Our map of more than 40 gardens, yards, rooftops and terraces for al fresco boozing this summer.
Nothing says British Summertime like tentatively sipping a beer outdoors, while not straying too far from a parasol to save you from the dual threat of sunburn and potential downpour. Here's our pick of the best outdoor drinking spots to keep you busy for the next few weeks.
We've even plotted them all on a handy map for you at the end...
Abbey Inn, Rodley
Just yards from the Leeds/Liverpool canal is this ramblers’ paradise, a hidden gem serving fine ales and hearty food to passing outdoor enthusiasts and a smattering of locals. Enjoy the peace in the cobbled beer garden out front and be on your merry way, or as local legend has it ‘pop in for a half, stay for a lifetime’.
99 Pollard Lane, Leeds LS13 1EQ Website
Aire Bar, City Centre
One of Leeds’ most cherished waterside establishments, Aire Bar has made a healthy recovery from the Boxing Day floods and continues to offer a glorious sun trap disconcertingly close to the river’s edge.
32 The Calls, Leeds LS2 7EW Website
Alchemist, City Centre
Perfect timing for Leeds’ second Alchemist as they set up residence just as Greek Street was awarded a summer pedestrianisation, and a golden ticket to wall-to-wall sunshine, weekend-long outdoor parties and a readymade street party vibe. Well, that’s what it says here...
Yorkshire House, Greek Street, Leeds LS1 5SH Website
Angelica, City Centre
A bit draughty when the wind gets up, but Angelica’s rooftop bar offers some of the best views of Leeds, which some have remarked are not dissimilar to Ibiza, if you squint a bit. Enjoy top notch cocktails, wines and spirits, and if you’re lucky, a palm tree branch tickling your ear.
Level 6 Trinity Leeds, 70 Boar Lane, Leeds LS1 6HW Website
Bankhouse Inn, Pudsey
Another haven for those who love their outdoor pursuits, the Bankhouse is almost a countryside pub, and a regular stop off for those enjoying the rolling hills over Fulneck and Tong, and the view from the spacious, grassy beer garden could be a postcard from Yorkshire.
40-41 Bankhouse Lane, Pudsey, Leeds LS28 8EB Website
Banyan, City Centre
A place that really comes to life when the sun pops out is Banyan on City Square’s vast paved expanses. There’s ample space for everyone as Leeds truly shows itself as a cosmopolitan European city. All that’s missing is street performers and irritating opportunist vendors, although don’t rule either out.
The Old Post Office, 2 City Square, Leeds LS1 2ES Website
Belgrave Music Hall, City Centre
Having established itself as the jewel in Leeds’ nightlife crown, the Belgrave adds another dimension when the sun comes out, with its rooftop garden offering deckchairs, artificial grass, barbecues and a carefree vibe that needs to last longer than your lunch break.
1-1a Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds LS2 8JP Website
Calls Landing, City Centre
OK, so we all have our eye on the lovely little balcony made for two that sits precariously above the water at the brilliant Calls Landing, but don’t forget there is a spacious waterside seating area outside from which we can quaff our ales, share our platters and playfully gargle our oysters long into the night.
36-38 The Calls, Leeds LS2 7EW Website
We are ready for you #leeds #summer #saturday #beergarden
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Candlebar, Granary Wharf
Having recently re-launched its food menu as a unique Japanese cuisine concept, Candlebar is gaining confidence, and rightly so as it sits proudly on the canalside in Granary Wharf, while its circular outside seating area perfectly complements the famous building above it, the biggest optical illusion in Leeds.
Candle House, Granary Wharf, Leeds LS1 4GJ Website
Cielo Blanco, City Centre
At first sight this highly creative Mexican restaurant might not strike you as an ‘outside’ establishment, given it has a seating area within Trinity’s airy, but most definitely inside shopping aisles. But venture in and there is access to an excellent balcony overlooking the busy throng of Briggate, with opportunities to play ‘count the bald spots’ from a uniquely lofty vantage point.
