20 gorgeous pub gardens
Fancy a pint? Hell yes! While there are new rules to navigate, when the sun shines, you want to make sure you have a table booked in one of the best pub gardens in the county. Here are 20 to get your chops around.
Is there anything more British than a beer garden in the sunshine? Whether you want your green space near a river, meadow, fields, village or city, we’ve scoured Kent for the best in show.
Bear in mind that many of these pubs will have booking systems in place to limit their capacity, so don’t just rock up expecting to nab a seat – make sure you check the websites or phone first!
The Potting Shed, Langley
Situated in Langley, just south east of Maidstone, The Potting Shed is a rather handsome pub with stylish interiors – and down-to-earth, decent pub fare. With a stunning beer garden and high vaulted ceiling, it’s the ideal destination for a party gathering / large family group kind of get together. This opens out to the beautiful beer garden which boasts an amazing outside space as well as a herb and vegetable garden. Out here, you can enjoy delicious, relaxed dining from the brilliant Burger Shack (complete with veggie options). Find out more and read the Muddy Review.
The Duke William, Ickham
Have you discovered this rural pub which boasts one of our favourite beer gardens – and the food is as good as the view? That’s the Duke William for you, an attractive pub in the heart of the tiny, idyllic village of Ickham. This is one of Mark Sargeant’s eateries, so you’re in safe hands food-wise, and it also boasts one of the most picturesque beer gardens you can imagine, complete with open views across corn fields. And a brilliantly convenient children’s play area too. They are currently open Thurs-Sun with limited capacity and reduced menu, so please book before you head here and don’t forget to read the Muddy Review!
The Dirty Habit, Hollingbourne
The Dirty Habit is a beautiful 13th century pub nestled in the Kentish village of Hollingbourne. It’s just a short walk from Leeds Castle on the Pilgrims Way, making it perfect for walks and bike rides from the pub. Once a hot spot for the pilgrims who would pass through on their way to Canterbury and it is said that James II stayed here whilst escaping the country to France. Enjoy their modern menu in their cosy outside patio and take note to have a special occasion in their beautiful period room ‘The Monks Corner’ with oaks beams to the apex and an inglenook fireplace.
The Leicester Arms, Penshurst
The Leicester Arms Hotel has been at the heart of Penshurst village for several centuries, once forming part of the Penshurst Estate. It is loved by locals, ramblers, cyclists, local businesses and over-nighters alike. The restaurant itself is kid-friendly, with a great menu. Secondly there’s the beer garden outside lends itself well to stretching restless legs. Thirdly, the location is day-tripper heaven. You’ve got Penshurst Place a couple of hundred metres walk up the road (more on this below). Or Hever Castle 5 mins by car and the best is at the end of the Tudor Cycle Trail. Make sure you book your table before heading here as they have a limited menu and limited capacity with seated service only. Don’t forget to check out the Muddy Review before you go.
The Pig & Sty, Bethersden
The Pig & Sty set in the pretty village of Bethersden, eight miles from Ashford, located in the heart of the Kent countryside and is part of the Elite Pub group. Fab for kids (outdoor playground to the menus which includes options for toddlers and older children), a buzzy and fun place to go with girlfriends or a group of adults with their outdoor bar and huge garden space. Their menu covers most most palates and all ages. Elderly relation in tow? No problem. They can head towards the traditional fish & chips with mushy peas? Snobby foodie with you? No bother – they could go for the Rye bay stone bass with Kentish new potato, cavalo nero, samphire & brown shrimp butter sauce. Or is there a sulky teen in your midst? Well they can enjoy a sourdough pizza from its artisan wood fired oven. Book your table now.
The Dove, Dargate
The Dove at Dargate, is a stunning Gastropub set in the heart of the Kent countryside, only 15 minutes by car from either Faversham, Canterbury or Whitstable. Assured fun and friendly atmosphere with their fast-growing reputation for producing seriously good food, you can’t go wrong here. Their menus are fresh, seasonal and created using local produce so they chop and change regularly. They are currently taking bookings inside and outside in their beautiful garden, so don’t miss out! Tried and tested, read the Muddy Review before you go. You could make a day of it and try the three mile walk through Blean Woods which starts from The Dove and does a loop back to where yous tarted, meaning you have well and truly earnt your lunch – with or without the kids.
