When the sun comes out in Bristol, there's only one thing to do, find a perfect al fresco spot to settle down in the sunshine and grab a cider.

Here we round up 6 of our favourite spots;

King Street

The outdoor space between two legendary Bristol pubs is a hive of activity on sunny afternoons and balmy evenings. The pedestrianised end of King Street is permanently filled with pub benches shared between The Llandoger Trow and The Old Duke. The latter has live jazz every night of the week and the tables outside make the perfect place to perch while tapping your feet with a pint of local ale or cider. Just yards away you will find The Apple with its outdoor area too.


White Lion, Clifton

This bar at the Avon Gorge Hotel has the greatest terrace in the city. Get there early for a seat over by the wall. The terrace is perched at the top of the Avon Gorge, right next to Bristol’s iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge. You can see for miles up here and the terrace is also the perfect spot to enjoy the sun setting behind the bridge. You’ll also get a great view of the hot air balloons majestically floating across the city from their launch site at Ashton Court.


Beeses Tea Gardens

Nestled next to the River Avon in the south-east of the city, Beeses is best reached by boat (Bristol Ferry Boats and Bristol Packet Boat Trips run tours) or via a leisurely walk though Conham River Park and then a trip across the river in the ferry operated by Beeses (just wave). Cream teas and roast lunches are spectacular in the beautiful gardens and the bar does a great selection of local ales and cooling ciders.

Beeses Bar Garden


Arguably the largest sunny terrace in the city centre, Bambalan serves up some relaxed Meditteranean bites with cocktails and fizz. It also has ping pong tables and plenty of seating for even the busiest days!

Bambalan terrace

Queen Square

During one of the many events in Queen Square over the summer months there is nothing better than finishing work on a Friday and popping in for a quick pint of Thatchers, but you lucky tourists get to reach the bar as soon as the doors open! Don’t miss Comedy Garden and the Harbour Festival as two of the highlights, but there are plenty more. The Square is a real sun-trap in the late afternoon.



The top spot is a bit of a cop-out as it isn’t reserved to just one place. The ultimate place to be when the sun is out is the Harbourside. There is so much choice that the sun will have set well before you have exhausted the options! A lunchtime tipple in one of the bars and restaurants close to the Watershed will see the sun in your face, but later in the day you need to move round to find the rays. Some personal favourites (in no particular order) are:

  • The Cottage: chill out on the steps by the water, watch the balloons float over and try not to laugh at people learning to sail.
  • The Pump House: Amazing food and great ales which is just the ticket after walking along the Harbourside to get here.
  • The Grain Barge: Get a seat on the top of the boat and enjoy a pie and a pint while the world passes you by.
  • The Ostrich: This pub is 90% beer garden and located right next to the notorious Redcliff Caves. On the southern side of the Harbour, this is just a short walk from Arnolfini.
  • Last but not least is The Matthew, a replica of the ship that John Cabot sailed from Bristol to discover North America in 1497. The ship has regular harbour and gorge trips but the best option has to be a fish and chips tour at sunset.


For even more options for al fresco eating and drinking, check our listings here.

About the author - Jon Chamberlain


Jon is the Marketing Executive at Visit Bristol. He has lived in Bristol for over 10 years, is married and has a young family. When not working Jon loves pub walks, growing vegetables and eating great food.


Llandoger Trow
the Llandogger Trow Bristol

One of the oldest pubs in Bristol, serving traditional pub food and drinks

The White Lion Bar
The White Lion Bar

Restaurant with a private terrace overlooking the Clifton Suspension Bridge

Watershed Cafe Bar
Watershed Cafe Bar

Cafe bar serving up quality food and drink in a relaxed Harbourside location

The Grain Barge
The Grain Barge

Friendly bar/restaurant on historic converted barge in a beautiful Harbourside location.

The Matthew
Historic Ship
The Matthew Bristol

Based in Bristol’s floating harbour for much of the year, the Matthew is popular for harbour tours as well as longer sailing trips.