Afternoons in the beer garden with friends in the summer – they’re one of the simple things in life that we all came to cherish during the pandemic. Drinks in the sunshine are back on the menu again, and there’s nothing quite like them! We’ve been exploring Lincoln’s pubs to find some of the best spots, and we’ve been amazed to find beer gardens of all shapes and sizes. Some are in pubs we’ve been visiting for years but didn’t even know they had one! Here are our favourite beer gardens in Lincoln to enjoy this summer.
1. The Golden Eagle
Some of the very best beer gardens in Lincoln are located away from the city centre. That’s certainly the case with the Golden Eagle, which happens to be one of the closest pubs to our home on the south side of the city. That’s lucky for us, because it’s a real hidden gem!
Also featured in our rundown of the best real ale pubs in Lincoln, the Golden Eagle has a reputation for a great selection of hand-pulled beers, and there’s always something new to try. It’s a friendly place with an ‘everybody is welcome’ atmosphere.
While we haven’t intended a particular ranked order for this list, we started with the Eagle as its beer garden really is fantastic and has become somewhat of a local for us. You would never guess when looking at the front of the building that it has such an ample, comfortable outdoor drinking space hidden away behind it.
The beer garden looks as though it was purpose-built for social distancing rules in the pandemic, but it has actually been there since well before Covid was about. It is arranged into spacious wooden booths that are well sheltered from the rain. In summer, events such as beer festivals and charity dog days (yes, dogs are welcome too) are held in the garden.
It’s a 15–20 minute walk down the High Street from Lincoln train station to reach the Golden Eagle, but totally worth the effort!
2. The Strugglers Inn
The Strugglers Inn is a pub that is steeped in Lincoln history. Its name harks back to the 19th century when it was a prime spot for revellers to gather and watch public executions. Today, the pub is an iconic feature of uphill Lincoln and is renowned for its excellent selection of real ales, for which it has won a string of awards.
Something that isn’t immediately obvious when you glance at the Strugglers is that it has a hidden beer garden out the back. The sunken-terrace garden is nestled underneath the walls of Lincoln Castle, and on summery days it is the perfect sun trap. We also like to sit out here on warm evenings in the atmospheric setting as the sun goes down.
Like everything at the Strugglers, the beer garden is full of character. The scattered tables and colourful chairs are interspersed with green plants, bright flowers and repurposed barrel tables. Dogs are very welcome here, and we like bringing our boy Regan as there is plenty of space for him.
3. The Treaty of Commerce
Another pub in Lincoln that has an unexpectedly large beer garden in contrast to its cosy-looking building front is the Treaty of Commerce. In fact, I had been in this friendly place quite a few times before I even realised it had a beer garden!
The Treaty is set in one of the most recognisable buildings on Lincoln High Street, a slender Victorian townhouse with a striking black-and-white facade, just south of the level crossing by the train station. You can enter the beer garden via Albion Yard, a small alleyway one building down from the pub on the left-hand side.
The garden stretches out far to the rear of the pub and catches plenty of sunlight during the daytime. As you can see in the picture above, there’s also plenty of sheltered seating for when it rains.
As a Bateman’s pub – a Lincolnshire brewery – the Treaty always has good local ales on draught, as well as regular guest ales.
4. The Birdcage
Ten minutes’ walk to the east of the city centre on Baggholme Road, the Birdcage is one of the jewels in Lincoln’s vibrant local pub scene. In our interview feature with the Birdcage manager Rachael Brooke, she told us what went on behind the scenes at the pub during the pandemic, including a series of refurbishments.
The pub’s lovely beer garden was a main focus of these refurbishments. A new sheltered area was set up with heaters and covers, as well as improved lighting. There is also a speaker outside, enabling live entertainment and pub quizzes to be held.
Much of the renovation work was done with the help of the Birdcage’s dedicated regulars, which is reflective of its spirit as a community pub. It’s also a very welcoming place to anybody new who comes along, and dogs are allowed too, which is always a bonus for us!
5. The Adam & Eve Tavern
Renowned to be Lincoln’s oldest pub, the 300-year-old Adam & Eve Tavern is another of our firm favourites. It has a very spacious interior, but we usually head outside to the courtyard beer garden up some stairs at the back.
The garden is very nicely sheltered. While it’s next to the busy road up Lindum Hill, you honestly hardly notice the sound of traffic, as you are separated from it by a hefty old limestone wall. Look above the wall and you can see Lincoln Cathedral peering majestically over.
Several wooden benches are scattered around the beer garden, and there are also a couple of booths with seating that were installed during the pandemic. It’s another good real ale pub and there’s a menu of lovely classic pub food at very reasonable prices. All the ingredients you need for a Saturday afternoon in the sunshine!
6. Bentley’s Bar (The Jolly Brewer)
It’s been amazing to see so many Lincoln pubs reinvent themselves over the last couple of years. Bentley’s Bar, formerly known as the Jolly Brewer, is another local venue that undertook major renovations during the pandemic, making the most of extremely difficult times.
While the pub has had a thorough makeover, expanding the bar area and decorating throughout, many of the old favourite features have been kept in place, such as the Jolly Brewer signs and wall murals.
