Editors’ Picks: 10 of Our Favourite UK Pubs for Summer

By Ivan PetrenkoJun 18, 2024 01:30 AMNews
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pub beside the river
pub beside the river. Source: unsplash

Whether it’s an old inn on the Isle of Islay or an East London riverside pub, our team of editors selects their favourite drinking spots for sunny days. Here are our top ten favourite pubs in the UK for summer drinking, from a remote beachside boozer to an urban brewery bar.

  1. The Beachy Head, Eastbourne, East Sussex After the thigh-burning ascent from Eastbourne to Beachy Head lighthouse, you’ll be ready for a thirst-quenching pint or two. Enter The Beachy Head, a rustic pub with regional cask ales, beers, and ciders on tap. The vast pub garden offers an uninterrupted panorama across the clifftops and out to the channel. It’s also one of the few places along the south coast where you can stay in a campervan overnight without charge, provided you buy a meal in the pub.
  2. Cross Guns, Avoncliff, Wiltshire A short amble from Bradford-on-Avon along the Kennet and Avon Canal brings you to the Cross Guns. Dating back to the 14th century, the pub’s timber beams and stone walls speak to its storied history. However, the real draw is the garden, which spills down to the River Avon in a series of terraces with views of the aqueduct carrying the canal.
  3. Piglove by the River, Leeds, Yorkshire Just a short walk from Leeds city centre, Piglove’s riverside taproom is perfect for a lazy summer’s afternoon. The setup is simple: picnic tables spread across a sun-soaked patch of grass next to the gently flowing River Aire. With an enticing selection of craft beers and a rotating line-up of street food vans, this spot is a local favourite.
  4. The Old Neptune, Whitstable, Kent Known locally as The Neppy, this pub beams in the sun like a lighthouse. Located right on the beach, it offers an extensive menu of local ales and continental lagers. Visit on a balmy weekend evening for fish and chips, sunset views, and free live music.
  5. The Peterboat, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex After enjoying seaside amusements in Southend, slow the pace in Old Leigh at The Peterboat. This old fisherman’s inn, with a history dating back to the 17th century, offers brilliant fish and chips and an outdoor area overlooking the estuary, perfect for a cold beer at sunset.
  6. Princess of Wales, London This Hackney pub is a quintessential summer spot, thanks to its refreshing cocktails, mouthwatering burgers, and riverside location. Sitting on the River Lea, it has a fabulous waterside terrace and picnic benches right on the towpath.
  7. The Globe Inn, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk A sunny, parasol-shaded courtyard terrace awaits at The Globe Inn, just a short walk from the beach huts and sands of Wells-next-the-Sea. Enjoy a local seafood platter with a chilled pint of Adnams in this dog-friendly gastropub.
  8. Port Charlotte Hotel, Islay, Argyll This 19th-century inn offers low ceilings, walls decorated with Glasgow School artwork, and live music on a tiny stage. The bar features an array of peaty malts from Islay’s distilleries and serves dishes like Islay scallops and local oysters.
  9. Tŷ Coch Inn, Porthdinllaen, Gwynedd Located in an isolated old fishing village, this pub is reached by hiking 20 minutes over a clifftop or along the beach. Visitors enjoy pints of local beer served in paper cups while soaking up the festival vibe on the beach.
  10. The Swan Inn, Chiddingfold, Surrey This quaint country pub is perfect for relaxing after a long walk through Surrey’s green hills. It offers treats for dogs, delicious amaretto cherry sour for humans, and seared scallops that are worth the visit. The recently renovated garden is an additional summer draw.
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