415 Trinity Leeds, Albion Street, Leeds LS1 5AY Website
Did somebody say... Margarita weather?! (YEAH they did) ☀️🌴👌🏼 📷: @pippab91
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The Cross Keys, Holbeck Urban Village
A peaceful oasis in the middle of the Holbeck Urban Village and home to one of the greatest, constantly-revolving selections of beers in Leeds. This has got North Bar’s nonchalant style sprinkled all over it, and it also has huge umbrellas that mean you can enjoy the outdoors even if there’s a summer storm brewing.
107 Water Lane, Leeds LS11 5WD Website
Cuthbert Brodrick, City Centre
Yeah, it’s a JD Wetherspoons folks, but bear with me on this as this one actually has an atmosphere, because it’s created by having an ace seating area out the front overlooking Millennium Square, which means, god forbid, you might sometimes hear some music.
99 Portland Crescent, Leeds LS2 3AD Website
A nice day to have lunch outside ☀️ #Leeds #townhall #milleniumsquare #sunshine #spring #lunchbreak
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Duck & Drake, City Centre
A mainstay of the Leeds pub scene and perhaps more famous for sweaty rockers and ear-splitting live music in the main room, but it does have a great selection of beers and a fully decked beer garden resplendent with ornaments paying homage to the pub’s musical heritage.
43 Kirkgate, Leeds LS2 7DR Website
Faversham, City Centre
Day-long sunshine in a south-facing beer garden and late-night parties are promised as occasional barbecues and al fresco DJ sets put the Faversham on another level as a multi-functional fun palace for those of us who think sleep is overrated.
1-5 Springfield Mount, Leeds LS2 9NG Website
Headrow House, City Centre
One of the great success stories of recent years in Leeds is the highly inventive creation of Headrow House, and three floors of impossible coolness leads up to a fourth level in the form of a roof terrace. This has its own bar, but to sample all the delights of the Beer Hall and the Redondo Beach cocktail bar, a bit of skilful stair work is required. But it’s worth it.
Bramleys Yard, The Headrow, Leeds LS1 6PU Website
Issho, City Centre
The long-awaited modern Japanese restaurant is now open on the top floor of Victoria Gate, complete with a 700 sq ft roof terrace, and bar stocked with 25 sakes and ten seasonal, Japanese-influenced cocktails. It won't be the new kid on the block for long though - New York-inspired sister bar East 59th is due to open next door later on this year.
26 Eastgate, Leeds, LS2 7JL Website
Kirkstall Bridge Inn
The faithful restoration of this historic pub makes Kirkstall Brewery one of our favourite local breweries. Naturally, their highly-quaffable selection of beers sits proudly on the bar top but there’s plenty of other favourites to take outside to the grassy bank or array of picnic tables overlooking the passing flow of the River Aire.
12 Bridge Road, Kirkstall, Leeds LS5 3BW Website
Lamb & Flag, City Centre
This most recent of the former Leeds Brewery chain pubs has a spacious and peaceful back yard, with fine views of the Leeds Parish Church, and also has some upstairs terrace seats if you simply must be that little bit closer to the sun.
1 Church Row, Leeds LS2 7HD Website
The Liquorist, City Centre
Even in its former guise of The Living Rooms, this has always been one of Leeds’ more opulent drinking spots, and the Liquorist has retained the style while taking advantage of Greek Street’s ban on through traffic in the summer. As the first stop at the top of the street, Liquorist sets the tone nicely and allows you to pretend you’re not just drinking in the middle of the road.
5-7 Greek Street, Leeds LS1 5RW Website
We're ready for an absolute scorcher of day today ☀️
Perfect day to enjoy a mojito or 4 😍 pic.twitter.com/rVtbWOaFZx
— The Liquorist Leeds (@LiquoristLeeds) June 17, 2017
Live Bar, City Centre
Billed as the ultimate sports bar within Victoria Gate’s new supercasino, with wall-to-wall screens showing every sport going 24/7, it is likely that it will take some time for Live Bar’s almost hidden outside terrace to become popular. Expect blinking punters to emerge into the morning sun after losing a fortune on the WWE overnight, while that half-time pint during the match has never seemed so appealing.
