Official Guide to Edinburgh
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Relax in Edinburgh's brilliant beer gardens

02 July 2015

[Image credit: The Pear Tree

Summer is here and it’s that time of year when you want to gather your mates and snag that ideal table in the sun. With so many bars and pubs in Edinburgh that have beautiful outdoor surroundings, you are bound to find that perfect spot to spend a sunny afternoon. Read on to find out about a handful of our favourites:

The Cumberland Bar

Cumberland Bar Credit FB

[Image Credit: The Cumberland Bar Facebook]

Nestled in the Georgian splendor of the New Town, The Cumberland Bar is a quiet spot often favoured by residents in the area. Their leafy beer garden is an excellent place to spend the longer summer evenings with a cold beer in hand.

The bar serves a great range of beers and ales including a fantastic variety of Scottish-made brands. They also have a great food menu so why not make a day of it with lunch or dinner alfresco - their Cumberland Bar Beef Burger and traditional Sunday Roast are local favourites.  

The Cumberland Bar (website) is at 1-3 Cumberland Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6RT

The Blackbird

The Blackbird Credit FB

[Image Credit: The Blackbird Facebook

This quirky spot is a great place to enjoy cocktails in the sun. Their colourful beer garden buzzes with good vibes on a sunny day and is open for brunch on weekends if you want to make the most of the summer days by getting out there as early as possible! When the sun goes down the fairy lights come on so you can keep soaking up the atmosphere into the the wee small hours. 

The Blackbird (website) is at 37 - 39 Leven Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9LH

The Raeburn

The Raeburn Credit Fb

[Image Credit: The Raeburn Facebook]

This grand Georgian hotel, restaurant and bar is Stockbridge's go-to on a sunny day. While nearby Inverleith Park is great for a picnic if you want to catch up with friends over a wine this is the place to be. Take a seat in the front garden area, furnished with oak benches and heaters so you're all set if the temperature begins to drop. Alternatively, if you're looking for some alfresco dining, book a table in their first floor terrace which is open for lunch and dinner.  

The extensive bar offers classic cocktails, carefully selected wines and whiskies as well as a great range of craft beer and cider. 

The Raeburn (website) is at No. 112 Raeburn Place, Edinburgh, EH4 1HG

The Beehive Inn

The Beehive Inn Cr Website

[Image credit: The Beehive Inn

This little pub on The Grassmarket looks quite unassuming from the outside, but if you make your way through the maze of tables to the back door you’ll discover a huge garden over three levels, with room for over 200 people to bask in the sunshine under the shadow of Edinburgh Castle.

However, if the weather takes a turn, you can always venture inside to their dining room, which serves food from 12pm and boasts fantastic views of the Grassmarket.

The Beehive Inn (website) is at 18-20 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2JU.

Beer & Skittles 

Beer Skittles Courtyard

[Image Credit: Beer & Skittles Facebook]

If you're a serious beer fan head to Picardy Place and discover Beer & Skittles courtyard in the basement of Steak Restaurant. Beer & Skittles is home to over 100 beers from around the world so when the sun is out and beer is calling their courtyard is the place to be.

If hunger strikes while your there then order the perfect partner to your beer, a Steak Burger. Or if burgers aren't your thing then their chilli cheese dogs or pulled pork buns will work nicely.

Beer & Skittles (website) is at 14 Picardy Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3JT 

Indigo Yard

Indigo Yard Beer Garden Cr Indigo Yard

[Image Credit: Indigo Yard Facebook]

If you find yourself in the West End on a sunny day make a bee line for Indigo Yard, just off the beaten track on Charlotte Lane. While its location gives it a Hidden Gem-feel, on a nice day it's easily found and buzzes with fellow sun worshipers.

Indigo Yard is big on "craft, cork and cocktails" so whatever your tipple you won't be stuck for choice. Foodies meanwhile will be pleased to find a menu bursting with a huge variety dishes using great local produce.

