10 pubs with pretty beer gardens in Canterbury

The beer garden at the Lady Luck Bar (photo courtesy of the Lady Luck Bar)

The beer garden at the Lady Luck Bar (photo courtesy of the Lady Luck Bar) - Credit: Archant

Summer in the city is best spent in a beer garden, so we have selected some of the best pubs with beer gardens for al fresco drinks and tasty food in Canterbury.

1. The Parrot

1-9 Church Ln, St Radigunds St, Canterbury CT1 2AG

One of our favourite spots for a burger, the Parrot on Church Lane, also has a sun trapping courtyard beer garden. Reportedly one of the oldest pubs in the city, the Parrot was built in the 1300s, and many historical features remain, including exposed wooden beams and open fireplaces. Food is British with a modern twist and includes open sandwiches with toppings such as sticky barbecue pulled pork with chorizo sausage, mustard slaw and a red pepper and tomato chutney.

Why we love the Parrot: portions are decidedly large to stave off hunger, and there are plenty of real ales on tap, too – perfect to enjoy in the sunshine.

2. The Lady Luck Bar

18 St Peter's St, Canterbury CT1 2BQ

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Bringing a touch of rock and roll to the ancient city's centre, the Lady Luck is a cool spot to enjoy a tipple and music with live bands hosted throughout the year. Another great spot for burgers and homemade pies, classic pub fare, and sumptuous desserts, why not pick a song on the jukebox and head outside to the beer garden?

Why we love the Lady Luck: decorated with band stickers and film posters, this is a friendly place with a dedicated children’s menu and lots of options for vegetarians and vegans.

3. The Dolphin

St Radigunds St, Canterbury CT1 2AA

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Bursting with green foliage in the warmer months, the beer garden at the Dolphin is a lively place to sip a glass of something. Food is simple but packed with flavour and includes pub favourites and tempting desserts such as homemade blackberry and pear crumble and a Belgian waffle with toffee-banana sauce and double cream ice cream – all to be enjoyed outdoors.

Why we love the Dolphin: its vibrant atmosphere has us excited for summer, and it has a hearty Sunday roast with your choice of beef, lamb, pork, chicken, baked vegetable and mixed nut patty, or a spinach and mushroom pie with roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, cauliflower cheese, braised cabbage, roast carrots and parsnips and stuffing – phew!

4. The Unicorn Inn

61 St. Dunstans St, Canterbury CT2 8BS

Cosy in the winter with its log burning fire and exposed brickwork, the Unicorn Inn has a charming pub garden to unwind in and while away an afternoon during the summer months. With ever-changing, well kept real ales on tap and an extensive food menu packed with juicy burgers, pizzas, fish and chips and much more, this is a hidden gem in the centre of the city.

Why we love the Unicorn Inn: intimate spots have been arranged in the garden to allow guests to chat over drinks and food in peace; what could be better on a Saturday afternoon?

5. The Cricketers

14 St Peter's St, Canterbury CT1 2BQ

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Once you’ve spent the morning exploring the city, duck into the Cricketers on the bustling high street with its courtyard garden or on-street seating at the front. Another great spot for burgers and shareable plates such as the nachos; or doorstopper sandwiches packed with fillings such as pork sausages with red onion chutney, served with fries.

Why we love the Cricketers: there is plenty of choice on the taps with Masterbrew, Spitfire and Whitstable Bay Pale Ale as permanent fixtures and changing guest ales to test out too!

6. The White Hart Inn

Worthgate Place, Dane John Mews, Canterbury CT1 2QX

Historical pub the White Hart Inn has a large pub garden that acts as a magnet for visitors during those long summer days. With plenty of real ales and an extensive wine list, order your drinks, then head outside – you can even bring the dog too! Food includes classics such as ploughmans, fish and chips, and Chilli Con Carne, all cooked well with locally sourced Kentish ingredients.

Why we love the White Hart: there are events and offers throughout the week: Mondays see a pie and a drink for £10; Tuesdays are quiz nights (supposedly with a chance to win £1million!); Thursdays are burger and a drink day for £10, and Sundays have succulent roasts available.

7. The Old City Bar

2 Oaten Hill Pl, Canterbury CT1 3HJ

Seek solace in the shade or brave the sun in the large beer garden in the Old City Bar on Oaten Hill Place. Time your visit for one of the live music events held throughout the summer in the garden (keep up to date on the Facebook page).

What we love about the Old City Bar: there is a hefty selection of ales, ciders, wine and more to be enjoyed alongside traditional pub fare and changing specials on the food menu.

8. The Shakespeare

5 Butchery Ln, Canterbury CT1 2JR

Renovated in 2013 with a fresh interior and augmented food menu, the Shakespeare has joined the ranks as one of the best pubs in the city to enjoy food and drinks al fresco. Supporting producers in the county, as locally as possible, the Shakespeare has ales from Faversham and British beef for its steaks, burgers and sandwiches.

What we love about the Shakespeare: a relaxed, traditional tavern, this is a great place to catch up with friends and while away a summer’s evening outdoors.

9. Ye Olde Beverlie

St Stephen's Green, Canterbury CT2 7JU

If you fancy Mexican food that’s “better than a Mexican restaurant”, you’ll love the Ye Olde Beverlie on St Stephen’s Green. Why not start with nachos topped with melting cheese, salsa, guacamole, sour cream and jalapenos to share before moving on to chipotle pulled pork tacos; grilled vegetable and halloumi skewers; or paprika chicken and Spanish chorizo sausage enchiladas?

What we love about Ye Old Beverlie: not feeling Mexican today? Go for one of the pub classics such as beer-battered cod and chips or Welsh rarebit macaroni cheese. Of course, it should all be enjoyed in the sun with a local beer in hand!

10. The New Inn

19 Havelock St, Canterbury CT1 1NP

Real ale free house, the New Inn on Havelock Street has a small but inviting beer garden decorated with fairy lights and trellises crawling with plants. With a focus on real ales and ciders, the taps often change, so be sure to check back and discover a new favourite.

What we love about the New Inn: you can enjoy live music or a beer and cider festival at this unassuming pub, a perfectly cosy spot to enjoy some drinks, food and conversation surrounded by flora in the garden.

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