The UK's very best beer gardens

Food and Drink

Posted by Hannah on 6th April 2021

Four people holding up pints of beer in plastic cups

We may not have been able to enjoy life as normal this past year, but with the lockdown restrictions easing and beer gardens now open in the UK, there’s certainly much to look forward to!

And if you’re eagerly anticipating a drink in the sun with your friends and family, we have you covered as we’ve compiled a list of the best beer gardens up and down the country. 

We took a list of the most popular UK holiday destinations and scraped Yelp using the search term ‘Beer Gardens’ to find the top results for each location. 

For each beer garden, we collected the name, number of reviews, and average rating. We then normalised the rating and multiplied the normalised rating score by the total number of reviews. 

This weighted score column was used to identify the very best beer gardens in the UK – the higher the score, the better!

So, let’s see what came out on top...

The ten best beer gardens in the UK

From rooftop gardens to outside seating, where are the best beer gardens in the UK?  

Analysing the research, the areas with the best beer gardens in the UK, based on the weighted score, are as follows: 

  1. Ben Nevis Inn, Fort William (23)
  2. The Drovers Inn, Loch Lomond (21)
  3. The Square and Compass, Swanage (16)
  4. Cottage Loaf, Llandudno (15)
  5. The Drunken Duck Inn & Restaurant, Ambleside (12)
  6. Fort Inn, Newquay (10)
  7. Smugglers Inn, Weymouth (10)
  8. The Angel at Burford, Cotswolds (10)
  9. The White Eagle, Anglesey (8)
  10. The Albert, Windermere (7)

Scottish beer gardens win the top two spots

Located in the beautiful Scottish Highlands, Ben Nevis Inn takes the honour of being named the very best beer garden in Scotland - and the UK overall. With an overall weighted score of 23, this is a beer garden which is a cut above the rest!

An aerial view of Fort William with Ben Nevis behind

Not only does Scotland pub Ben Nevis Inn take the top spot, in second place is Loch Lomond’s The Drovers Inn, with an overall rating of 21. This historic pub is surrounded by stunning and unforgettable views, so why not visit if you’re local or you're staying in the area on a Scotland cottage break this year? 

English beer gardens dominate

With six pubs featured, England has the most beer gardens included in the top ten list. 

The Square and Compass, Swanage, takes the top spot for England’s best-rated beer garden with an overall score of 16.

Aerial view of Swanage of Dorset

Following the popular Swanage pub, other English pubs including The Drunken Duck Inn & Restaurant in Ambleside and the Fort Inn in Newquay also make their way into the list.

If you live in England or are planning a staycation this year, be sure to check them out.

Wales lands two places within the top 10

Aerial view of Llandudno seafront

A couple of popular Welsh pubs score highly on the best beer garden list too.

Cottage Loaf, Llandudno, and The White Eagle, Anglesey, rightfully made it into the UK’s top 10. So, if you’re planning a Wales cottage holiday this year, consider visiting these two beautiful beer gardens to see what all the fuss is about.

The power of independents

We know that this past year has been a difficult one for the hospitality industry, with recent data from ONS revealing 55% of hospitality businesses temporarily pausing trading during the lockdown, compared to 24% across other industries, and 1 in 5 businesses had “low confidence” that their business would survive. 

Therefore, it’s great to see that these top ten pubs are British independents, and we hope this will encourage people to support them once it’s safe and if they’re comfortable to do so. 

Explore the best beer gardens on this map:

Stay near the UK's best beer gardens

With so many great hospitality businesses in the UK, why not book a staycation or two for 2021 so you can try out one of these great beer gardens? With a range of cottages all across Britain, from Devon to the Highlands, simply choose your destination, before booking one of our stunning selections.

View cottages


Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.