1 Victoria Gate, Eastgate, Leeds LS2 7JL Website
Manahatta, City Centre
Stopping traffic on Lower Merrion Street in 2014 has been a big factor in the Northern Quarter’s uprising and Manahatta have made the most of it, with their outside seating area providing a lively atmosphere during the summer days and nights, with the excellent party and event facilities inside frequently spilling out on to the street.
11 Merrion Street, Leeds LS1 6PG Website
Mojo, City Centre
If you haven’t been to Mojo then you haven’t been out in Leeds. And if they needed any more encouragement to carry on like they were still at school, the good people at the council allowed them to take the party out onto the street outside and closed off traffic in Merrion Street. Expect great music, great drinks and great people.
18 Merrion Street, Leeds LS1 6PQ Website
The Midnight Bell, Holbeck Urban Village
Lovingly low-key and respectfully relaxing, Midnight Bell retains its place as most people’s second favourite pub, although they can’t actually think of one that’s better. The outside, paved courtyard is huge and on a busy day positively hums with chatter and good times.
101 Water Lane, Leeds LS11 5QN Website
The Mustard Pot, Chapel Allerton
A lovely family retreat in Chapel Allerton with picnic benches and plenty of space for the kids to play. This is one of the most popular pubs in the area and the food offerings have built up a fine reputation, so escape the hustle and bustle of the city and check out the suburbs.
20 Stainbeck Lane, Chapel Allerton, Leeds LS7 3QY Website
Nation Of Shopkeepers
Visitors to the Courtyard many years ago will recall its accommodating outside…..erm……courtyard, but now Nation of Shopkeepers have gone all fancy and decked it out for you, with tables and chairs and stuff. It’s even got a more airy feel to it than before, and as its right in the heart of Leeds city centre, that’s quite an achievement.
29 Cookridge Street, Leeds LS2 3AG Website
Northern Monk Refectory, Holbeck Urban VIllage
The people with the midas touch who seem to do everything right, and their beer garden is no exception. While it is still in a distinctly ‘industrial’ setting, the merry Monks have built an actual living garden in their car park and after a few hours supping their monstrously accommodating ales it really could be the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
The Old Flax Store, Marshall Street, Leeds LS11 9YJ Website
The Old Peacock, Churwell
While housing thirsty Leeds United fans for 25 days a year, for the other 340 the Old Peacock is a spacious family pub and one of Ossett Brewery’s many successes. The beer garden was once a bowling green and is rumoured to be the biggest beer garden in Leeds, while a decking area at the front of the pub overlooks Elland Road stadium. If you like that kind of thing.
251 Elland Road, Leeds LS11 8TU Website
The weather is set to be great all week, so come & join us for some al fresco dining & see what's cooking.....https://t.co/8BQh5gUE6w pic.twitter.com/ZDFPel70n9
— The Old Peacock (@oldpeacockleeds) May 23, 2017
Oracle Bar, City Centre
A bar that was quite plainly built for outside seating, its circular terrace overlooks Millennium Bridge and the soothing ripple of the River Aire, and is the archetypal sun trap for those endless afternoons where it feels like a bank holiday and you don’t really care if you get sacked in the morning.
3 Brewery Place, Leeds LS10 1NE Website
The Original Oak, Headingley
Another relic to the forgotten art of crown green bowling. Many a passing historian will doubtless wince at the Oak’s beer garden, but frankly, they needed the space, and The Oak have done a great job with this huge beer garden that comes alive when sporting events are on in the summer.
2 Otley Road, Headingley, Leeds LS6 2DG Website
The Palace, City Centre
A well-known haven for beer drinkers, but also offering a picturesque beer garden with plenty of space yet somehow creating a cosy feel. Part of the garden is covered, so that’s probably it, and when it goes dark they put on nice fairy lights, and basically it’s all lovely and snug, and we like that.