The Milk House, Sissinghurst
The inside of The Milk House may be closed for now but you can still hop on down to their Hopper Hut! The outside bar is inspired by the temporary huts provided for hop-pickers on Kentish farms in the 19th century. Book a table on the terrace (drinkers welcome to walk-in!), enjoy their brand new menu and a well-earned midweek drink in the garden. This village pub is at the heart of the community and you can explore Sissinghurst with the historic castle and gardens just a half a mile’s walk from the pub. Read more here.
The Great House, Hawkhurst
This 16th-century inn set in the heart of the Kentish Weald has a magnificent orangery overlooking the private garden, with a traditional lynch gate and a herb garden adding to its charm. The Great House is well-known for serving a top notch roast and Wood Fired Sourdough Pizza in the Mediterranean style stone terrace is the ideal place to enjoy summer evenings. Cheers.
The Dog, Wingham
The Dog at Wingham a friendly, stylish, foodie pub – which has also now listed in the Top 50 Gastropub Awards so you know the food here is top notch. Superbly located on the road that links Canterbury and Sandwich, and near Wingham Wildlife Park. With 8 beautifully designed bedrooms, a Dog Walking Club, great food and cute sun terrace for al fresco eating this one is well worth a visit. Want our full report? Read the Muddy Review.
Seafood at the Winery, Squerryes Dining Room & Terrace, Brasted
For sun-filled days you’ll want to book a spot on Squerryes’ Terrace overlooking the vines – which could easily pass for the south of France rather than just west of Sevenoaks. Open Weds – Sun from midday, enjoy mouth-watering seafood married with fresh seasonal ingredients from the 2,500 acre Squerryes estate and a glasses of chilled Squerryes fizz. Offering tapas style sharing plates during the day or fine dining in the evening – you’ll love this unique eating out experience. Make sure to book your table (maximum parties of 6) before setting off! Want our full report? Read the Muddy review here.
The Chaser Inn, Shipbourne
Looking for a charming family-friendly pub, a beer garden to soak up the sun and a wondersome walk? Introducing The Chaser Inn – the original flagship venture for pub group Whiting and Hammond. Attracting regulars from near and far – this pub sits in the pretty Shipbourne countryside, over-looking the green-cum-common with lots of rural lanes to explore in the immediate area, so particularly popular with walkers and cyclists. Think standard pub fare rather than swanky dining, grab a table in the pretty side garden, bordered with hedges and shrubs and overlooked by the church. They have a few new additions like a one-way system inside the pub and ‘check ins’ so make sure to book your table and read up on their guidelines before you head off.
Galapagos at The Old Vine, Cousley Wood
A wonderful slice of South American sunshine on the Kent/Sussex border – offering something different that you just won’t find anywhere else. Galapagos is still a relatively new restaurant where you’ll find authentic Latin American dining in a rural 15th century pub – right in the heart of the High Weald’s stunning Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Out the back there’s a pretty little beer garden and further seating at the front of the building. The rear beer garden is walled with a colourful mural, bringing a fun, bright and exotic feel to the setting. Why not make a day trip of it and walk the 40 mins round trip to Bewl Water and back? Make sure to book your table: 01892 782271. Read the full Muddy review.
The Small Holding Farm & Kitchen, Kilndown
Winner of Best Restaurant in Kent in the Muddy Awards 2019, The Small Holding boasts a slice of foodie heaven where the menu changes every day – because the chef grows all his own ingredients. Situated in one acre of beautiful Kent countryside with growing, foraging and cooking at the heart of its ethos. It’s relaxed, welcoming and definitely a foodie destination with the kitchen element being the star of the show. The sunny decked area overlooking the smallholding at the front is perfect for weekend walkers. Inside there’s a cosy bar, wooden floorboards and old farm equipment decorating the walls. Will Devlin is one of Kent’s most exciting chefs and brother Matt is a great knowledge on the wine/drink side of the restaurant and will match your food choices with the best wine or craft beer options, should you wish.
