Pub gardens in Bristol | Where to get booked in this summerPosted on: 02 Apr 2021
Emerge from lockdown in style at one of the city's very best outdoor spaces.
After a long wait, summer 2021 finally appears to be in full flow, with the sun shining and coronavirus restrictions lifted on hospitality venues across Bristol and beyond.
From Monday 19 July, indoor and outdoor pubs, bars and restaurants are permitted to open at full capacity, giving us all the chance to enjoy some of the city's very best outside spaces for an overdue catchup with friends and family.
Many of you will have already got yourselves booked in after such a long time away from the pub, but for those who are yet to make their plans, we've put together a quick rundown of the city's very best pub gardens, roof terraces and pop-up bars.
Read on and take your pick, and remember to support the local hospitality sector however you can in the coming weeks.
Breaking Bread was a hit when it launched on The Downs in July 2020, and the hospitality and events collective behind the renowned pop-up have announced they'll be reopening in time for outdoor restrictions to be eased in April.
The Pipe & Lovers beer garden is a huge hit, and is now back in full swing, taking bookings throughout the summer.
The covered bar - manned by the teams behind The Love Inn and The Pipe and Slippers - will also be serving up a brand-new food menu in celebration of their long-awaited return, curated by chefs Josh Eggleton and Ben Harvey.
Find out more and book your visit via the Breaking Bread website.
One of Bristol's best-loved roof terraces yet still something of a hidden gem, Bambalan is a real treasure of the city centre's food and drink scene.
Located across the road from the Bristol Beacon, the quirky restaurant-bar boasts an expansive terrace as well as cosier balcony seating, making it the perfect spot for some alfresco drinks once outdoor spaces open up this month.
Bambalan's legendary terrace parties will also be making a comeback this summer, but for now you can enjoy a relaxing drink overlooking the busy city streets as you have those long-awaited catch-ups with mates.
Find out more and get booked in here.
Lakota Gardens was a breath of fresh air in an otherwise difficult year for Bristol's nightlife scene in 2020, showcasing an array of renowned DJs, local promoters, live musicians and comedians at their pop-up venue.
Fully compliant with COVID safety restrictions, Lakota Gardens hosted some huge events last summer, and the team will be picking up where they left off this month with a full week of comeback parties.
Tickets for the venue's first week back are selling fast, with their opening night on Monday 12 April completely sold out. Browse the full Lakota Gardens programme and book your tickets here.
The Lazy Dog
Located on Ashley Down Road in BS7, The Lazy Dog is one of our all-time favourite Bristol pubs, boasting a cosy, inviting interior as well as a proper sun-trap pub garden out the back.
As the name would suggest, the pub is dog-friendly, and the friendly bar team are always on hand with a combination of top-notch craft beers, classic cocktails, hearty pub grub and more.
There are few better places to spend a hazy afternoon in the sun - find out more and book your visit here.
The Volunteer Tavern
The Volunteer Tavern dates back to 1870, and today, its beer garden sits enclosed by Grade II listed walls, shaded by London Plane trees.
It’s got all the markers of a great pub garden; from homemade bunting to colourful lights, to cosy, covered seating areas, transporting you out of the city centre hustle and bustle and into a quaint, quiet, laid-back setting.
The team have released a Flexible Booking Form for reservations, with responses given priority upon the pub's reopening this month.
The Gloucester Old Spot
Colourful bunting, fairy lights and a castle for kids: The Gloucester Old Spot is a charming pub with an even better beer garden. Located in Horfield, it’s a real family-friendly local and comes complete with great pub grub and a sought-after Sunday Roast.
In terms of spacious, inviting outdoor areas they don't come much better than this, making the Old Spot a firm favourite among locals and those based further afield.
Head to the Gloucester Old Spot website to find out more and make your reservation for their eagerly-anticipated April reopening.
King Street and The Apple
The atmosphere in King Street when the drinks are flowing and the sun's shining makes it one of the most popular meeting places in Bristol, and after such a long period of lockdown, you can bet it'll be buzzing when pubs and bars finally reopen.
From renowned independent bars like the King Street Brew House to beloved fixtures like The Old Duke and The Apple, you're sure to find what you're looking for on those age-old cobbles.
The White Lion
For an unparalleled view of Bristol’s most iconic landmark, The White Lion Bar is the place to be. Its super spacious, all-weather terrace sits on the edge of the Avon Gorge, overlooking The Clifton Suspension Bridge.
