Best garden pergolas to upgrade your outdoor space this summer

·5-min read

When the weather’s this good, it’s only right to experience as much of it as you can.

Thankfully with flexi-working now the norm, it’s easy to spend your lunch break chilling out in the garden, if you have one. However, rolling around on the grass does admittedly have its limits - to get the most from your garden, you’ll need a few choice investments to make it the best place in the house, over the summer and beyond.

From all-out dining sets to bistro-style tables and chairs, hammocks and parasols, there are plenty of ways to kit out your outdoor space.

If you’re after a more natural look, a garden pergola may be the best option for you.

What exactly is a pergola?

No need to look embarrassed, it’s a question that’s rarely asked and, beyond garden centre fanatics, many would struggle to give you a concise answer.

In short, a pergola is four beams that support an open, lattice-style roof of beams and rafters. They can provide the framework for trailing plants or simply create a designated structure for living and entertaining. When the sun is particularly fierce, it can also provide some measure of dappled shade - an appealing prospect when temperatures begin to nudge the 30 degree mark.

How to install a pergola

Unless you’ve got a wealth of building experience, it’s probably wise to get the professionals in. The most important parts are the posts that support the roof; they must be anchored well into the ground with concrete and heavy metal brackets. There are plenty of free PDFs on the internet if you fancy sinking your teeth into a DIY project.

Whatever look you’re going for, we’ve rounded up the best garden pergolas below to help you make the most of the fair weather.

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Outsunny 4 x 3m Metal Pergola Gazebo Patio Sun Shelter Retractable Canopy Grey

Dimensions: 222H x 400L x 300Wcm, Canopy: 384L x 300Wcm

This simple metal box frame design comes with a retractable canopy with a UV-resistant finish to shelter you from overbearing heat as well as summer showers. It’s incredibly resilient, with the metal coated in powder for extra strength. Set it by the BBQ to create a cool outdoor space to receive friends and family for summertime gatherings.

Buy now £319.99, B&Q

Blue Elephant Aluminium Pergola

Dimensions: 4m x 3m

Available with grey, khaki and navy blue UV-resistant canopies, Blue Elephant’s 4m x 3m pergola will create a wonderful space to relax and unwind on sunny weekend mornings, or serve as a place to set your BBQ banquet. The retractable canopy adjusted to create the perfect level of shade.

Buy now £659.99, Wayfair

GDS Pergola Garden Shade Gazebo

Dimensions: 4m x 3m or 3m x 3m

Made with a durable aluminium frame, install this pergola on brick, concrete or wooden decking. If you’re picturing a grassy spot for the design, it can be set in the soil but the base of each pole should be cast in concrete for extra strength. The retractable canopy can be removed completely, a useful feature for when it comes to storing things away for the winter months. This pergola comes flat-packed, complete with all the fixtures and fittings you’ll need for self-assembly. Our advice? Wait for a few days of good weather and rope in a pal to help.

Buy now £339.95, Amazon

Arbor Garden Solutions Garden Wooden Pergola Kit - Kensington Design

Dimensions: varies

Pergolas don’t have to be square. If you have a walkway you feel could benefit from a bit of shading, or you like the idea of some structure around your outdoor dining table set, head to Arbor Garden Solutions’ store on Amazon.

The company offers kits of all descriptions, from classic squares to rectangular designs. Of course, you’ll need a high level of DIY confidence to construct them, but the end result will be a statement look that will transform an overlooked space into an elegant outdoor room. Available in golden pine and brown finishes.

Buy now £555.00, Amazon

Forest Slatted Wooden Corner Pergola

Dimensions: 9’7 x 4’9 (2.9m x 1.5m)

Got a forgettable corner that could use a little love? Point your mouse to Buy Sheds Direct where this corner pergola is on sale.

Ideal for small gardens or anyone who shies away from the idea of a full-blown pergola, this design will flourish beside plant beds, potted flowers or tomato or strawberry plants, giving the vines an opportunity to wrap around the FSC-certified timber wood structure. The pressure treated wood design, which comes with a 15-year anti-rot guarantee, can be set on both hard or soft ground.

Includes three smooth-planed finished wooden posts and horizontally-slatted top beams, assembly required.

Buy now £419.99, Buy Sheds Direct

Utopia Wooden Pergola Garden Plants Frame

Dimensions: W2m x D2m

Elevate your garden space and make yourself the envy of all your neighbours with this classic pergola design available at ManoMano. Named Utopia, the structure is made from the finest slow grown spruce timber, ensuring your new garden arrival will stand the test of time. In fact, it’s got a 10 year guarantee against rot and insect infestation, so maintenance is blissfully low. Measuring W2m x D2m, once it’s constructed, dress it with climbing plants or solar-powered fairy lights.

Buy now £394.99, ManoMano

Forest Garden Modular Square Pergola

Dimensions: (H)20.45m (W)19.7m

From DIY experts B&Q comes this smart garden pergola, crafted from Pressure Treated timber. The posts have been smooth-planed to offer a splinter-free finish, welcome news when you start the build. The design comes with two slatted roof panels to provide an element of shade and also give trailing plants like scented clematis something to wrap itself around. Measures and comes with a 15 year anti-rot guarantee.

Buy now £530.00, B&Q