Afternoons in the beer garden with friends in the summer – they’re one of the simple things in life we’ve all been missing. Drinks in the sunshine will feel that extra bit special this year as the world opens up again! We’ve been exploring Lincoln’s pubs behind the scenes in between lockdowns to find some of the best spots, and we’ve been amazed to find beer gardens of all shapes, sizes and decorations. So, here are some of our favourite beer gardens in Lincoln to enjoy this summer.
Unless otherwise stated, all of the pubs listed here are open for business from 12 April.
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 – especially for the situation in 2021. 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 is purpose-built for social distancing and the rule of six, but it has actually been there since before the pandemic. It is arranged into spacious wooden booths that are well sheltered from the rain. In summer, during normal times, 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 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.
3. 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 had been going 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 once it’s possible again.
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!
The garden is open from 12 April, and food will be served again from 17 May.
4. The Dog and Bone
Also on the east side of the city, the Dog and Bone on John Street has undergone a transformation in recent times after changing ownership. Its roomy beer garden is full of character, with beautiful art murals on the walls and an array of colourful tables.
This is one of Lincoln’s charming backstreet pubs, with more plans under way for makeovers in 2021 before the indoor area reopens. Watch this space – we’ll be covering this soon in our local stories. The new owners are full of enthusiasm and ideas to keep improving this place.
The Dog and Bone beer garden is open from 14 April on a first come, first served basis (no bookings).
5. Bentley’s Bar (The Jolly Brewer)
It’s been amazing to see so many Lincoln pubs reinvent themselves during lockdown. Bentley’s Bar, formerly known as the Jolly Brewer, is another local venue that has undertaken major renovations over the last year, 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 can hold up to 100 people with social distancing measures in place. As unlocking progresses, live music will return to the setting too. During normal times, the pub is 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.
6. 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.
When unlocking allows it again, the Queen also has one of the best pub quizzes in town – come down on Thursdays at 9pm.
7. Tap & Spile
The Tap & Spile has been a favourite pub among locals in Lincoln for decades. Despite a series of closures in the last couple of years, the pub has bounced back strongly, and has now also joined forces with a local pizza business to offer something a little different. Weirdoughs Pizza Emporium began serving pizzas and waffles from the premises in January 2021.
Tucked away on Hungate, the Tap & Spile is centrally located, just a couple of minutes’ walk from the top of the High Street and the base of Steep Hill. Its bright and colourful beer garden is a perfect escape to enjoy some real ales in the sunshine.
The beer garden is open for bookings from 12 April, while live music and quiz nights will return after 17 May.
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.
Given its prime location, the beer garden is likely to be popular when open from 12 April – you can book a table by messaging the team on Facebook.
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. 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 for distancing.
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 have managed to keep the beer flowing, and are now looking forward to growing it as a community pub.
The Tiny Tavern has been 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.
Emma and Steph are planning to welcome customers at the Tiny Tavern again from 17 May (the beer garden is not quite big enough to be able to open from 12 April).
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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