Battle of the beer garden: South west London and Surrey’s best
From riverside locations to enchanting woodland gardens, we’ve rounded up Surrey and London’s best beer gardens
The Leather Bottle, Earlsfield
Just five minutes away from the station, the 300 year-old Leather Bottle serves tasty food and offers an enormous garden, making it a favourite among the local community. Weave your way through the various cosy rooms and head out back and you’ll emerge into summer, with a fun beach theme complete with huts available to rent, bunting and picnic tables aplenty. There is also a foodie shack offering freshly barbecued dishes for alfresco dining.
The Alexandra, Wimbledon
This much-loved Wimbledon haunt claims a corner right in the heart of the town and its rooftop garden is a total sun trap, ideal for long summer evenings where you can soak up views and people watch over the buzzing streets below. The interior is warming and provides all you’d expect from a traditional pub, but take to the roof and there is fun colourful art splashed on the brickwork, patio heaters and the rooftops very own bar to keep you topped up with an Aperol spritz.
Duke of Edinburgh, Brixton
Slightly further afield but well worth the trek, the Duke of Edinburgh is tucked away down an unassuming backstreet and away from the buzz of Brixton station. It doesn’t look like much from the kerb, but head inside and out the back and you’ll be greeted with a huge beer garden large enough to fit hundreds of thirsty sun soakers. There is an outdoor bar and pop-up street food stall selling pub grub, plus for special occasions the team put on a big screen so you won’t miss a second of the action.
The Roebuck, Richmond
Without doubt one of Surrey’s best loved viewpoints among fatigued Richmond Park bikers and Sunday dog walkers, the Roebuck on a glorious summer evening offers incredible panoramas stretching off into Surrey. Grab a pint and walk over the road to the terrace for the ultimate sunset view looking over the winding Thames as it snakes its way through Twickenham and beyond.
The Anglers, Teddington
Backing right onto Teddington Lock and overlooking the river, this Teddington hot spot has been a local favourite for years and has recently had a fabulous revamp. The Anglers offers a family friendly outdoor space with enchanting fairy lights, a kids play area and plenty of seating to pack in the punters on a sunny summer’s day. During a heat wave, the pub puts on popular barbecues and there are live music nights and even Shakespeare in the Garden performances.
The Ship, Wandsworth
With a prime location overlooking the Thames, The Ship has evolved over the summers to become something of a Wandsworth institution. During the mighty heatwave of 2018, revellers searching for a post-work tipple found a spot in its garden for screening after screening of World Cup matches, and its waterfront views as the sun goes down are legendary. You’ll find an outside bar and street food pop ups offering classic pub food, just be sure to get there early as, on a sunny day, this garden fills up quickly.
The Falcon, Clapham North
Not to be confused with the Clapham Junction pub next to the station, this Clapham North Falcon has an amazing beer garden out the back and locals flock there at the first sign of a sunny evening. There is an outdoor bar and foodie stall, plus a charming pergola dotted with plants to give it a whimsical feel.
Kingswood Arms, Kingswood
Just a stone’s throw from Kingswood overground station, this authentic 19th century inn offers a modern European menu and a gorgeous landscaped garden where you can enjoy a summer lunch. The Kingswood Arms prides itself on its hanging basket collection which gives it all the qualities of a bucolic countryside pub, and there is plenty of seating options available. For those who don’t bag a prime outdoor table, there is also a large conservatory so you can still enjoy the views of the perfectly planted flowers.
The White Swan, Twickenham
Along the towpath from Richmond to Twickenham and almost equidistant between the two is the beckoning bar of the White Swan. The pub makes the most of its prime riverside location with a charming outdoor patio that seemingly floats on the Thames at high tide, and the summer months sees the picturesque pub in its prime with punters sat along the paving watching the world go by. There are barbecues and river-themed raft events. Opt for a pint of Naked Ladies, a local favourite ale named after the frolicking marble statues of York House just a stone’s throw from the pub’s front door.
Wych Elm, North Kingston
With an unmissable flower display out the front, it’s near impossible to walk past north Kingston’s Wych Elm without being lured inside. The wooden bar and low hanging lights make for a pleasant interior, but make a bee-line straight to the garden for a tropical garden of Eden. Take a break from the summer sun under one of their pretty parasols and enjoy some great pub grub from the summer menu.