The best beer gardens in London for the bank holiday weekend

Lela London
Fancy a pint in the sunshine? We have you covered

There really isn't much better than a trip to the beer garden on a hot day (or, in London-dwelling actuality, any day it isn't raining).

Unfortunately, there never seems to be one nearby when the sun comes out. We've all been there; hops on the mind, sunglasses in place – and nothing but a crowded pavement full of after-work pint-swiggers in sight.

You deserve better. So, we've made it our duty to find better. Here is our definitive list of London's best beer gardens - North, South, West and East:

1. The Albion, Islington

Soak up the sun under an abundance of wisteria Credit: The Albion

A purple fountain of wisteria. Pretty pergolas. Potted plants. Pop into this elegant North London favourite for a pint or two, and you might think you've escaped to the countryside. There's excellent food, too - including a whole roast suckling pig - if you and your friends fancy pushing the boat out.

 10 Thornhill Rd, London N1 1HW

the-albion.co.uk

2. The People's Park Tavern, Hackney

Beer lovers, The People's Park Tavern has a brewery on site Credit: The People's Park Tavern

This beer garden - right on the edge of Hackney's Victoria Park - is big enough to be considered a park in its own right. In the craft beer heartland that is East London, the pub also has a brewery on site so you can rest assured your pint is as local as it gets.

360 Victoria Park Road, E9 7BT

peoplesparktavern.pub

3. The Eagle, Shepherd's Bush

Unwind in a deckchair covered with vibrant cushions, a drink in hand  Credit: The Eagle

Most people know that pub is short for public house - a home away from home - and The Eagle extends this to its garden. Think deckchairs, colourful cushions, bunting and more - it's as good as being invited to your posh friend's house for tea.

215b Askew Road, Shepherd's Bush, W12 9AZ

theeaglew12.co.uk

4. The Wood House, Dulwich

Hungry? There's a Burger Shack in the garden, too Credit: The Wood House

If we were being picky, we'd say the former home of Joseph Paxton, esteemed architect (he designed the Crystal Palace) and gardener, is actually in Sydenham - not the more salubrious Dulwich, as the pub itself claims. But the beer garden is so big, it could very well straddle two postcodes. There's a Burger Shack in the garden and truly wonderful roasts in the main restaurant. Book a table in one of the giant bird boxes or arrive early to grab the best tables. 

39 Sydenham Hill, Sydenham/Dulwich, SE26 6RS

thewoodhousedulwich.co.uk

5. The White Swan, Twickenham

The White Swan is a hidden gem, perfect for quiet afternoon  Credit: The White Swan

Tucked away down a lane near Eel Pie Island, this hidden gem is quieter than many other riverside pubs. As well as a paved garden right on the river, it also has a beautiful veranda which extends from the pub itself.

Riverside, Twickenham, TW1 3DN

• Read our full review of The White Swan

6. The Half Moon, Herne Hill

The Half Moon not only offers a beer garden, but also an open kitchen  Credit: The Half Moon

Finally open again after a painfully slow refurbishment (which robbed south east London of one of its landmark watering holes), the Grade II-listed Moon, formerly a delightfully shabby live music venue, is now a boutique hotel with an upmarket restaurant. But don't worry, it's still a cracking pub with an extremely pleasant beer garden and, on warmer days, outdoor kitchen. 

10 Half Moon Lane, Herne Hill, SE24 9HU

halfmoonhernehill.co.uk

7. The Duke of Edinburgh, Brixton

Welcome to one of the biggest and buzziest outdoor spaces in the capital  Credit: The Duke of Edinburgh

Any London estate agent will tell you that you get more bang for your buck south of the river. Does that explain why the beer gardens appear to be bigger down south, too? The Duke, a jolly boozer between Brixton and Clapham North, certainly boasts one of the biggest and buzziest outdoor spaces in the capital.  

204 Ferndale Road, Brixton, SW9 8AG

dukeofedinburghpub.com

8. Magic Garden Pub, Battersea

Looking for quirky? You've found it  Credit: Magic Garden Pub

Quirky is the name of the game at this lively pub. It offers a fairy-lit garden filled with comfy sofas, an outdoor bar serving top-notch cocktails and nightly music sessions. It's also partially covered, so you won't get drenched if it rains (which, let's face it, is always likely).

231 Battersea Park Rd, London SW11 4LG

magicgardenpub.com

9. The Castle, Tooting

Heated cabanas at The Castle will keep you warm and toasty during chilly evenings Credit: The Castle

John Wayne is said to have frequented The Castle back in the 1940s. The beer garden would have been a car park back then, so the Duke would have missed out on what's now a colourful outdoor space with a Burger Shack and pretty heated cabanas (or "mini castles" as they call them here).

38 Tooting High Street, London SW17 0RG

castletooting.com 

10. The Dolphin, Sydenham

A beer garden perfect for date night  Credit: The Dolphin

Forget weed-covered paving and mould-dusted wooden tables: the garden, at this aquatically named South London pub is a modernist masterpiece featuring elegant box hedging and lots of tucked-away corners. Perfect for a date.

