Post Lockdown: Leicester Beer Gardens Guide

On the 12th April (at the earliest) we will hit Leicester beer gardens as lockdown is eased. Pubs with outdoor areas will be able to open with six people (or two households) able to mingle. I am *very excited*. As I write it is 123 days since I last went to the pub. That is obscene. I have a small baby that should be stroking pub dogs.

Therefore, as a public service (and not some sort of personal bucket list obviously) I would like to present my semi definitive guide to Leicester beer gardens as your quick reference guide. Some are bars, some are restaurants you can just head to for drinks. Some are just a couple of bistro tables out the front in the city, so that’s not really a beer garden at all. Of course just because they have an outdoor space, they may not re-open immediately, so do check in advance. You can click and read what I have written about some of these pubs in the past although as far as I am concerned, everyone should have a clean slate this year.

You can find out why #PubsMatter to me by reading this post. And you can share why they matter to you on social media by using the self same hashtag.

Those of you who have been around for a while will remember my best beer garden competition in 2015. This may indicate that I have been writing about beer gardens for quite some time. I consider myself quite the expert in fact. However, I am fallible. If I’m missing somewhere, comment below, email me or drop me a line on social media.

Leicester City

  • The Addies
  • The Black Horse, Aylestone* – beautiful pub dog, mammoth homemade burgers, great comedy
  • The Black Horse, Braunstone Gate* – there’s something compelling about the 1st floor terrace, people watching the Tesco car park below.
  • Barley Mow
  • Bee’s Knees
  • The Blackbird
  • Bowling Green
  • Bricklayer’s Arms
  • Bridle Lane Tavern* – not the most picturesque garden, but home to Zion Community Kitchen
  • Bruxelles* – Secret garden
  • Cherry Tree
  • The Clarendon
  • Counting House
  • Cradock Arms* – Lots of outdoor space here
  • Cricketers
  • Crow’s Nest
  • The Donkey
  • The Dove
  • Dover Castle
  • The Exchange
  • Fat Cat
  • Firebug
  • The Glen
  • The Globe
  • Good Neighbours
  • Heathley Park
  • High Cross
  • The Hind
  • Humber Stone
  • Keeper’s Lodge
  • The Kings Head* – Love the first floor terrace here, one of Leicester’s hidden gems
  • Knight & Garter* – Great wine list and a fantastic people watching spot by New Market Square (or Green Dragon Made Up Name Whatever It’s Called)
  • The Lansdowne
  • Lloyds No 1/Corn Exchange
  • Loaded Dog
  • Manhattan34
  • The Meadows
  • Merry Monarch
  • Marquis Wellington* – Another one of the best beer gardens in town, sun trap booths.
  • New Road Inn
  • Observatory
  • The Old Horse* – The ULTIMATE city centre beer garden. It goes on for miles and miles. They have the Blues Brothers, and owls.
  • O’Neill’s
  • Orton’s* – I really love this classy little terrace overlooking Curve, perfect for drinks.
  • The Parcel Yard* – Have fond memories of Burger Battles here. Rough and ready tables, but something quite inclusive about this pub
  • Queen of Bradgate* – Nearly the winner in 2015 and still one of my favourites in town. A peaceful oasis.
  • Real Ale Classroom
  • Revolution
  • Rutland & Derby* – Always packed on a sunny day, great suntrap garden. Very good menu too.
  • The Salmon* – Cosy, local, great football watching pub. Under new management since I was last in, can’t wait to return.
  • Sir Robert Peel
  • Soar Point* – Worth it for duckling watch at this time of year, if you can elbow the students out of the way.
  • Swan & Rushes
  • Tom Hoskins
  • Tonne
  • The Tree* – It’s not quite the same as The Orange Tree, but it is still a big, beautiful garden.
  • The Union
  • The Western* – Hopefully reopening under Everards/Sir Robert Peel owners I think. Dog friendly, community local.
  • West Leicester Conservative Club
  • The Willow
  • Winstanley House* – Set in its own part it’s a beautiful building, not very interesting beer, but great outdoor potential.
  • Wygston’s House* – Wonderful outdoor space overlooking Jubilee Square – hope they’ve taken the testing centre down which really ruins the view.

