In the UK as soon as the sun shows it’s face we all rush outdoors for picnics or drinks. Let it not be said that we aren’t keen to take advantage of any rays when we can, Bristol is no exception. Bristol has some great places to enjoy soaking it up. You can’t ignore the elephant in the room. When it comes to outdoor drinking the Avon Gorge Hotel’s White Lion is top of the list for most people, with such a spectacular view it’s a firm favourite. However getting a seat in the sun on that terrace can be about as difficult as a finding vegetables at Grillstock. With that in mind let’s examine some of Bristol’s other fantastic beer gardens where you can enjoy your pint and some vitamin D.
The Kings Arms/Port of Call
Right next door to each other and now owned by the same people, the Port of Call boasts a spruced up beer garden to match the cosy refitted interior. The glorious sun terrace of the Kings Arms is rare in that it actually faces the sun most of the day so you can bask all day like a lazy cat. The huge flamingo painted on the back wall adds to the tropical vibe and once the sun sets and the fairy lights turn on it almost feels like you’re on holiday.
Where: 168 Whiteladies Road, BS8 2XZ // Kings Arms Website
Photo Credit- Paul Green Photography
Prefer a more urban setting whilst you imbibe? Micro-brewery Zero Degrees boasts a sun terrace pitched high enough for you to people watch all afternoon or simply stare cross the old and new city scape. The mango beer is hard to beat and the prices for the in-house beers are particularly enticing. What better way to spend a day than sampling them all, all in the interests of research of course.
Where: 53 Colston St, BS1 5BA // Zero Degrees Website
Channings hosts one of the largest beer gardens around. A stone’s throw away from the Triangle but without the noise it’s a great space for groups to while away long summer days. With plenty of large tables to share with your mates, this garden gets full sunshine for most of the day. That tan doesn’t top up itself you know.
Where: 20 Pembroke Rd, BS8 3BB // Channings Website
The Spotted Cow
This Bedminster North Street institution has a walled oasis in which to relax after a day at the coal face of your office. They also have a sheltered outdoor area if the sun gets too much for you. With a selection of ciders and craft beers including Arbor and Tiny Rebel, you can take your micro-rage at Jeff from accounting down a peg or two whilst surrounded by a sculpted selection of plants.
Where: 139 North Street, BS3 1EZ // The Spotted Cow Website
Whilst not strictly a beer garden, The Cottage is one of the best places to watch the sun go down of an evening. A set of steps by the river make perfect seats to while away many hours whilst the yachts and rowers mess about on the water. Enjoy a pint cider whilst Bristol is bathed in glorious rays, it’s the perfect spot to get that Instagram shot.
Where: Baltic Wharf, Cumberland Rd, Bristol BS1 6XG // The Cottage Website
Photo Credit - Bristol Ferry
The Pump House
Across the river from The Cottage you can spy The Pump House. Flouting the norm, their beer garden, or beer decking if you want to be more precise, is situated at the front of the pub. Lots of benches, separated with fragrant herb borders, right on the waterfront and the widest selection of gins this side of England. Enjoy a Rock Rose gin served with a tonne of ice, a twist of orange and a sprig of lavender, heavenly.
Where: Merchants Rd, Hotwells, BS8 4PZ // The Pump House Website
Gloucester Road has its fair share of beer gardens but you could do a lot worse than the one at the Flyer. There is a large space with heaters to utilise once the sun goes down and plenty of space to enjoy some food al fresco. The plants are just starting to get going, the summer bar isn't far off opening and the place is adorned with fairy lights for when the evening draws in. The Flyer is also very dog friendly so your four legged friends can come for a bit of a snooze in the sun and help themselves to a dog biscuit from the jar.
Where: 96 Gloucester Road, BS7 8BN // Bristol Flyer Website
Take a short trip on the Bristol Ferry and find yourself at Beeses, a beautiful riverside café and bar which feels a million miles away from Bristol. Surrounded by nature, it’s still one of Bristol’s more secluded spots. Watch the boats go by and you’ll soon realise that a few hours have passed in the blink of an eye. Beeses is probably one of the few places where you can have a pint and a cream tea, and that is something everyone has secretly dreamed of.
Where: Wyndham Cres, BS4 4SX // Beeses Website
Situated just outside Clifton village, the Lansdown is a top spot for those cooler Summer evenings. Often covered in canvass, depending on the weather, this covered garden comes with plenty of heaters for the evening and some statues of classical nymphs to keep you company whilst you drink. A regularly changing food menu will see you in good stead if you feel the munchies setting in after a couple of light ales.
Where: 8 Clifton Road, BS8 1AF // The Lansdown Website
Clifton Wine Bar
A few skips away from the Lansdown you’ll find the beer garden at the Clifton Wine Bar, judging by the sign, so good they named it twice. Often thought of as the home of sport in this area, they have a pretty courtyard garden out the back with a good amount of floral displays and pot plants. With some cover you can please the sun worshipers and the shade bathers in your party plus with Prosecco at £3.95 a glass it’s a classy way to start your Summer.
Where: 3-5 Richmond Terrace, BS8 1AB // Clifton Wine Bar Website
Looking for that Summer party that lasts for ever? Evenings spent in the garden of the Woods you can almost realise that dream. Open til 4am on weekends the decked garden is covered in fairy lights and is the perfect place to have those deep philosophical conversations about who would win in a fight Batman or Superman and whether pineapple on pizza has a place in this world, btw it doesn’t.
Where: 1 Park St Ave, BS1 5LQ
The whole of King Street is essentially one large urban beer garden. Starting down at the Apple and working your way up through the Old Duke, Kongs, and Small Bar you can easily spend a whole afternoon sampling as many beers in as many venues as you like. The Royal Naval Volunteer even has it’s own roof terrace if you're feeling like a change from street level seating. Plus, when you get peckish you can snaffle up a late pizza at Renato’s bar, available until midnight.
Picture credit - http://www.keytothecity.co.uk
The Volunteer Tavern
A stone’s throw away from the bustle of Cabot Circus you can enjoy a great beer in the calm setting of the garden in the Volunteer Tavern. A large leafy walled garden with plenty of seating, the Volly hosts local beer festivals and garden parties with DJs. The food here is often highly praised you can find hand-stretched pizzas as well as the hugely regarded roasts.
Where: 9 New Street, BS2 9DX // The Volunteer Tavern Website
Abby Sparrow runs Bristol Eating.