After last year’s ‘barbecue summer’ prediction failed to materialise we’re all hoping that 2010 will be remembered for its long hot summer. With fingers crossed that record temperatures lie ahead, here's a rundown of our most popular pubs with beer gardens.
- Ty Mawr, Lisvane, Cardiff
With arguably one of the best beer gardens in Cardiff, the Ty Mawr can be found perched in the hills to the north of Cardiff. The one time farmhouse is perfectly placed to take in views over acres of spectacular Cardiff countryside and the Severn estuary. But don’t just take our word for it. So breathtaking are the views that the Observer newspaper named it in its list of the top 200 pubs to visit in the summer.
2. 33 Windsor Place
If you’re in central Cardiff, head to the hidden gem that is 33 Windsor Place. The recently refurbished secluded sun trap at the rear - a rare find in the city centre – is one of Cardiff’s best kept secrets. On the bar you’ll find a good selection of beers, wine and food, available all day.
- The Watermill, Bridgend
The pub’s two log fires are doused as the weather warms and customers migrate to the large beer garden. With the seaside villages of Ogmore-by-Sea and Southerndown close by it’s the ideal place to stop off after a day at the beach. If you’re hungry food is served all day, including antipasto platters, ploughmans, filled breads and fresh fish. And if you missed out on one at the beach the pub offers a tempting selection of ice creams.
4. Salt @ the George, Swansea
Situated on the Mumbles seafront and with sublime views over Swansea Bay, you’ll have to arrive early to bag yourself a spot on the balcony or terrace. The menu is perfectly in keeping with the seaside location and includes market fresh fish and Welsh dairy ice creams. The drinks menu includes everything from draught and bottled beers, wines and cocktails, as well as non-alcoholic tipples.
- The Grove Hotel, St Davids
It might be the smallest city in Wales but St David’s has a lot to offer, including the picture-postcard pretty Grove Hotel. The regency house hotel was sympathetically refurbished both inside and out in 2008, and although lovely inside venture outside and you’ll discover the Grove’s true charm. The walled garden has been beautifully landscaped, making it the perfect place to spend a summer day.
6. The Penwig, New Quay
Another spectacularly located pub can be found in the small scenic seaside town of New Quay. The beer garden/terrace at the front of the family run Penwig boasts impressive views over the harbour and beach along Cardigan Bay. There’s space for 80 to sit but when the sun is shining it’s guaranteed to be at capacity.
- The Penhelig Arms, Aberdovey
Okay, so this one’s a bit of a cheat. It’s not so much of a beer garden as a roof terrace, but once you’re there you won’t quibble on a technicality. The terrace overlooks the Dovey Estuary and has become a summer hotspot. The food is as impressive as the views – and if you opt for an al fresco lunch you can enjoy both.
8. The Harbour Inn, Solva
So pretty is this Solva pub that the Good Beer Guide 2010 chose to feature it on the front of its cover. Taking its name from the very thing it overlooks, the Harbour Inn is an ideal place to take the family. The outside patio at the front is complete with picturesque views of the estuary, full of little fishing boats or at the rear there’s a more sheltered beer garden. Meals are served daily and specials include fresh local crab, in season lobster and other top quality local seafood.
- Ship, Tresaith
When we say the beach is a stones thrown from the beach, we mean it. The terrace is sensibly located at the front of the pub, making the most of the glorious views over the bay. And while spotting a bottlenose dolphin isn’t always guaranteed, quality food and drink is. If the weather turns you can always retreat to the conservatory, where you can still enjoy the view.
10. Lamb and Flag, Abergavenny
Swap water views for mountain views at the traditional coaching inn in Abergavenny. Based at the gateway to the Brecon Beacons national park, from the beer garden you’ll enjoy spectacular views of Sugar Loaf Mountain. At the back of the pub there’s a large play area for children.
We've got many more pubs with beer gardens. For a full list click here.