York’s best beer gardens – updated for 2019. Cheers!

Thor's Sol Ást tipi bar outside Principal York

The sun is finally out, so we’ve wiped the rain off our beer garden guide.

There’s no time like the present to try them out.

Thanks to nominations from YorkMix readers – and our own diligent research of course – here’s a thoroughly tried and tested list of the city’s top outdoor drinking spots.

If we’ve missed your favourite, let us know in the comments.

Happy summer!

City centre hotspots

Thor’s Sol Ást tipi bar

Thor’s Sol Ást tipi bar, Principle York, Station Rd, York YO24 1AA


Relax in this fabulous, lush garden-setting for the summer Thor’s Tipi.


Spark:York, 17-21 Piccadilly, York YO1 9PB


Watch the World go by from this vibrant mix of street food and independent drink businesses.

The Red Lion

The Red Lion, 2 Merchantgate, York YO1 9TU


Enjoy a traditional pint in a beer garden tucked out of sight in the heart of the city.

Shambles Tavern

Shambles Tavern, 44 Shambles, York YO1 7LX


A small but perfectly formed beer garden, overlooking the market and off York’s most famous street.

The Corner Pin

The Corner Pin, 17 Tanner Row, York YO1 6JB


Bask in the sun-trap that is the beer terrace of this traditional oak-beamed pub.

The Gillygate

The Gillygate, 48 Gillygate, York YO31 7EQ


Stylish inside, and relaxed outside: that’s the Gillygate. There’s a good-sized beer garden and the Shed, a venue for all kinds of entertainment.

Lamb & Lion

Lamb & Lion Inn

2-4 High Petergate, York YO1 7EH


This popular haven is part of the history of York, being built on to the city walls. Still a big favourite with our readers.

Stonegate Yard

Stonegate Yard, 8-10 Little Stonegate York YO1 8AX


Close to York Minster, Stonegate Yard has a lovely enclosed beer garden with modern furniture.

Waggon And Horses

Waggon And Horses, 19 Lawrence Street, York YO10 3BP


One reader described a pint in the Waggon’s beer garden as ‘paradise’. And we’re not going to argue.

The Whippet Inn

The Whippet Inn, 15 North Street, York YO1 6JD


The Whippet’s menu is known for its steaks, and you can stake a claim to a place in the sunshine in its small beer garden.

White Swan

The Old White Swan, 80 Goodramgate, York, YO1 7LF


A great place to eat, drink and be nosy. Sit and sup in this beer garden backed directly onto Goodramgate and you’ll see the whole city pass by.

Ye Olde Starre Inn

Ye Olde Starre Inn, 40 Stonegate, York YO1 8AS


This is one of York’s oldest pubs, and so, we assume, one of the oldest beer gardens. What it lacks in space it makes up for in its location and history.

Yorkshire Bar & Grill

St Maurice’s Road, York

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The refreshment arm of the Monk Bar Hotel has what it describes as York’s best kept secret – a suntrap of a beer garden, with plenty of greenery.

Riverside rendezvous

The Polish Vodka Bar

The Polish Vodka Bar, 24 Walmgate, York YO1 9TJ


Feel fabulous by the Foss, as you drink spirits from around the World.

Brew York

Enterprise Complex, Walmgate, York

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The brilliant Brew York brewery and tap room hosted the YorkMix fifth birthday bash, so we’re biased. But what was already a rather nice al fresco location has just got better, as its riverside beer garden has been updated and improved.

City Screen

13-17 Coney Street, York

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A great place to chill and watch the world float by on the River Ouse. And when you’ve had a drink on the riverside terrace, perhaps take in a film.


The Motor House, Skeldergate Bridge, York

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Dyls is about to reopen after a massive makeover – and just in time for summer. It’s a beautiful spot to sit either in the designated seating area or just on the riverbank.

Postern Gate

90 Piccadilly, York

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Judging from its rather modern exterior and place on Piccadilly, which is never going to win the award for York’s loveliest street, you wouldn’t expect a view like the one above. But this is what you see when seated on one of the Postern Gate’s 12 picnic tables.

Star Inn The City

Lendal Engine House, Museum Street, York

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With Museum Gardens one side, and the river on the other, you have the best of both worlds on the Star’s large terrace.

Top terraces

Cave du Cochon

37 Walmgate, York

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This wine bar is a relatively recent addition to the Walmgate food and drink scene. And it has a compact terrace out the back for mixing sunshine and wine.

Fossgate Social

Fossgate Social, 25 Fossgate, York YO1 9TA


When it comes to beer gardens, it isn’t the size it’s what you do with them. And the Fossgate Social is always doing something different, including various flavours of live music, in its backyard.

Golden Lion

9 Church Street, York

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What was little more than a dumping ground above the Golden Lion has been transformed into a small but stylish sun trap.

The Habit

The Habit, 40 Goodramgate, York YO1 7LF


As you venture across the Habit’s threshold, you are greeted by a friendly welcome but no indication of what lies above. This is York’s finest licensed roof terrace bar none.

Judge’s Lodging


9 Lendal, york

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There are more opportunities to drink outside at the Judge’s Lodging than any other bar. Not only do you have the beer garden at the front, but some first floor decking, complete with comfy outdoor sofas.

The Maltings

The marvellous Maltings

The Maltings, Tanner’s Moat, York YO1 1HU


No other pub is like the Maltings. One of the real ale pioneers in York it has more character than umpteen chain bars lumped together. Its outdoor area overlooking Lendal Bridge is a more recent, and very welcome, addition.

Rook And Gaskill

Rook & Gaskill, 2 Lawrence Street, York YO10 3WP


The Rook has another hideaway of a garden, but it’s a nice spot to try one of the many real ales on offer.