The White Lion is part of the boutique Avon Gorge Hotel; a 78-bedroom Victorian getaway, first opened as the Grand Clifton Spa and Hydropathic Institution in 1898.
The bar operates on a first-come, first-served basis, so tables cannot be pre-booked - we highly recommend being prepared and getting in there quick on the day of your visit to avoid disappointment!
The Old Lock and Wier
If it's peace and quiet you're after, or an escape from the busy city centre, The Old Lock and Wier should certainly be among your first destinations.
Located in St George on the edge of the meandering River Avon, the pub's expansive outdoor space offers unparalleled access to a real Westcountry beauty spot, immersed in its natural surroundings.
Having been cooking up a popular takeaway menu for most of lockdown, the Old Lock and Wier team are excited to welcome locals and visitors back to their one-of-a-kind pub this month - find out more and book your visit here.
The Old Market Assembly
Located in the heart of Old Market, the Assembly is loved for its creative food menu, unique inside space and cosy in-house arts venue, but few are aware that above the main bar sits a small-but-mighty rooftop terrace.
Part covered, part open-air, the bar's terrace is a true hidden gem of central Bristol, and the perfect spot to watch the sun go down over the skyline.
Find out more and get in touch with the team regarding April bookings via the Old Market Assembly website.
Arnolfini Café Bar
A busy Harbourside has become a familiar sight for Bristol in the summer in recent years, with locals filling the borders of the quay for al fresco drinks in the sunshine and rows of legs hanging above the water as boats and paddleboards float by.
While much of the Harbourside and its surrounding area, the Arnolfini will be reopening its popular cafe-bar on 12 April, stocking a range of locally-brewed beers, ciders and more in partnership with Bristol Beer Factory.
Find out more about the Arnolfini's Harbourside bar here.
Using and supporting local suppliers is really important to us so our first supply shoutout goes to @BrisBeerFactory ????— Arnolfini (@ArnolfiniArts) April 1, 2021
Expect a fine selection of their beers, drinks and lots of other refreshing delights on the hopeful opening day of 12th April, see you there ???? pic.twitter.com/1cbDjEfxwx
Whiteladies Road is home to several top restaurants, an artisan bakery and a boutique cinema. It’s also home to one of Bristol’s leading cocktail bars, Flipside.
Flipside is a cool and contemporary venue, complete with a mezzanine overlooking the bar, and stylish, all-weather outdoor space. (Yep, it’s got heaters!)
The garden comes decked out with covered, cushioned seats and, of course, a healthy dose of warm outdoor lighting - bookings for their April reopening are open now and can be made here.
Escape to the countryside – almost. Venture out of central Bristol and into St Werburghs to discover The Farm; a warm and friendly pub with a laidback, grassy beer garden.
Now, when you arrive at The Farm, it should be easy to tell if you’re in the right place: its exterior is adorned with a wacky mural painting of, well, a farm.
Head inside, grab a pint (and one of their infamous Roasts if you visit on a Sunday) and soak up the sun on a picnic bench. A lazy Sunday? Sorted.
Steam have officially relaunched their online booking service ahead of next month, and having been forced to remain closed for months under successive lockdowns and Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions, the pub team are eager to welcome locals back to their cosy sheltered area off Whiteladies Road.
Their outdoor area, located alongside Clifton Down Train Station, is a beloved spot for both Clifton locals and Bristolians based further afield, renowned for its cosy setup and relaxed atmosphere.
Operating under a reduced capacity in line with government guidelines, the team have set up a brand-new booking system ahead of reopening, with a small number of tables to be kept free for walk-ins.
Find out more and book your visit here.
The Crafty Cow
The Crafty Cow is one of Bristol’s top family-friendly pubs, situated in Horfield. Fresh, high-quality food, real ales and a sprawling outdoor space, the pub ticks all the boxes for a top-notch afternoon with family and friends.
Bookings for the pub's April reopening can be made via their website.
Have we missed your favourite pub garden from this list? Let us know over on our Contact page and we'll update our article.
Main Image: Bambalan
Editor - 365Bristol.com & LOUD Magazine
Matt is a Journalism graduate and writer, passionate about supporting Bristol music, art and independent business. Get in touch via email at email@example.com.