A good beer garden is one of our favourite places to be when the sun is shining, and luckily for us Nottingham has a great selection in its midst. Tucked behind our bars and pubs there are yards, rooftops, canal banks and terraces which have been cleverly transformed into lovely spaces, perfect for whiling away summer days, meeting friends, and of course enjoying a pint with the sun on your skin. Out in the county there are plenty of rural retreats with gorgeous countryside views to gaze out over on a long summer's afternoon. Have a look at some of our favourites below...


We wanted to start this list on a high, so naturally we're kicking things off with Alto's rooftop garden. Situated on level 2 of the Cornerhouse, Alto has recently undergone a full and extensive refurbishment, turning it into a modern and sophisticated bar set in the heart of Nottingham. The luxurious outdoor terrace, complete with lounging day beds and cosy blankets, affords amazing views over the stunning city of Nottingham. With cocktails, world beers, local ales, a great wine list and alcohol free drinks as well as an all-day food menu with bar snacks and sharing platters. it's the perfect place to relax and unwind whilst gazing over the Nottingham skyline.

Extra Tip - If you're really feeling the tropical summer vibes, why not head for a cheeky game of adventure golf  at Lost City Adventure Golf? You won't have to travel far; it's in the same building.

The Lincolnshire Poacher

If you're not a fan of loud music, slot machines and sports channels and want a traditional well-stocked boozer complete with a good range of ales and whiskey, the Lincolnshire Poacher is well worth a little trip up Mansfield Road. This gem of a pub from Castle Rock Brewery has garnered a staunch reputation with locals as the place around to meet, relax, eat and drink. The brick walls of the rear garden are dotted with vintage enamel signage, there are regular outdoor food events, a number of cosy booths to sit in, a motley crew of lovely regulars if you fancy striking up a conversation, and quite often a friendly dog - so you'll be sure of a warm welcome!

Extra Tip! - The Arboretum is just behind the Poacher and a must if you want to admire the greenery in Nottingham’s beautiful city park which is said to have inspired J.M. Barrie's Neverland!

The Organ Grinder

Another quality, classic pub with a great atmosphere, cosy fire blazing in the winter and lush garden for the summer months! Split between two levels, part of the garden sits on the rooftop and is dotted with hanging baskets and benches, making this garden a delightfully chilled out suntrap to enjoy one of the many fine ales served. As a Blue Monkey Brewery pub, the selection of drinks is second to none and classic pub snacks like pork pies and scotch eggs are served, making it the perfect place to while away a long and relaxing afternoon.

Extra Tip - Nip across Alfreton Road and within seconds you’ll find yourself on Raleigh Street where the famous bicycles were first created in 1886.

The Canalhouse

There's something about waterfront drinking and dining that really gives us those summer holiday vibes, so next on our list is The Canalhouse, another Castle Rock venue. A stone’s throw from Nottingham Station and a short walk from The Lace Market and Nottingham Castle, The Canal House's beer garden is a great place for sunny days and drinks by the water. The unique building was once Nottingham’s canal museum, so the water actually flows into the pub with moored canal boats sitting outside. The garden is probably largest covered outdoor area in the city, bright with flowers and the gentle bustle of the boats going by, and lit by fairy lights as the evening draws in.

Extra tip - The annual Waterfront Festival is a great all day charity music festival each summer, featuring brilliant live music from Nottingham and beyond!

Fox and Hounds 

Fox and Hounds

For rural charm and stunning views this traditional country pub in the charmingly named Blidworth Bottoms is hard to beat. Well known for its home-cooked British food, real ales and excellent wine, there’s always a warm welcome inside and sunny days draw visitors to the huge beer garden and terraces, which brim with brightly blooming floral displays.

Extra tip - This charming pub is just a short drive from the glorious Newstead Abbey and the prefect place to stop off for a spot of lunch after a refreshing walk in the countryside. 

Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem

A pub that almost needs no introduction, Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem plays one of the starring roles in Nottingham’s rich history, and not least because it is carved out of the rock on which the castle stands. Dating back to 1189, inside the building is brimming with character, with each of the features and objects on display telling a fascinating tale. Sit outside and you can get a unique view of the castle's cliffs while relaxing in the large leafy garden and imagining the dramatic events which would have taken place around the pub over the past 800 years.

Extra Tip - Give them a call in advance or ask nicely at the bar and the staff may be able to show you into the cellars and caves beneath the pub. Located in these winding passages is an old cockfighting pit and part of the Castle Gaol was said to be housed in the cellars at one time.

Pitcher and Piano 

We couldn't make a list of our favourite outdoor spaces without including Pitcher and Piano, which is housed inside a striking Grade II-listed church in the heart of the Lace Market. Beautifully restored, the church setting provides a stunning backdrop to dining and drinking on their lovely outdoor terrace (don't worry, there's not a gravestone in sight). Complete with stained glass windows, exposed brick archways and beautiful new interiors, the Pitcher and Piano is a stylish space for socialising with friends, and their new all-day food menu makes it the perfect place to refuel. 

Extra Tip - If you're feeling cultured, why not nip next door to Nottingham Contemporary - one of the largest galleries of contemporary art in the UK - to experience one of their ever-changing exhibitions?

Nottingham Playhouse

Whether you're catching a show, looking for a place to eat, or wanting to spend a few hours in a sunny outdoor area, Nottingham Playhouse might be just the ticket. Situated in the beautiful Park Estate, just off Derby Road, this modern theatre is surrounded by grand Victorian architecture and features Anish Kapoor's dazzling Sky Mirror as a centrepiece for the courtyard. Enjoy locally brewed real ales, continental lagers and ciders, wine and prosecco and a selection of crisps, nuts and olives.

Extra Tip: Just around the corner see if you can find The Park Tunnel, a beautiful carved thoroughfare built in 1855 to allow horsedrawn carriages access to The Park Estate from Derby Road in Nottingham.

Brewhouse & Kitchen

Brewhouse & Kitchen | Visit Nottinghamshire

In the south of the city, check out Brewhouse & Kitchen, a fine pub and microbrewery offering great pub food, a fantastic range of beers and a garden that some say has the best views in the city. Located on the scenic Victoria Embankment and overlooking Trent Bridge and the river, the spacious and stylish terrace is the perfect suntrap for a few drinks on a summer day (though they've got shelters and outdoor heaters, so it's great in all weather!). Both the Nottingham Forest City Ground and Trent Bridge Cricket Ground are also in eyesight, making this a brilliant place for a pre/post match pint or two.

Extra tip: Brewhouse know their beers! Take part in a brewing masterclass, a beer and food matching experience, or book to tour their brewery!


This blog was written by Sophie Gargett, Marketing Assistant at Visit Nottinghamshire.It was originally published in 2018. 


Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem
Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, Nottingham

Situated at the foot of Nottingham Castle and nestled in the sandstone cliff rock, Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem is England's oldest inn and a landmark of Nottingham history.

The Organ Grinder - Nottingham
The Organ Grinder - Nottingham

The Organ Grinder is Blue Monkey's pub in Canning Circus (just off Derby Road) in Nottingham.


Opened in 2000 on the lower floors of the former Canal museum, the Canalhouse is famous for having a canal that extends into the building complete with resident narrow boats.

Fox and Hounds
Fox and Hounds

This popular family owned establishment is an up to date version of the traditional English country pub. Well known for its home-cooked British food, real ales and excellent wine there’s always a warm welcome inside and sunny days draw visitors to the huge beer garden and terraces.

Lincolnshire Poacher
Lincolnshire Poacher

The Lincolnshire Poacher has been part of Nottingham’s real ale drinking scene for so long that it’s easy to forget that it only opened in the late 1980′s, rising from the shell of the Old Grey Nags Head which had been closed by Shipstones.



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