Nothing beats a couple of hours in a pub garden in the height of summer, especially if they have a view.
Our region has some of the best, from rural Shropshire and Staffordshire to the heart of the Black Country.
And, while today’s weather may not be the best, there will be sunny days ahead of time when a visit is in order, provided it is socially spaced of course. Here are just a few tips to try …
The Plum Pudding, Armitage
Located along the Trent-Mersey canal in Armitage, near Rugeley, Plum Pudding is a delightful place to spend a sunny summer day watching the boats go by.
With wooden benches along the tow path and a more formal decking area surrounded by colorful garden planters, it’s no wonder that The Plum Pudding has long been popular with hikers and canal lovers. It also has an excellent Italian restaurant which attracts people from near and far.
Whether you are looking for an outdoor meal or just want to enjoy a few drinks while admiring the view, it is worth visiting.
The Last Inn, Newport
On the edge of a popular Shropshire merchant town, this laid-back brasserie serves first-rate British pubs.
Focused on a family-friendly environment, reflected in the fresh and healthy children’s menu at the beautiful enclosed outdoor space used for garden games.
You’ll find more than you’d expect from The Last Inn with a crackling fire in the winter and homemade afternoon tea in the summer.
A local pub offering exceptional food and service.
The Oakley Arms, Brewood
Part of the Brunning & Price chain, you know that The Oakley Arms will supply a wide range of constantly evolving cask beers, a variety of wines and other drinks and good traditional pub food.
But it’s the spacious and attractive beer garden that really makes The Oakley stand out. Large and spacious, good quality garden furniture creates a pleasant environment, as well as well-kept shrubs. The large smoking shelter is also an interesting feature of the garden.
But the real highlight is the lake. The beautiful private lake located just below the decking area is what this pub does.
Populated by various waterfowl, there is a small island in the middle of the swimming pool and steps lead down from the decking area if you want to stroll around it.
Alternatively, take a table overlooking the lake, although it may be necessary to move quickly on a summer day.
A nice touch is the can of dog biscuits behind the counter.
The Windmill Inn, Rowton
The view across Shropshire must be seen to be believed – a true hidden gem. The windmill sits atop a ridge that rises from the Severn River valley, surrounded by hills, Stiperstones and Devil’s Chair, Cornden, Long Mountain, Breiddens, Middletown Hill, Rodney’s Pillar, the Berwyns, Nesscliffe, Grinshill and the Wrekin – everyone can be seen on a 360 degree panoramic horizon.
After immersing yourself in the view, you can take a walk to the real windmill – and for the more energetic, to the village of Alberbury and return for another pint to the pub. For those who want to relax – dive into Shropshire; with a pint made in the county, meat reared in the county and one of the pub puddings.
The bell and the cross, Clent
Clent is an area surrounded by excellent pubs and The Bell & Cross is probably the best known of all.
Once owned by the chef of the English football team, The Bell & Cross was part of the Michelin Red Guide. His departure was followed by a couple of troubled years, but under new ownership, the pub appears to be on the rise again.
A well-kept topiary arch welcomes visitors from the main parking lot and the garden is well-tended.
Surrounded by rolling countryside, The Bell & Cross is located in an attractive setting. The garden, closed by a privet hedge, is well cared for. The right place to enjoy a pint of Enville Ale, Timothy Taylor or Wye Valley HPA.
The Boathouse, Shrewsbury
With a prime river location and a view of Quarry park, the Boathouse understandably has one of Shrewsbury’s most famous beer gardens.
Located right next to Porthill Bridge, the pub’s decking overlooks the river directly, offering the opportunity to get there by kayak or boat.
With real beer, wine, light snacks and full meals it’s a great place to sit, take Shrewsbury and sit back to watch some people.
Your biggest difficulty will be to find a table.
Anchor Inn, Coven
Another riverside pub, the anchor benefits from an excellent location close to Staffordshire and the Worcestershire canal in Cross Green, just north of Wolverhampton.
Formerly Fox & Anchor, the pub was renovated a few years ago by the owner Vintage Inns.
And you have to say that the company really, ahem, pushed the boat on this to make the most of its position.
White and fresh balustrades, elegant rattan furniture and large contemporary umbrellas give this place a holiday atmosphere.
And if you arrive by narrow boat, it is unlikely to lose you – a huge sign on the outside wall welcomes you here.
Why bother going abroad when you can relax on the bridge here?
