The best beer gardens in Chelmsford

A colorful beer flights is illuminated against a bright sunset. 4 glasses of different beers are se

Try out some of the best beer gardens in and around Chelmsford. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Enjoying a cold brew in a suntrap beer garden is a warm weather joy. That's why Essex Life has picked out the best pubs with cracking beer gardens in and around Chelmsford. 

Words by Victoria Purcell & Fred Humphries

1. The Fox & Raven, Chelmsford

A country-style inn dating back to the 1800s, The Fox and Raven is as traditional pub with a kitchen serving classic pub grub, and cask ales and a stack of gins behind the bar. 

The large beer garden offers a piece of rural charm, with views across the countryside. Inside is just as charmingly bucolic should the evening weather turn chilly. 

Address: Barnes Mill Road, Chelmsford CM2 6NL


2. The Woolpack, Chelmsford

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Recently undergoing a change in ownership, The Woolpack in Chelmsford is an award-winning pub home to the Woolpack Beer Festival, which takes place three times a year. It's also got a range of real ales, as well as craft beers to try and the kitchen plates up classic British fare. 

The programme of entertainment is long, and the large beer garden is a suntrap courtyard and a great location for a cold drink on a warm, sunny day. 

Address: 23 Mildmay Road, Chelmsford CM2 0DN


3. The Running Mare, Chelmsford

An 18th century pub serving up local cask ales, cocktails and an Ego kitchen plating up Sunday roasts, as well as Mediterranean dishes of the likes of chargrilled steaks, paella, kebabs, fish and seafood. 

The pub also has a lovely, grassy beer garden, as well as a paved outdoor seating area as well. 

Address: Running Mare Lane, Chelmsford, CM2 8PN


4. The Square and Compasses, Fairstead 

Nicknamed The Huffer, this traditional country pub is set in picturesque countryside. The building, which dates back to the 1600s, retains many of the original features inside. 

The kitchen uses local producers where possible and serves up wild game such as pigeon, partridge rabbit and venison. On the taps, you've got cask ales and there's a good selection of wine too.  

Address: Fuller Street, Fairstead, Chelmsford CM3 2BB 


5. The Rose & Crown, Writtle 

The Rose & Crown has been a family fun business for over a decade, while the pub itself dates back to 1962. It has annual beer and gin festivals, as well as a strong selection of local and international ales and ciders and more than 40 gins to try. Live music happens on the weekend, showcasing local musicians and bands.  

Address: 57 The Green, Writtle, Chelmsford CM1 3DT 


6. Channels Bar & Brasserie, Little Waltham 

Admire the grounds surrounding the Channels Estate and enjoy a bottle of prosecco or a few beers as the sun sets on another glorious summer day out in the Essex countryside. Based just off Essex Regiment Way, Channels can easily be found following an afternoon exploring the historical highlights in nearby Chelmsford. 

Address:  Little Waltham, Chelmsford CM3 3PT 


7. The Compasses, Littley Green 

Best known for their enormous selection of Essex huffers - they have around 20 different fillings for these oversized rolls - The Compasses epitomises countryside living in both its food and its traditional pub atmosphere. On a lovely summer evening you can enjoy that huffer out in their garden along with plenty of others who will no doubt be accompanying their traditional meal with a local ale from the extensive selection. 

Address: Littley Green, Chelmsford, CM3 1B 


You may also like unusual Essex days out or a local's guide to Saffron Walden.