festivals in the summer.

Location: 74 Swingate, Kimberley, Nottingham NG16 2PQ