Best of all you’ve got the sunny decked area at the front that overlooks the smallholding where you can soak up the sun – perfect for weekend walkers. They will be opening with a brand new menu, a multi-taste dining experience featuring the ingredients on that day from the farm and local suppliers – so everyday will be different! Read our full review here.
The Vineyard, Lamberhurst
If you’re looking for a relaxed lunch out with the family you can’t go wrong with this friendly, rural pub. The Vineyard‘s outside dining space overlooks the large beer garden, so let the kids loose, grab a corner garden sofa or sit on one of the dining stools near the outside bar and pretend you’re on holiday. Whilst the play area in the garden is closed for now, there’s enough room to kick a football – meaning you might get five minutes to enjoy a glass of something cold in the sunshine. The Burger Shack has a separate menu to the main dining area, offering pork, chicken, lamb or 100 percent English beef burgers – or our personal favourite, the veggie chickpea, jackfruit & tahini burger. Book your table here before ya go!
The Three Chimneys, Biddenden
Nestled in the most scenic surrounds, near Biddenden, The Three Chimneys is an exceptional pub. The food is fabulous, there’s loads of pockets of outside space – from sunspot terraces in which to sink an afternoon rosé to the spacious back garden where kids can roam freely (although it’s a more grown up space – personally I’d prefer to enjoy this one Mini Muddy-free). There’s some lovely luxury rooms here too if you wanted to make an over-nigther out of it. Read the full review here.
The Three Mariners, Oare
Long a local community hub in the waterside village of Oare, and overlooking the river leading to The Swale, near Faversham, The Three Mariners also draws diners from far and wide having made a few waves in the foodie world. If you’re anywhere in the Faversham, Sittingbourne or Whitstable area it’s well worth a visit as it sits conveniently in the centre of those three east Kent towns. Book a table and enjoy their new ‘Mindful Dining’ menu! Want the Muddy Report before you go? Read our review here.
The Red Lion, Stodmarsh
The Red Lion, Stodmarsh is a handsome and historic pub, located near Canterbury, received a favourable review by restaurant critic Marina O’Loughlin in the Sunday Times, but not before Muddy got there – (pen posed and pudding spoon-ready). And we were equally impressed, read our review here. The pub classics are there but with a sophisticated twist – but it’s the beer garden that wins the prize with its colourful picnic tables and uninterrupted views of the countryside ahead. We’d recommend to walk the beautiful Stodmarsh National Nature Reserve to work up an appetite before your visit to this stylish pub!
Kentish Hare, Bidborough
The Kentish Hare, in nearby Bidborough, is listed in the national Top 50 Gastropub Awards and was Winner of Best Destination Pub in the 2019 Muddy Awards. Every time we’ve visited this eatery it always makes the gourmet grade, is welcoming and stylishly designed (with the hare theme and quirky furnishings dotted around the place). There’s a beer garden here and lots of pockets of space here and you’d be just at home having a grown up meal out with the mother-in-law in the main dining room, or feeding your kids in the more relaxed bar area.
The Poacher & Partridge, Tonbridge
The Poacher & Partridge is a spacious, open plan family-friendly pub with floor to ceiling glass doors leading to the large garden and views stretching across Kent’s open farmlands. The pub is just a short walk from All Saints Church; the only church in the world to have all its stained glass windows designed and made by the Russian artist Marc Chagall (fact fans).
The Little Brown Jug, Chiddingstone Causeway
We love The Little Brown Jug‘s beer garden huts which are open all year round and seat up to 8. You can roll the sides down for privacy or warmth and they’re plugged into the mains, providing heating and lighting – you also get table service instead or ordering at the bar. The food here is typically pubby, but decent enough, the staff are friendly. This is also a family-friendly pub with a children’s play area just visible through the trees.