10 Brilliant Beer Gardens in Herts & Beds
The pubs are OPEN! (Well, just the gardens... but who cares) Woo hoo! Here's where to head in our counties to quaff rosé and wolf down some great grub that you haven't cooked yourself
Dylans – The Plough, Sleapshyde
Foodies and craft beer connoisseurs step this way! Take a seat in the gorgeous garden of the brilliantly re-imagined 17th century pub, Dylans – The Plough. They’re open every day except Mondays and are running some super cool foodie pop-ups including Miami-inspired Vincent’s for Burgers and Cocktails, Pink Cactus Mexican street food and Killa Waffles (sweet and savoury). Sounds deeeelish! You can’t book – they’re offering tables in their garden on a first come, first served basis so if you want in, you’ll have to be quick!
The Prae Wood Arms, St Albans
Like your pub gardens on the grand side? On the edge of the glorious Gorhambury Estate, just outside St Albans, the Prae Wood Arms (complete with spectacular sweeping driveway) ticks the boxes: spacious garden, elegant terrace flanked by lavender beds, gorgeous view (over the River Ver and surrounding fields). It even has it’s own gardener! They’re taking bookings until 17 May with some tables set aside for pop-ins but we’re guessing it’ll be a preeeetty popular spot.
The Alford Arms, Frithsden
This is a proper village pub with seriously good food to boot (trust me, I’m salivating as I type!) Whether you rock up in your wellies or your Sunday Best you’ll get a warm welcome at The Alford Arms. And the buzzy beer garden is the perfect spot for soaking up the rays (when they decide to stick around for longer than five minutes!) over a bite and a pint. There’s a reason it’s been named Hertfordshire Dining Pub of the Year by THE GOOD PUB GUIDE 12 times and won Best Pub in the 2019 Muddy Awards (you are a discerning lot!). Tables are first come, first served.
The Fox at Willian
What better spot to enjoy a glass of chilled Chablis than at this idyllically located, AA Rosette award winning pub, just by the church and overlooking the village green and pond. The landlords are prepped for all weather with brollies and patio heaters at the ready. You could even make a break of it and book into one of the gorgeously decorated garden rooms (yes, you can actually stay. the. night!) Plus there are some great local walks nearby… if you’re not totally over walking by now. Yeah, I agree – back to the wine!
The Fox & Duck, Therfield
Another foxy contender, this friendly local pub describes itself as a ‘well disguised gastro pub’. Soak up the local vibes while sinking a pint or two on the green, chill out to some good tunes, on their special live music nights – yep, they’re back too!) and why not make a day of it, by heading to the nearby Royston Heath Nature Reserve for a pre-pint ramble. They’re only open Friday evenings and weekends from midday (plus the early May Bank Holiday) until 16 May. Bookings can be made online.
The Bricklayers Arms Flaunden
Nestled in the rolling hills of the Chess Valley this multi-award winning dining pub has been the worst-kept secret of the rambling community for years. No surprise then that the garden is the perfect spot for some liquid refreshment (you haven’t walked off all those calories for nothing!) . They’ve got a brand new heated undercover terrace, where tables will be open for bookings from 15 April between Thursdays and Sundays.
The Plough Inn, Wingfield
This trad country pub (we’re talking 16th century, thatched roof kinda stuff – it even has it’s own ‘friendly’ ghost, apparently – yikes!) is well worth venturing off the beaten track for. It re-opens on 15th April (then from Tuesdays to Sundays after that) with its fancy new outdoor dining domes, which can be booked from £20 for a two-hour slot.
The Red Lion, Milton Bryan
Named as one of the Top Pubs with Gardens by the Sunday Times last summer, this former coaching inn is a great bet for an open-air Bedfordshire bevy. The Red Lion’s historic facade is adorned by flowers tumbling out of hanging baskets, while you can choose to sip your vino on the lawn or terrace, with its chic sun shades for day and festoon lighting by night. The online booking system is up and running, all ready for ya!
The George Inn, Maulden
The all-weather courtyard at The George Inn in Maulden is precisely what we need right now with this bonkers weather – glorious sunshine one minute and snow the next?! The restored 16th century pub is just gorgeously styled indoors (sorry, you’ll have to wait for that), but it doesn’t end there. The garden is a total beaut – it’s even got an outdoor kitchen and gin bar which serves no fewer than 45 varieties (errr, hello!). Book online for outdoor dining from Wednesdays – Sundays.
The Grove Lock, Leighton Buzzard
Location, location, location! This fab Fuller’s pub sits right on the edge of a lock (as you might’ve guessed from the name). Grab a glass of wine, take a seat and watch the canal boats navigate the levers and lock gates right in front of you – sounds like excellent sport, to me! Get online to book your table.