The best beer gardens in London

Take advantage of the sunshine in some of the best outside drinking spots in the city
On those days when the weather’s fine, there’s little better than whiling away an afternoon with some mates and some beers in a sun-dappled beer garden. Most pubs will lure you in with their overly liberal interpretation of those two magic words, only to find yourself sat on a rotten picnic bench in a concrete yard. To help you avoid such a fate, we’ve put together a list of some of London’s best beer gardens that are truly deserving of the name.
The White Hart, Stoke Newington
Stoke Newington is home to many pubs that have been blessed with ample gardens (Ryan’s N16, The Auld Shillelagh, The Daniel Defoe, The Lion) but none come close to the expansive space behind The White Hart. It’s more of a beer park than a beer garden, split into two sections: your standard patio and picnic benches and then a further grassed area behind it. 

The Faltering Fullback, Finsbury Park
When you don’t have the kind of space that The White Hart does, you can either keep it small or do what the owners of The Faltering Fullback did and build upwards, creating a twisting vertical beer garden that feels almost like an Ewok village. It’s such a mesmerising maze that you might need to bring flares in order to find your friends.

The Alwyne Castle, Canonbury
Just a short stroll from the madness of Highbury Corner is this idyllic pub and garden that feels as if it’s been lifted from a country road and deposited in urban north London. They’ve put a noticeable effort into the garden which runs along the front of the pub and around the side, meaning there’s always a good chance of grabbing a spot, even on the sunniest days. 

Edinboro Castle, Camden
Head away from Camden Town station towards Regents Park and you’ll find this smallish pub with an enormous garden. The walls and plants shelter it from the busy surrounding roads and a marquee covers the side tables, which also have heaters for when the temperature drops. Barbecues, hog roasts and an outside bar all make this a popular spot during the summer.

Crate Brewery, Hackney Wick
Hackney’s canal-side spaces have been put to excellent use by the influx of hipster craft breweries. There’s none more hipster than Crate, where beards, tattoos and topknots abound, drawn by the excellent pizza, even better beer and the urban waterside location, perfect for lounging about in the sun.

The Scolt Head, De Beauvoir Town
Not far from Dalston Junction lies this old-fashioned boozer with hipster cred. A decent food menu and reasonable prices elevate it above a lot of the other pubs in the area, but its chief draw is the lovely triangular garden out front. When the British weather does its thing, half of the garden is covered by a giant umbrella.

The Crown and Shuttle, Shoreditch
While large beer gardens are more common the further out you go (hence why areas like Stoke Newington and Balham are so amply endowed), The Crown and Shuttle is a rare example that’s actually pretty close to Central London. The interior is elegantly dishevelled in the most Shoreditch way possible, while the expansive garden is charmingly ramshackle and boasts its own burger van.
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