Indigo Yard (website) is at 7 Charlotte Lane, Edinburgh, EH2 4QZ 

The Portobello Palm Tree

Portobello Palm Tree Garden Cr Facebook

[Image credit: Porty Palm Tree Facebook

This recent addition to the Portobello bar scene boasts a fantastic beer garden, complete with decking, a kid’s sand pit and (you guessed it) palm trees! They have a great cocktail menu which is perfect for supping away in the sun.

If you’re feeling hungry, be sure to order something from the open air barbeque, which always has something tasty cooking on the grill such as Chimichurri cheeseburgers, Moroccan spiced chicken thighs or orange & lime steamed hake. Delicious!

You can find The Porty Palm Tree at 87 Portobello High Street, Portobello, EH15 1AW.

The Three Sisters

Three Sisters Courtyard Cr Twitter

[Image credit: Three Sisters Twitter]

One of the Cowgate’s most popular haunts, The Three Sisters boasts an expansive open air courtyard outside, complete with a huge outdoor screen to watch the weekend’s sporting events. You won’t go hungry here either – it was the proud venue of the recent Old Town Street Food Festival and food stalls regularly set up camp for special events such as the Wimbledon Final and the Festival Fringe, which usually sees this place packed to the rafters.

The Three Sisters (website) is at 139 Cowgate, Edinburgh, EH1 1JS. 

The Royal Dick

Royal Dick Courtyard Cr Twitter

[Image credit: Summerhall Twitter]

Hidden in the belly of Summerhall you’ll find the Royal Dick, once the Small Animal Hospital of the Dick Vet School and now a unique watering hole in the heart of Newington. It also enjoys the benefit of being in the same building as the renouned distillery of Pickerings Gin and the brewery of Barney's Beer.  

The Royal Dick has an open air courtyard out the front, so it’s the perfect vantage point for watching the comings and goings of Summerhall, which you can lazily observe while enjoying your glass of wine, pint, gin or Irn Bru!

The Royal Dick (website) can be found in Summerhall, 1 Summerhall, Edinburgh, EH9 1PL. 

The Pear Tree

Peartree Garden Cr Website

[Image credit: The Pear Tree

Just down the road from Summerhall you’ll find student favourite The Peartree, which is quick to fill up on sunny afternoons and during festival season. Enjoy your drink in beautiful leafy surroundings, then once you’re done head over to the Meadows to catch even more rays, which is just a short walk away.

The Peartree (website) can be found at Pear Tree House, 38 West Nicolson St, Edinburgh EH8 9DD.

Teuchter’s Landing

Teuchters Landing Cr Facebook

[Image credit: Teuchter's Landing Facebook]

A favourite with workers in the Shore area of Leith, Teuchter’s landing has a lovely terrace on the edge of the canal. It’s particularly popular on sunny Friday evenings for after-work drinks, and they boast one of the best selections of whisky in the city. 

Feeling the burn? Teuchter’s Landing have you covered, quite literally, as free sun cream is available at the bar.

You can find Teuchter’s Landing (website) at 1c Dock Place, Leith EH6 6LU.

Shackleton's Bar & Brasserie 

Shackletons Beer Garden

There are quite a few reasons to check out Shackleton’s Bar & Brasserie, but none better than their incredible sundeck. Nestled out the back of Channings Hotel, the sundeck is surrounded by a beautiful garden and is the perfect location to enjoy an ice cold beer or jug of Pimms while the weather is fine.

Located in Stockbridge on a characteristic cobbled street, Shackleton’s Bar & Brasserie sundeck is possibly one of Edinburgh’s best keep secrets, the perfect haven away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Shackleton's is located at Channings Hotel, 12-16 South Learmonth Gardens, Edinburgh EH4 1EZ (website).

With so many fine beer gardens in Edinburgh, there is no excuse to get out there and enjoy the city. Find even more great pubs and bars in our hidden gems section.