The Swallow’s Nest, Romsley
Another Vintage Inn, The Swallow’s Nest is located in the picturesque village of Romsley, just outside Halesowen.
Offering a good range of excellent beers and well-priced food, the back garden features an attractive patio area with a mixture of wooden and rattan furniture.
There is an attractive range of hanging baskets and neat shrubs to give it a relaxing atmosphere, and the decorated lamppost is a nice touch.
But The Swallow’s Nest is all about vision. Miles and miles of unspoiled countryside. A wonderful place to stay while the sun sets at the end of a mild night.
The Hundred House Hotel, Norton
Nestled in the heart of Norton, the lush garden of The Hundred House Hotel is a true hidden gem.
The award-winning secret garden was designed by Sylvia Phillips and her husband Henry, who spent many years collecting interesting and unusual sculptures to decorate.
The garden also has over 70 different varieties of herbs and edible flowers, which are used to flavor the dishes inside the hotel restaurant.
Chef Stuart Phillips said: “In addition to the flower garden we also have a delightful herb garden filled with over 70 varieties of herbs, fruits and vegetables that are used by our chefs to create the freshest flavors that guests can savor.
“During spring you will find Cherry Blossom, thousands of bulb flowers such as multicolored tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, alliums and dancing pond flowers. Summer will bring a variety of flowers, including David Austin Roses, Giant Agapanthus, Dahlias, Clary, Fuchsia, Arum Lilies and much more.
“The autumn months bring the richest of colors in our numerous trees, red, copper, gold and pink inside the garden and thousands of berries adorn the walls and the external hedges of the hotel, which remain red and orange until the winter, when it also finds Snowdrop, Hellebore, Viole and Crocus. ”
The Mug House, Bewdley
You will have to wait another 10 days for a pint at The Mug House, which plans to reopen on July 14th.
That said, it will be worth it, especially if the weather is nice.
The back garden of The Mug House can be a real sun trap on a bright day.
The garden features a sun terrace and a glass-covered patio, with vines and wisteria growing above it, as well as refined shrubs.
And if it’s not to your liking, you can always sit outside the front, near the Severn River.
The Woodbridge Inn, Coalport
Woodbridge is located on the banks of the River Severn, one mile downstream from Ironbridge in Shropshire.
The pub has a remarkable raised desk to provide outdoor drinks and a dining area overlooking the river, as well as a sunny garden room.
Menus are changed every day, giving you lots of exciting dishes to taste every time you visit.
The Hogshead, Wolverhampton
OK, it’s not the most picturesque beer garden here, but it’s one of the most famous.
Still at the center of the city’s nightlife, the garden is usually lively on the weekends and at lunchtime. With decent mushroom stoves and a covered area, it is also a place that is enjoyed all year round.
With the tables painted in bright colors and a sign that declares it the Cantiere di Ale – Geddit? – has a young and bizarre appearance, which probably reflects the demography to which it is addressed.
And of course, The Hogshead is known for its huge variety of beers, craft beers, lagers and pretty much everything else, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding something to drink.
The Plow Inn, Shifnal
Suitable for dogs and with a large beer garden, The Plow Inn is a perfect pub to enjoy the sun.
The Plow Inn is predominantly a true traditional beer-free home, but has a variety of drinks and food options for visitors.
It also has a fantastic evening of Irish music on the first Monday of each month.
The Wheatsheaf, Walsall
It shouldn’t be a big deal to remember which beers are available at The Wheatsheaf on Birmingham Road, Walsall – just look at the huge mural on the walls around the garden.
While most pubs are content with a simple sign, The Wheatsheaf goes best with a huge wall painting. An old school farmer carrying a scythe in a wheat field reminds you of where the name comes from, and there is also the Wye Valley Brewery logo and drawings of some of the beer pump clips.
It’s not your average beer garden, but definitely unique.
The Castle Hotel, Bishop’s Castle
This four-star hotel offers elegant accommodation and a beautiful garden in a charming market town in Shropshire.
The hotel also doubles as a traditional country pub and has three bar areas offering a fantastic sample of local local beers from Bishop Castle and the surrounding area.
The huge beer garden offers excellent views of the surrounding area, perfect for enjoying the local drink.
The Pheasant Inn, Telford
Whether you are looking for a dining experience or a simpler fare, The Pheasant Inn at Admaston can meet your needs.
Their locally sourced food can be enjoyed with a drink from their well-stocked bar, containing a variety of beers, ciders and wines.
The pheasant hosts a variety of events to entertain guests such as theme nights and menus throughout the year.