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With summer just around the corner, it's the perfect time to discover London's best rooftop bars and beer gardens.

Grand Union

Chill-out in one of the four Thai-style tree-houses in this huge jungle of outside space, which seats about 300. There’s also a fountain, as well as park benches with fancy white umbrellas overhead to shield drinkers from the sun (hopefully). Different coloured lights are switched on during the evening, giving the place a magical vibe. Sup bespoke cocktails or fizzy stuff and chow down on burgers, pizza or hang out ‘til they fire up the BBQ.

Free | Late night: Fri & Sat til 2am
123 Acre Lane, Brixton, SW2 5UA
Tube | Clapham High Street
 grandunionbars.com

 

The Falcon

You’ll feel like you’re on holiday drinking in this trendy pub’s funky backyard. There’s space for 300 revellers on the patio space, which boasts brightly coloured tables and chairs, and lots of plantlife offering a tropical feel. There’s an outdoor bar, so you don’t need to wander all the way inside for a top-up, and expect a BBQ as well as heated, covered areas should the heavens open.

Free | Late night: Fri & Sat til 1am
33 Bedford Road, Clapham North, SW4 7SQ
Tube | Clapham North
 thefalconclapham.co.uk

 

The Boundary

A tad more impressive than your average beer garden, this rooftop terrace affords drinkers striking views across the capital. Decorated like a work of art, the space boasts chic seating arranged around an open fireplace, and a 48-seat grill restaurant. If it’s nice, sit and relax with a glass of bubbly and watch the world go by below.

Free | Open til Sun, 30 September, subject to weather conditions
2-4 Boundary Street, E2 7DD
Tube | Shoreditch High Street
theboundary.co.uk

 

Imbibe

Tuck into a spit-roast or BBQ on Thursday and Friday nights, while relaxing in this flower-infested garden. It’s newly refurbished, so expect a modern decor, with corner sofas, and a friendly vibe.

Free | Late night: Fri til 1am
173 Blackfriars Road, SE1 8ER
Tube | Southwark
 imbibe-bar.com

 

Proud

The former stables inside disguise the lush, fairy light-rimmed beer garden and terrace (above left) at the rear, on the banks of the famous Camden Lock. An outdoor bar in the corner means that a bevvie is never too far away, either. Free before 7pm.

£8 | Late night: Thurs, Fri, Sat until 2am
Camden, SW16 5NJ
Tube | Chalk Farm
proudcamden.com

 

Pub on the Park

There is a decking area outside this Victorian pub, although, as it’s opposite a huge park, ask for your drink in a plastic cup, and head there. Be warned: it does get incredibly busy in summer.

Free | Late night: Fri & Sat til 1am
19 Martello Street, London Fields E8 3PE
Tube | Bethnal Green
pubonthepark.com

 

Water Poet

This quirky garden is a little sun trap in the middle of the East End. It’s a traditional-looking boozer, with a covered marquee as well as benches sprawled across decking. Munch on BBQ as well as hog roast – private hire and parties are catered for.

Free | Late night: Mon-Sat til 11pm
9-11 Folgate Street, Spitafields, E1 6BX
Tube | Shoreditch High Street
 waterpoet.co.uk

 

The Prospect of Whitby

Granted, it’s an unlikely place to find a beer garden, but, dating back to 1520, The Prospect is London’s oldest riverside pub – so expect to enjoy a pint of Real Ale with a pretty decent view. Bag a table in what’s more of a backyard than a garden,
or the first-floor balcony and terrace from where you’ll overlook the Thames. On offer is classic British pub food including fish ‘n’ chips served with mushy peas, and bangers and mash.

Late night: Fri & Sat til 12am
 57 Wapping Wall, Wapping E1W 3SH
 Canada Water
 taylor-walker.co.uk

 

The Shaftesbury

This newly opened pub (above) prides itself on its quality selection of ales, lagers, wines and cocktails, and fine grub. It’s outdoor section continues this intent to impress with a funky red, white and blue colour theme, and an array of tabels and booths. It’s a ‘local’ done with stylish passion. Summer has never felt so warm.

Free | Late night: Fri-Sat til 12pm
121-123 Kew Road, Richmond, TW9 2PN
Tube | Richmond
 shaftesburyrichmond.co.uk


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Your essential guide to the best rooftop bars and beer gardens in London
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