Restaurant Brighton's guide to

Best Beer Gardens

Our top picks

Brighton

This lively pub, venue and kitchen is one of Brighton’s best-known spots. The popular pub is often packed come Friday and Saturday nights with people drinking, dancing and generally having a great time. Their outside space consists of a heated and covered garden with some large cosy booths. With outside DJ’s in the summer months, this is certainly one to keep the party going.

L’Atelier du Vin is known for being the best-stocked wine and champagne group of bars in the city. The second of their three locations in opulent Seven Dials has a sheltered rear garden creating a rather lovely sun trap that stays light far later than you would anticipate. Lots of foliage and a continual stream of attentive sommeliers and bartenders, make this a superb choice for discerning sun worshippers.

The Cleveland Arms is a bright modern pub in the Fiveways area with both Blaker’s Park and Preston Park in close vicinity. The family friendly pub has an outdoor seating area at the front of the pub, perfect for keeping an eye on activity in the park while soaking up the sun and a crisp white wine or perfectly chilled pint. Inside there is a large conservatory area for sun worshippers on sunny but cooler days. The excellent food menu comes from the kitchen of Phil Bartley who is well known through Brighton for his skilfully put together menus showcasing local and seasonal produce. 

It would be impossible to compile a list of the best beer gardens Brighton has to offer without including OhSo Social, placed as it is with views between the Palace and West Pier. The open bar extends out into its sea-facing court giving you a whole day of sunshine. Great for families in the day, come dusk and the tempo ups to a great beach party feel. The location makes this a busy spot, be prepared to share your table with strangers and your chips with seagulls, but honestly on the right day or night – it’s worth it.

The Walrus Pub on Ship Street stretches from a subterranean basement up to a mezzanine roof garden and conservatory complete with its own bar. Astroturf, lots of plants and traditional pub garden benches, together with skylights and large windows, makes this a fair-weather indoor-outdoor space ideally suited to our capricious climate. 

This lovely neighbourhood food pub came under new management in 2018 and received a much-needed sprinkling of TLC. A new menu, a new lineup of events, some re-decorating and a full overhaul of the garden, has restored “The Harty” to her former glory. Above all else The Harty is a relaxed community hub, it welcomes families and students, and caters to all the diets you can expect on the muesli mountain. The garden is away from the road at the back of the pub and a lovely sun-trap in the summer. There is additional outside seating at the front too.

The Watershed bar and kitchen has a waterfront spot within the harbour, accessible via the boardwalk. There’s a good selection of drinks including local craft beers, and a good wine and spirits list. The west-facing aspect is what makes this spot a real catch, especially in the summer, with sundown evenings stretching out to the gentle lulling of the docked yachts. 

The Plough Inn in Rottingdean features a courtyard dining and drinking area providing both shelter and a sun trap. Situated on the edge of a traditional village green and duck pond the Plough Inn is a popular local community pub with a menu of home cooked classic pub fare. This feels a lot like being out in the ‘proper’ country, when actually your only in BN2.

Head up to Kemptown and you can start getting a little bit more garden for your money. The prize for the biggest and most impressive must go to The Sidewinder. With covered seating throughout this has got to be one of the best pub gardens Brighton has. An outdoor barbeque gets stoked-up most summers, expect good food, good drinks, friendly staff, DJs and live music. Photo credit: Sidewinder

If it is a garden with a view you are after then this one has got the best in town. Situated on the edge of Hanover, the panoramic views of the city are breathtaking. Head up there during sunset and find out for yourself how this pub got its name. The stunning views aside, this is a classy neighbourhood pub with high-end food and drink. Popular with locals and visitors in the know, this pub garden is certainly a winner when it comes to the scenery. Photo credit: The Setting Sun

When it comes to sheer scale the beer garden at The Hobgoblin is the daddy. This massive space is one of the best spots in Brighton to take in some sunshine while enjoying a delicious real ale or craft beer. The Hobgoblin garden is open all year round with purpose-built sheltered booths and heat lamps. Regular drinks deals and daily student deals make this a good-spirited vibrant bar that attracts but isn’t restricted to, the alternative, rock, metal and indie crowd.

Hove

This popular gastropub and bistro boasts a fabulous Italian-themed garden ideal for long summer afternoons. Situated on First Avenue in the Palmeira Square area, Hove Place, is a multi-faceted pub. Suitable as a spot to enjoy a social drink with a sharing charcuterie board, or head here for a full evening meal from their impressive menu. The secluded garden features plenty of greenery and shaded areas in addition to varied seating and social spaces.

The Urchin pub pulls a crowd from all over the city and beyond, famed as it is for its amazing seafood menu and an epic selection of craft beers. Their own brewery The Larrikin is situated in the basement where co-owners Nick and Austen get up to all kinds of mad alchemy that always seems to work. A small garden area sits at street level with the good times frequently spilling out into this lovely neighbourhood street that keeps The Urchin at its heart.