Outside there is a fully covered beer garden that was set up to allow outdoor events after reopening. It’s now a brilliant setting for live music, with bands playing regularly. The pub has developed a reputation as one of the city’s most active music venues, hosting a regular programme of live acts from near and far.
The pub is just a short walk to the east of the city centre, situated on Broadgate close to the crossover between Silver Street and Monks Road.
7. Queen in the West
Across to the west side of Lincoln, the Queen in the West on Moor Street is an excellent traditional local inn with a welcoming atmosphere. It’s nicely located away from the busyness of the city centre, but still not too far to walk (about 15 minutes from the High Street).
The pub has a cosy beer garden to the rear with freshly painted picnic tables, shelter from the elements and a large TV for live sports. It’s a great little spot for afternoon or evening drinks with friends.
The Queen also has one of the best pub quizzes in town – come down on Thursdays at 8:30pm.
8. The Lion and Snake
Located at the heart of the popular Bailgate in uphill Lincoln, the Lion and Snake’s beer garden has a fabulous setting. The spacious outside area is nestled under the striking view of Lincoln Cathedral’s towers.
It’s also close to many of the city’s attractions, and so perfect for a relaxing pint with a great value meal in the sunshine after exploring the castle grounds or the shops on Steep Hill and Bailgate.
The Lion and Snake is one of the oldest pubs in the city, set in a Grade II listed building. The Museum of Lincolnshire Life even has an old sign from the pub dating back to the 19th century.
9. The Horse & Groom
The Horse & Groom, an 18th-century pub but with a modern feel, has one of the most spacious beer gardens close to Lincoln city centre. It has a great accessible location where Carholme Road meets the west end of the Brayford Waterfront.
The pub is run by the Ever So Sensible group, which has several pubs and restaurants across the Midlands, including a couple more in Lincoln – the Royal William IV and the Duke William Hotel. It also runs the Ferry Boat in Washingborough nearby. All of the group’s pubs use the same app-based booking system, so you can order food and drinks from your phone and have it delivered to your table.
This pub serves hearty food, which is delicious if a little pricy compared to other pubs outside the city centre. You can wash it down with one of the fine Lincolnshire ales on offer.
10. The Victoria
Uphill Lincoln is home to some cracking pubs, one of which is the Victoria. This is another Bateman’s establishment, so a great choice for supping some Lincolnshire-brewed ales. You can’t missed the red sign on its giant whitewashed building side walking up Union Road.
The Victoria’s beer garden has a lovely view right next to the castle walls. It is an ample area for outdoor drinking, with wooden picnic benches lined up in the courtyard, and plenty of space.
Its wide open locations means the beer garden gets a lot of sunlight, so it’s perfect for those pleasant summery afternoons.
11. The Pyewipe Inn
Sometimes you just can’t beat a beer garden at a British riverside pub. This summer we’re planning to tour several in Lincolnshire and write about the best we find around the county. I’ve never looked forward to a piece of research so much!
Our favourite waterside pub close to home is the Pyewipe Inn, perched on the Fossdyke Canal a couple of kilometres outside Lincoln to the west. You can reach it via an easy scenic walk beginning at the Brayford Waterfront. Check out our guide to the Pyewipe Inn walk for the details.
The Pyewipe has a gorgeous grassy beer garden next to the canal path with an abundance of tables. Most are in the sunshine, but there are a few under the shadow of a giant oak tree if you prefer the shade. Come on a Sunday and try one of the pub’s fabulous classic roasts.
12. Nosey Parker
If you’re looking for a pub that does decent cheap grub, has a spacious beer garden is easy to reach by car, Nosey Parker on Tritton Road is a good shout. It’s a Greene King chain pub with regular two-for-one and other discount deals on food.
The beer garden has plentiful seating on well spaced wooden benches, and there are more tables and chairs dotted around the outside of the building. Friendly table service is provided, and you can also order by app.
Nosey Parker has a big car park and is located right next to Tritton Retail Park, so you can combine a stop-off at the beer garden with an afternoon of shopping.
13. The Tiny Tavern
Few pubs have as tumultuous a story to tell about their experiences in 2020 as the Tiny Tavern on Lincoln High Street. This new micropub set in a 17th-century cottage opened its doors for the first time just a week before the first lockdown hit.
Despite the incredible challenges, mother-and-daughter team Emma and Steph managed to keep the beer flowing, and are now pressing ahead with their vision to grow it as a community pub. See our interview feature with Emma and Steph to find out more.
The Tiny Tavern was able to pull through largely thanks to its homely beer garden at the rear providing invaluable extra space. It’s a secluded spot where you can really feel at home while enjoying the brilliant range of ales on the menu, sourced from microbreweries both local and further afield.
Beer gardens in Lincoln: map
You can see the locations of the beer gardens in Lincoln we’ve picked out in this article on the map below.
What are your favourite beer gardens in Lincoln? Let us know in the comments below. We’ll keep adding to this list the more we explore!
For more ideas to experience the best of Lincoln, see our guide to things to do in the city.
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