121 Sydenham Rd, London SE26 5HB

thedolphinsydenham.com

11. The Ship, Wandsworth

Riverside on a summer's day? It doesn't get much better than that  Credit: The Ship

It might be close to the rather unappealing Wandsworth Bridge, but this riverside pub has gone out of its way to make its garden extra special. It's added an outside bar, a pergola and lots of seating (including some pretty, painted booths - which are heated when it's chilly).

41 Jews Row, Wandsworth, SW18 1TB

theship.co.uk

12. The City Barge, Strand on the Green, Chiswick

The City Barge offers outdoor space alongside The Thames Credit: City Barge 

Being beside The Thames on a hot sunny day is a true sign of summer for Londoners and there can never be enough riverside pubs to let us soak it in. The City Barge is recently refurbished and has garden space both on the river and out the back. It's also great for outdoor dining and pint of cask ale.

27 Strand-on-the-Green, Chiswick, W4 3PH

citybargechiswick.com

13. The Edinboro Castle, Camden

A perfect pit stop after exploring Camden Market or Regent's Park  Credit: The Edinboro Castle

Seating up to 300 people, there's an electric vibe in this beer garden that makes it a prime destination for those looking to relax after a shopping spree in Camden Market or a stroll through Regent's Park. There are also plenty of drinks to choose from, including cask ale and 'cauldrons' of Pimms.

57, Mornington Terrace, Camden NW1 7RU

edinborocastlepub.co.uk

14. The Canonbury, Islington

The Canonbury is not your typical north London tavern  Credit: The Canonbury

Rumour has it (and so does that pub's website) that George Orwell, who lived on Canonbury Square, wrote part of 1984 in the garden of this historic north London tavern. But don't worry, you're more likely to bump into a City boy enjoying a pint in the sunshine than an officer of Thinkpol.

21 Canonbury Place, London N1 2NS

thecanonbury.co.uk

15. The Crabtree, Fulham

Barbecues are often held for patrons during warmer months at The Crabtree  Credit: The Crabtree

For riverside drinking, you can't beat The Crabtree, which sits on a picturesque stretch of The Thames between Hammersmith and Putney bridges. The 'Apple Orchard' garden has plenty of space and they hold barbecues for their patrons during warmer months,

Rainville Rd, Fulham, London W6 9HA

thecrabtreew6.co.uk

16. The Faltering Fullback, Finsbury Park

The Faltering Fullback offers a sunny oasis for pub goers Credit: The Faltering Fullback

The Fullback is a garden that makes the most of a tiny footprint by spreading upwards on four floors of decking. Bountiful planted greenery and various nooks and crannies also allow drinkers to escape the sun if it gets too hot.  

19 Perth Road, Finsbury Park, N4 3HB

thefullback.co.uk

17. The Gun, Docklands

The Gun offers both indoor and outdoor dining  Credit: The Gun

The Gun is located on the tip of the Isle of Dogs, where a pub has existed for more than 250 years. Its garden, which can accommodate up to 40 guests, offers a stunning view of the River Thames and looks out onto the O2 dome. Summer barbecues occur often, with fine gastropub dining indoors.

 27 Coldharbour, Poplar, E14 9NS

thegundocklands.com

18. The White Horse, Parson's Green

If you're not sure what to order, you're in luck. The White House is renowned for beer and food matching  Credit: The White Horse

Renowned for its commitment to beer and food matching, the pub formerly dubbed the 'Sloaney Pony' has a fabulous garden overlooking the green. It's the perfect place for foodies or those who just love a barbie (but not the hassle that goes with it). Ok, yah?

1-3 Parson's Green, London, SW6 4UL

whitehorsesw6.com

19. The Spaniards Inn, Hampstead

The Spaniard's Inn is  beautiful garden hideaway for large groups and couples Credit: The Spaniard's Inn

This gem is one of London's oldest pubs and a favourite refreshment spot for walkers on Hampstead Heath. The 400-seater garden offers greenery-covered walls, charming fairy-lit huts and even an outside bar serving jugs of Pimms. What more could you want?

Spaniards Rd, London NW3 7JJ

thespaniardshampstead.co.uk

20. The Gipsy Moth, Greenwich

In a large group? No problem  Credit: The Gipsy Moth

If the view of Cutty Sark moored nearby isn't enough of a draw, the pub's 'patio' can seat 200 and also has a retractable cover (a la Centre Court) in case the weather takes a turn for the worst.

60 Greenwich Church Street, Greenwich, SE10 9BL

thegipsymothgreenwich.co.uk

21. The Aeronaut, Acton

Activities and circus shows at The Aeronaut are bound to keep you entertained  Credit: The Aeronaut

If acrobats and cabaret performers aren't enough to get you to this beloved West London pub, the Aeronaut's beer garden will. The retro outdoor space has a coconut shy, hook-a-duck, and even strong man booths (which are doubly appreciated as a spot to hide from the rain, should it appear).

264 Acton High Street, Acton, W3 9BH

aeronaut.pub

22. The Crown and Shuttle, Shoreditch

Your one-stop shop for craft beer  Credit: The Crown and Shuttle

This lovely little pub-cum-bar is a bit of a hidden gem. Though it's difficult to spot from the exposed brick bar, its heated outdoor space is enormous and always buzzing with locals. The craft beer selection is also fantastic, as the young and bearded crowd might suggest.

226 Shoreditch High Street, Shoreditch, E1 6PJ

crownandshuttle.com