Leicestershire (within 10km of the city only)

  • 1852 Brewery Co, Wigston
  • Aberdale, Knighton
  • Axe & Square, Countesthorpe
  • Badger’s Sett, Cropston* – Vintage Inns, but great outdoor space, next to a field for running
  • The Baker’s Arms, Blaby
  • Black Dog, Oadby
  • The Black Horse, Blaby
  • Blue Bell, Rothley
  • The Bradgate, Newton Linford* – Great stop off after Bradgate Park, loads of outdoor space
  • Bradgate Arms, Cropston* – Refurbished a few years ago, this has fantastic social distancing potential
  • The Britannia, Queniborough
  • The Brookside, Barkby
  • The Bulls Head, Blaby
  • The Bulls Head, Countesthorpe
  • The Bulls Head, LFE
  • The Bulls Head, Whetstone
  • The Castle, Kirby Muxloe* – Vintage Inns pub but lovely garden
  • Coach & Horses, Anstey
  • Copt Oak, Narborough
  • Cow & Plough, Oadby
  • The Crown, Anstey
  • Dog & Gun, Enderby
  • Dog & Gun, Keyham
  • Dog & Gun, Kilby
  • Dog & Gun, Syston
  • Dog & Gun, Whestone
  • The Dovecote, Narborough
  • Forest Park, LFE
  • The Forge, Glenfield* – High quality village local, fun quiz
  • The Fox, Oadby
  • Fox & Hounds, Syston
  • The Fox & Tiger, Blaby
  • The Fox Pond, Great Glen
  • The Gate Hangs Well, Syston* – Under new management, I’m looking forward to seeing how this pans out
  • Grange Farm, Oadby* – Super pretty pub, super pretty garden. Last time I visited, lovely menu.
  • The Griffin Inn, Swithland* – One of the prettiest pubs around with lots of great, socially distanced outdoor space. High on my list.
  • Grove, Enderby
  • Gynsills, Glenfield* – Playground for the nippers if you need such facilities!
  • The Harrow Inn, Thurmaston
  • Hobby Horse Farm, Syston
  • Hope & Anchor, Syston
  • The Horse & Groom, Queniborough
  • Horse & Trumpet, Wigston
  • Lime Tree, Whetstone
  • Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, Oadby
  • The Malt Shovel, Barkby
  • Mash & Press, Anstey* – Beautifully renovated beer garden during lockdown one, featuring pear and apple tree. Comfortable tap house.
  • Midland Railway, Syston
  • Mill Hill Cask & Coffee, Enderby
  • Nag’s Head, Enderby
  • Nag’s Head, Glenfield
  • Narborough Arms, Narborough
  • Nautical William, Wigston
  • The Navigation, Kilby Bridge
  • New Inn, Enderby
  • Oadby Owl, Oadby
  • Old Black Horse, Houghton on the Hill
  • Old Crown, Wigston
  • Old Hare and Hounds, Anstey
  • The Old Plough, Birstall
  • Old Vicarage, Whetstone
  • The Plough, Ratby
  • Pug & Greyhound, Great Glen
  • Pumping Station, Croston
  • Queen Victoria, Syston
  • The Railway, Countesthorpe
  • The Railway, Glenfield
  • The Railway, Ratby
  • Red Cow, LFE
  • Rose & Crown, Houghton on the Hill
  • Rose & Crown, Thurnby
  • Rothley Court Hotel, Rothley
  • Royal Oak, Cossington
  • Royal Oak, Great Glen
  • Royal Oak, Kirby Muxloe
  • Royal Oak, Rothley
  • Stadon Social Club, Anstey
  • Stamford Arms, Groby* – Great menu, added in lots of little socially distanced booths last year.
  • Star & Garter, Wigston
  • Top House, Thurmaston
  • Two Steeples, Wigston
  • The Wheatsheaf, Thurcaston
  • The Wheel, Oadby
  • The White House, Scraptoft
  • White Horse, Birstall
  • Woodsman’s Stroke, Rothley* – Lovely little beer terrace at this adorable pub, but little is the word – I wonder if they will open.
  • Yews, Great Glen* – Loads of room here outdoors

Now I’ve put this list together and realised how long it is, I’m not sure I can usefully expand on it here! I’ll put an asterisk and short description by the ones I personally know well and would like to visit on a sunny afternoon but perhaps I need to consider some more detailed features over the next month!

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