Seeing as it’s summer in Edinburgh (apparently), we thought it apt to pull together a list of our favourite bars with much sought after outside space! On the rare occasion the sun graces us with it’s presence, everyone and their mother flocks to beer gardens, balconies and terraces. We need to take advantage of the better weather while it is lasts, so here is our definitive guide to pubs and bars with fantastic outdoor drinking space. (We have avoided George Street and Rose Street establishments as these are rather obvious, and we are more in the game of finding lesser known gems).
Re-opened after a recent refurbishment, The Peartree can not only boast that it is one of the oldest buildings in the area (it was built in 1747), but it is also home to one of the best beer gardens in the city! Testament to this is the flocks of students who populate the wooden benches on sunny days during the week, but expect a more varied crowd at the weekend. With regular live music acts, outdoor big screen showings of live sport, and a newly introduced food menu, this gorgeous leafy courtyard is the perfect place for a sunny Sunday afternoon!
The Cumberland Bar
If somewhere a little more relaxed is more your thing, The Cumberland Bar in Edinburgh’s New Town, is a great shout. Reminiscent of the traditional pubs you find south of the border, The Cumberland despite being popular, takes life at a slightly slower pace. With a beautiful and secluded beer garden, nestled amongst the towering Georgian townhouses, this pub is great for catching up with friends after work or a quick refreshment after browsing the Stockbridge Sunday market. Fans of good beer would do well to visit The Cumberland too – they have an impressive selection of regular craft ales, as well as an ever-changing rotation of guest appearances.
Venture down Advocate’s Close from the Royal Mile and not only will you uncover a fantastic view point with many a photographic opportunity, you will also come across The Devil’s Advocate, a sophisticated bar and restaurant, housed in an old Victorian pump house. This industrial-chic bar offers a gigantic selection of world whiskies and some cracking cocktails (some of their bartenders are award-winning!), all in a super cool setting than will impress your friends from out of town. The outside decking area is small and hidden away amongst the historic Old Town buildings, but you would be hard pushed to find a more fitting outdoor space to sit and sip on a dram of whisky in the heart of the Scottish capital.
They claim to be home to the best beer garden in Edinburgh despite the stiff competition (see above), and whether you agree with this or not, we love The Blackbird’s outside space purely for it’s cool urban style. They recently gave their garden a refresh and invited ‘Mr Doodle’, a graffiti artist from England, to decorate some of the outside walls in his crazy trademark artwork! The garden also has its own gin hut, serving up a whole host of delicious Bombay sapphire cocktails! The Blackbird is quirky and cool, making it the perfect place to start your evening off, before heading into town to continue the merriment!
The Outhouse Edinburgh
This casual bar nestled away just off Broughton Street, has a beer garden that stays open well into the evening, making it perfect for those long summer nights when you don’t want to have to move! This bar has regular events happening from great live music gigs, to themed parties and BBQs (when the weather allows it!). Enjoy local and world beers, cocktails and seasonal drinks in their dog-friendly beer garden, without feeling like you have to dress up! They also have the added bonus of outdoor heaters because as Edinburgh-natives, they know summer doesn’t usually extend long into the night in this city!