The George Payne is a light, bright pub with a modern look and a strong lineup of live events. Powered by a super friendly team it’s one of those pubs that feels like everyone is a local, even if you’ve never been there before. The garden is beautifully kitted out with little wagons for covered booths and a great play area for children, leafy plants, decking and lots of sun (weather permitting) make this a fine spot to linger for just one more…

As the name suggests this pub is very focussed on their garden. The mock Tudor building houses a large family-friendly pub and kitchen, around the back you will find the largest beer garden in Hove. The large decked area features heated private booths with iPod docks, a large number of picnic tables with parasols and a BBQ. Situated on Portland Road in the area often now referred to as West Hove, it is the ideal option for those looking for somewhere in this area of the city. Photo credit: The Garden Bar

Another sizeable beer garden in Hove can be found at The Brunswick. Situated just a stone’s throw from the seafront, pub-music venue and kitchen has a lot going for it and is perenially busy. The garden has plenty of seating for large groups and is sun-drenched in the summer. The bar is well-stocked and there is a wide choice of food. As evening draws in you can even catch a show in the large separate performance space inside. Photo credit: The Brunswick

Sussex

The Sussex Ox has a large garden with panoramic views of The South Downs. Nearby is the Ox’s organic farm from which the meat and vegetables on the menu come. The garden is also a fantastic area for children to let off some steam while mum and dad enjoy a well-deserved drink in the sunshine! With the Long Man Of Wilmington close by there are plenty of walking trails to enjoy around The Ox too, perfect for walking off that delicious burger!

Hidden at the back of The New Inn in Hurstpierpoint is a gorgeous south-facing pub garden that catches the whole day’s sun. The floral border is a traditional English country garden and there’s a picturesque kitchen garden just beyond the children’s play area. The outdoor barbeque regularly gets fired up for pizza nights while the daily menu is modern, fresh (from the garden) and seasonal. It is a perfect family spot to relax with grass beneath your feet and a drop of something cold and sparkling from the local winery, Albourne Estate, in hand.

Morleys Bistro is a relaxed and comfortable restaurant that boasts a beautifully spacious and sunny garden. Here you can sip on a beautifully mixed cocktail, or a glass of quality wine while dining on elegant, classic bistro dishes prepared with seasonal and local ingredients. Morleys also has accommodation, for a quick escape or just night away. 

The Shepherd and Dog is well known and loved in the city and beyond, and with good reason. This scenic country pub offers a modern line up of craft beers and ales and superb food. The fabulous garden offers wonderful views of the South Downs and plenty of respite for walkers, families and revellers alike. Grab the bus up to Devils Dyke and take the short walk down the other side to reap the rewards on offer.

This Grade II listed pub has been serving the people of Sussex for many years. Serving an unpretentious slice of traditional country pub atmosphere and a warm welcome to all, The Sportsman is a real favourite. The ample garden features a play area for children and plenty of space and seating. The pub is a firm favourite with dog walkers, families and cyclists who enjoy refuelling from the seasonal and rustic menu, whilst sipping on Cask Marque ales and enjoying the views.

This traditional country pub in the hamlet of Dial Post has a classic country beer garden at the rear and a seating area at the front overlooking the village green. The pub serves award-winning cuisine making use of local suppliers and foraged ingredients. Dog and family friendly, The Crown Inn at Dial Post is a lovely spot to punctuate your visit to the countryside or otherwise wile away an afternoon.

Just down the road from The Shepherd and Dog, in the village of Poynings, you can find The Royal Oak. Another superb Sussex pub with a gloriously green and pretty garden, The Royal Oak is a slightly different offering to its neighbour. This traditional pub offers a menu of classic dishes and Sunday roasts which can be enjoyed in their garden whilst enjoying views over the Sussex countryside. The Royal Oak is family and dog friendly making it a great place to visit for some country air.

This family-run pub, just south of Horsham, serves delicious seasonal food, organic wines and well-kept real ales. The beautiful pub is a popular venue for weddings and events thanks to its charming good looks and large garden. The perfectly maintained garden is a lovely space to sit back and enjoy the outdoors, with plenty of seating and greenery to enjoy. Thanks to its country setting there are lots of places to head for a walk before settling down for a cold drink and bite to eat.

This wonderful example of a classic 16th Century English pub is situated in the small village of Ashurst. The beautiful pub with flagstone flooring and inglenook fireplaces is impressive enough, but then the garden takes things up a notch. With fantastic green spaces and picnic benches on which to enjoy them, the real star of the garden is the duck pond and deck. An idyllic spot to enjoy a drink and bite to eat, things do not get much better than this on a summers day.