Kirkgate, Leeds, LS2 7DJ Website
Parkside Tavern, City Centre
This place has undergone a series of name changes in recent years, but one thing that has prevailed is an excellent beer garden with rows and rows of picnic tables neatly located on a vast expanse of decking. As city centre beer gardens go, it takes some beating.
Merrion Street, Leeds LS2 8JE Website
Restaurant Bar & Grill, City Centre
The other behemoth that spreads across City Square when the sun comes out. Making full use of the glorious architecture of the Old Post Office is the Restaurant Bar & Grill, who must live for the sunny days when their vast outside seating area becomes a welcoming site to everyone arriving into Leeds.
The Old Post Office, 3 City Square, Leeds LS1 2AN Website
The Rodley Barge, Rodley
Not the biggest outside drinking area but probably the quaintest, and definitely the closest you will get to water. You can pretty much sit with your hand playfully drifting through the ripples of the passing canal and tickling ducks, as barges chug past and you are transported to the idyllic Norfolk Broads from a friendly, family-run Free House in West Leeds.
Town Street, Rodley, Leeds LS13 1HP Website
Roundhay Fox, Roundhay
Many an over-long slog around Roundhay Park has ended slumped in front of the Roundhay Fox as one of your party is dismissed inside to sort drinks out. On the edge of the park, the Fox sits as an antidote to healthy activity and a classic village boozer offering decent beers and wholesome food.
Princes Avenue, Roundhay, Leeds LS8 2EP Website
Sheaf Street Cafeteria, City Centre
Slightly out of town near Crown Point and the Tetley, but this little gem is building a fine reputation as a chilled out escape from the rat race, and packs in charm in the shape of a backyard style outdoor area. Equally welcome is a fantastic veggie-heavy, but not exclusively, food menu from ex-Northern Monk starlets Grub & Grog.
3 Sheaf Street, Leeds, LS10 1HD Website
Sky Lounge, City Centre
If people want to live the high life, they tend to head to the Sky Lounge for excellent cocktails and exclusive company, and also for panoramic views of South Leeds from its outside veranda. Honestly, it’s better than it sounds, and if you suffer from vertigo the ground level bar at Double Tree Hilton also has an excellent canal side outdoor area.
2 Wharf Approach, Granary Wharf, Leeds LS1 4BR Website
The Social, City Centre
Another gem with a quaint little sunken beer garden which nobody but us ace people really knows is there. Great views of the adjacent St Johns Church and a decent selection of affordable beers for when you have to venture inside for those pesky bar trips.
21 Merrion Street, Leeds LS2 8JE Website
Water Lane Boathouse, City Centre
The new venture from the fine folk behind Belgrave Music Hall and Headrow House, which has built on all the best ingredients of the previous Pour House. But even the worst bar owners in the world would be able to make the most of the tranquil waterside outdoor area, possibly the best in Leeds.
Canal Wharf, Water Lane, Leeds LS11 5PS Website
The West End House, Kirkstall
A nice, traditional family pub that does great food, and offers an addition to a decent little pub crawl if you’re taking in Kirkstall Bridge and the New George too. The beer garden is small but pretty and is a lovely sun trap when that big fiery orange thing decides to show.
26 Abbey Road, Leeds LS5 3HS Website
Whitelocks Ale House, City Centre
The pub that ticks almost every box going, still. Yes, it’s long and slender outdoor area is a place to meet the ‘characters’ of Leeds, but it is also a great little escape from an exhausting shopping trip, and the draining heat of town.
Turk’s Head Yard, Leeds LS1 6HB Website
Delivering coffee to Whitelocks on a day like today places some awful strong temptation in a man's path. ☀️😓💭🍻❄
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The Woods, Chapel Allerton
Specialising in craft beers and pizza this is another reason why Chapel Allerton is building itself quite an enclave of quality bars. Set over three floors, The Woods has a top balcony with lovely views and a covered ground floor area, which can be heated as required. Worth a trip for an alternative night out to the norm.
5 Stainbeck Corner, Chapel Allerton, Leeds LS7 3PG Website