Further out

The Fox

The Fox, 168 Holgate Rd, York YO24 4DQ


A large and popular beer garden that is perfect for families

Fulford Arms

121 Fulford Road, York

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The Fulford Arms may be many miles from the sea. But that hasn’t stopped the pub from creating its very own beach in the beer garden. Totally tropical…

The Golden Ball

The Golden Ball, Cromwell Road, Bishophill, York, YO1 6DU


York’s community-run pub has a small but well-kept garden which you can see from the city walls. Worth dropping in to (but not straight from the walls.)

The Inn on the Green

3 The Green, Acomb

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The Green in question is the one in Acomb. This handsome, well-run pub also boasts a rather superior outdoor drinking area.

The Lysander Arms

Manor Lane, Rawcliffe, York

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A new entry for 2017, the Lysander Arms got the vote of several readers. And looking at the large, beautifully kept beer garden, you can see why.

The Rose and Crown, Sutton on the Forest

Main Street, Sutton on the Forest, York

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Not only is this a stylish and relaxing beer garden, it backs on to some playing fields too. Great if you have kids.

The Swan

The Swan, 16 Bishopgate Street, York, YO23 1JH


On the corner of Clementhorpe, the Swan is well worth the walk out of town. Chill here with a fine pint and friendly company.

The Walnut Tree

The Walnut Tree, Heworth Village, York, YO31 1AN


The Walnut Tree in Heworth is one of the greenest of our open spaces, and is popular with families.

The Woodman, Bishopthorpe

16 Main Street, Bishopthorpe, York

More details

Another new entry, this pub in Bishopthorpe boasts a large and lovely plot for a summer’s drink.

55 thoughts on “York’s best beer gardens – updated for 2019. Cheers!

  1. Surely the Shambles Surf Bar/ Shambles Food Court should be on there?? This little gem of an area is nestled in behind the Shambles at the bottom corner of the market. Great atmosphere, great range of summer drinks and the best selection of street food vendors in York- vendors include Krep crepes & galettes, Los Moros North African, Shambles Kitchen Burritos, Stan & Maria’s Greek + Pizza, Thai, Burgers..
    This area is open all year round and in winter the bar puts on its winter coat and becomes an Apres Ski Bar with great winter themed drinks and even fake snow!! It’s got to male the list surely??!!

  2. Wow, this is a nice place for drinking Beer, I liked. I want to enjoy a traditional pint in a beer garden tucked out of sight in the heart of the city.

  3. Visit the long standing Shambles Tavern, 44 Shambles. Not a pop up. Works really hard 12 months a year inside and out to offer the best of service. Outdoor Heating and great locally sourced food access from the Shambles and Shambles Market

  4. Can’t believe The Fox on Holgate Rd isn’t mentioned. Huge beer garden. Great for families. Loads of stuff going on

    1. Hi Danny, the gardens listed have all been suggested by our readers. Since you have now nominated The Fox, we have added it. Thanks.

  5. No mention of the hidden gem that is the Volunteer Arms. One of the best beer selections in York and a pleasant little beer garden. Why does this fantastic local always get forgotten?

  6. Visited The Maltings, The Ackhorne, The Golden Ball (lovely beer garden) and The Swan last night. What about The Slip? We didn’t go outside (my mate wanted to see the end of the cricket) but the beer garden there looked very nice.

  7. I hate you, YorkMix.. for giving away a treasured secret.. the Lamb and Lion 🙂 Seriously, this is a great guide!

  8. I don’t see the Grey Mare in Clifton
    Mentioned. Have not been back to York since 2006 ( sob 🙁 ) hope it’s still there .

  9. The Woodman in Bishopthorpe is not on this list? It by far has the best garden that also caters for the kids with a huge fab play area! #winwin

    1. Sorry, the presence of kids and “play areas” tend to ruin any pub. Disqualified from the outset.

  10. Well what a joke this list is who ever compiled it.they have missed off enterprise inns pub in bloom winners 2014 The Green Tree,beckfield lane which has the most amazing beer garden with all natural flowers grass etc & is well worth sitting in & chilling.also it’s missed off The Mitre,Shipton rd which opened its brand new beer garden in may this year & again is fantastic & a lovely place to relax.maybe the compiler should pay these gardens a visit.

    1. Hi Elise. Thanks for these nominations. We don’t know all the great beer gardens out there so rely on readers like you to give us tips too. Will check these out with a view to updating.

  11. 1 or 2 of those listed can hardly be classed as gardens, more like ‘outdoor drinking areas/courtyards’. You’ve missed 3 decent places I can think of straight away on the walk out of York towards Heworth…
    …Scream, next to Monkgate Bar – nice suntrap in afternoon beside Bar Walls; Black Horse also Monkgate, and also, how could you forget the Shoulder of Mutton, Heworth Green – a large beer garden and kids play area at rear.

    1. Hi Shandy. We’re using ‘beer gardens’ as the generally accepted shorthand for ‘outdoor drinking area’ – realise there’s not much greenery in some of these! Thanks for the Shoulder of Mutton nomination, we’ll look to update and include soon.

  12. Ahhh the walnut tree is looking great outside. My old local. Many a great pint with Eric and John. Paul Snowden Carl Dunnington Gareth sullivan. Happy days x

  13. Hmmm. Many of these are not gardens by any stretch of the imagination. Perhaps it should be Yorks best outdoor drinking areas plus some that are actually indoors?

  14. on the way out of town on monkgate the black horse (was tap and spile) has a nice seated area to the rear and some good specialty beers.

  15. Why no mention of the fantastic terrace overlooking the river at The Star Inn the city on Lendal, best of both worlds with river and garden views.

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