London's best beer gardens and terraces to drink outdoors during tier two

As of this morning, London was placed into tier two of coronavirus restrictions. This means no mixing with other households indoors at any point (excluding support bubbles).

When it comes to outdoors, there’s a little more leeway.

According to the government website: ‘Outdoors, you can meet in groups of up to 6 people. This includes in pubs and restaurants.’

Granted, the weather isn’t what it was when the pubs first reopened post-lockdown, but we have to take what we can get at the moment.

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If you’re in London and want to find yourself a lovely beer garden or roof terrace to nurse a pint in your hat and gloves, we’ve got a selection for you.

North London pubs

The Albion, Islington

With a huge garden shaded with an enormous willow tree, this pub is a perfect spot for a tranquil drink.

At night, fairy lights come on to set the mood. Perhaps one for a socially distanced date?

The Alwyne Castle, Highbury

Roast dinners – and huge Yorkshire puddings – are a particular speciality here (although you might want to take your food inside if it starts to pour).

Grab yourself a mulled wine and pop into one of the covered booths in their huge beer garden to while in the weeks before Christmas.

The Abbey Tavern, Kentish Town

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As well as a beer garden, you can head to the ‘secret’ roof terrace for a cocktail and a catch-up.

Rugby fans can book now to get a decent table for the upcoming Six Nations matches.

The Faltering Fullback, Finsbury Park

Although not the biggest outdoor space on this list, the Faltering Fullback is one of London’s best pubs and has done a great job of making their terrace a place to be.

As well as showing plenty of football games, the design of the area makes for lots of quiet little nooks to enjoy. Word to the wise, though, it’s often packed out and there aren’t table bookings.

The Stag, Hampstead

Hampstead’s The Stag already had a sizeable and more-than-passable garden for groups of up to six to book, but has recently ‘cosied up’ the space before the cold Winter approaches.

East London pubs

People’s Park Tavern, Hackney

Located beside Victoria Park, this has always been a perfect haunt for sunseekers in Summer.

With more awnings to give you shelter and a one-way system to keep everybody safe, it’s got the thumbs-up for the colder months too.

Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch

Each year, Queen of Hoxton theme their city roof terrace. This time around it’s Game of Thrones, which will likely delight fans.

Expect hot buttered rums, blankets, a wigwam, and events including drag brunches and quizzes. The view is also fantastic.

Skylight, Tobacco Dock

As well as bookable igloos, the whole Skylight outdoor area is equipped with heaters so your outdoor tipples don’t need to be uncomfortably freezing.

You will have to pay £5 for a table on certain days, but it’s worth it for a guaranteed seat.

The Crooked Billet, Clapton

Small pergola booths make for a covered-up hideaway here if you want to brave the outside, as well as a mass of benches throughout the garden.

Always bustling and with some great Fourpure beers, it’s a natural spot for a few pints if you’re in Clapton.

The Leyton Star, Leyton

Run by the Electric Star group (The Star of Bethnal Green, The Star by Hackney Downs) is as jazzy as you’d expect, with the outdoors bedecked with palm tree lights used on a Paloma Faith tour.

You’ll want to nab yourself one of the eight heated cabanas – booking advised.

South London pubs

The Castle, Tooting

As well as well-lit and covered garden, you can opt to sit in the ‘castles’ (huts) that you can hire for special occasions.

This is a Young’s pub, so you can expect the usual pub grub, as well as their recently-added Work from Pub packages that include a meal and unlimited tea and coffee.

Vagabond, Battersea

This Northcote Road spot has a hidden garden out the back which is quiet and classy.

Wine fans will be happy to hear that they have over 100 varieties available for drinking by the glass. There’s also wine machines on the terrace to dispense at your leisure.

The Railway, Tulse Hill

It’s 32° so we’re whipping the BBQ out. Come and say hi

Come for the outdoor bar and ample seating, stay for the quirky touches and unmistakable SE clientele.

You can also enjoy 50% off food Monday to Wednesday throughout October. Book through the website to avoid disappointment.

Skehans, Nunhead

Five minutes from Nunhead station sits Skehans – home of great Thai food and Irish hospitality.

There’s a smoking area at the front of the pub, and a deceptively large terrace round the back with covered areas if the rain starts.

The Vanbrugh, Greenwich

Quiz night is still on at the Vanbrugh, and while you can’t currently drink at the bar you can enjoy happy hour from the covered garden.

Light and heaters mean you can keep enjoying this local favourite for months to come despite restrictions.

West London pubs

The Union Tavern, Maida Vale

Watch the barges go past the canal in this pretty Fuller’s pub in Westbourne Park.

While the location really shines when it’s sunny, staff put the awning over the outdoor space when it rains – so you can enjoy it whatever the weather.

Aeronaut, Acton

Aeronaut is famed for its events, which have been sadly put on hold for the time being.

However, the owners have built an outdoor bar and will be showing their circus performances on 65in screens in the heated marquee. Way to adapt.

The Crabtree, Fulham

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Another west London boozer with spectacular river views, this is a boujee choice.

Book in for bottomless brunch at the weekend or settle in with a great glass of wine and a cheese board in the evening.

The Eagle, Shepherd’s Bush

Cosy sofas and heaters dot the garden here, as well as an outdoor burger bar to grab a bite from.

Download the On Tap app for fully contact-free ordering.

The City Barge, Chiswick

At the City Barge you can choose to sit out front by the river or in their car park, which has been converted into a seating area.

Being right on the river, you may find that some seats are consumed by the tide at times. Don’t worry, though, there’s plenty more room.

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