Beer Gardens in Manchester & Salford

Ian Jones, Food and Drink Editor

After a whole lot of grey wet weeks, we’re finally getting some much-needed sunny weather. And what’s the best thing to do in the sun? No, not water-skiing, that’s for lunatics, it’s having a cold pint in a beer garden with your mates. And that’s what this guide is all about: revealing the city’s very best outdoor spaces to enjoy beer, cocktails or whatever boozey (or non-boozey, we don’t judge) drink floats your boat.

Here are some of our favourite classic outside drinking spaces in the city and its near neighbour Salford. Of course, thanks to the c-word, some venues have repurposed their outdoor spaces for casual outdoor drinks. The Northern Quarter, in particular, has seen plenty of forward-thinking relaxation of the rules, meaning roads closed off so we can drink outside, often underneath covering to protect us from the inevitable Manchester rain.

So if you’re looking for an outside drink this summer (and autumn too) then the pubs listed below come both with a top-quality beer garden and are highly recommended. Here are some of the very best beer gardens in Manchester, along with a few noteworthy entries from Salford.

Here are our picks

  • 1. GRUB Manchester

    GRUB Manchester, 50 Red Bank, Cheetham Hill, Manchester, M4 4HF - Visit now

    The best venue in the Green Quarter, by some measure, Grub has plenty of outdoor seating to enjoy food and drink on a sunny day, and shelter when it’s wet. If you haven’t been yet, why not?

  • 2. Escape to Freight Island

    Escape To Freight Island
    Escape To Freight Island

    Escape to Freight Island, Mayfield Depot, 11 Baring St, Manchester, M1 2PY - Visit now

    It doesn’t get bigger than Freight Island, which is basically one huge outdoor drinking space, with a few indoor spots for good measure. There’s about a dozen areas to kick back and enjoy some food and drink, so you’re very likely to get a space (although booking ahead is always advised).

  • 3. The New Oxford

    The New Oxford

    The New Oxford, 11 Bexley Square, Salford, Manchester, M3 6DB - Visit now

    Bexley Square is at the heart of Salford’s most fast-growing and desirable area and it’s also home to The New Oxford. It’s a classic old-school pub with a vast range of drinks to enjoy on benches outside. Expect cheerful staff, friendly punters and enough open space to enjoy the sun when its out – plus protective umbrellas when it isn’t.

  • 4. The Briton’s Protection

    Ben Williams

    The Briton’s Protection, 50 Great Bridgewater St, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 5LE - Visit now

    Ask anyone who knows anything about Manchester pubs and they’ll soon start waxing lyrical about The Briton’s Protection. It’s one of the oldest pubs in Manchester – if not the oldest pub – and it has a magnificent, sun-trapping outdoor space to sit and enjoy beers and whisky with friends. Highly, highly recommended for all you beer garden connoisseurs.

  • 5. Ducie Street Warehouse

    Ducie Street Warehouse
    Ducie Street Warehouse

    Ducie Street Warehouse, Ground Floor, Warehouse, Ducie St,, Manchester, M1 2TP - Visit now

    Fast-becoming one of the city’s standout venues, DSW (as those in the know like to call it) has an awesome terrace round the back that captures the sun.

     

  • 6. Common Bar

    Common Bar in Manchester's Northern Quarter
    Ben Williams

    Common Bar, 39-47 Edge Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1HW - Visit now

    Alan Partridge might not approve but we’re enormous fans of the pedestrianisation of the Northern Quarter, and Common’s area on Edge Street is one of the district’s very best. It’s quiet enough to avoid the Ibiza strip feel of nearby areas but full of trendsetting 20-30somethings, just like the early days of the NQ.

  • 7. The Eagle Inn

    The Eagle Inn pub in Salford
    Adam Bruderer

    The Eagle Inn, 18-19 Collier Street, Salford, M3 7DW - Visit now

    A great Salford pub, The Eagle Inn has greatly expanded its outside drinking area, both front and back, making it perfect for either popping in for a quick half or settling in for a session with like-minded pals.

  • 8. 20 Stories

    20 Stories
    Ian Jones

    20 Stories, No. 1 Spinningfields, 1 Hardman Square, Manchester, M3 3EB - Visit now

    A beer garden, or roof terrace rather, so good they named the venue after it. Here’s where to go for those awe-inspiring views of the city skyline being vastly changed by faceless corporations (the jury’s out on the latter).

  • 9. Port Street Beer House

    Port Street Beer House Father's Day
    Ben Williams

    Port Street Beer House, 39-41 Port Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 2EQ - Visit now

    Port Street Beer House is a great NQ drinking spot. But it’s the outside that shines: a great sun-splashed beer garden, cosy enough to be friendly but spacious enough to feel safe and relaxed. And let’s not forget the beer. You’ll struggle to find a better choice of ales in Manchester.

  • 10. Terrace NQ

    Terrace

    Terrace NQ, 43 Thomas Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1NA

    High above Thomas Street, Terrace NQ offers a beautiful rooftop beer garden. When the sun is shining, this is easily one of the most pleasing places to sink a pint in the Northern Quarter.

  • 11. Marble Arch Pub

    Ben Williams

    Marble Arch Pub, 73 Rochdale Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 4HY - Visit now

    It’s not the biggest outdoor drinking space in the world, but it’s an exceptionally nice one and the beer here is so good that we’re willing to overlook it.

  • 12. The Beech

    The Beech Inn Chorlton
    BW

    The Beech, 72 Beech Rd, Manchester, M21 9EG

    If you fancy moving out of town, jump on the Metrolink and head to Chorlton. While the residents are often lampooned as the “liberal urban elite”, you can’t argue with the choice of watering holes on offer. The Beech is a grand choice if you fancy switching seats to chase the late evening sun.

  • 13. The Kings Arms

    The King's Arms pub in Salford.
    David Dixon

    The Kings Arms, 11 Bloom street, Salford, Greater Manchester, M3 6AN - Visit now

    One of Salford’s finest establishments, with a history that involves a reliably excellent series of live shows and ownership by Paul Heaton, one of the North’s greatest songwriters. They also have a small but perfectly-formed outside drinking area – get there early for a guaranteed seat.

  • 14. The Whiskey Jar

    The Whiskey Jar

    The Whiskey Jar, 14 Tariff St, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 2FF - Visit now

    Tariff Street has been closed off to cars and now you can sit outside and enjoy a drink safely, with minimal exhaust fumes. The Whiskey Jar is a great intimate, darkly-lit bar but it’s not ideal during hot sunny days, so sit outside when the weather is balmy.

  • 15. Duke’s 92

    Duke’s 92, 18 Castle Street
    Castlefield, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 4LZ - Visit now

    The Duke’s 92 beer garden is legendary across the city. This canalside bar is well worth a visit, assuming you can get in – its reputation can mean lengthy queues for a table. But it’s well worth it, the outdoor space is one of Manchester’s best.

  • 16. The Woodstock Arms

    Courtesy of The Woodstock

    The Woodstock Arms, 139 Barlow Moor Rd, Manchester, M20 2DY - Visit now

    The Woodstock is a beautiful, traditional old pub with a wonderful beer garden. If you are over Didsbury way and in search of some outside drinking, you’ll struggle to find much better.

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