Living in Harrogate, we are fortunate that we’re surrounded by beautiful countryside. When the weather is dry, there’s nothing better than enjoying the great outdoors and making the most of one of the best aspects of our area.
For some, a pint in the great outdoors is the perfect end to a long walk, while others prefer to sit back and enjoy the view over a good meal with friends and family. Whatever your preference, we bring you The Locals’ Guide to Pubs with Beer Gardens in Harrogate.
Positioned right on the edge of open countryside in the small village of Burn Bridge, The Black Swan has one of the biggest beer gardens we’ve ever seen. There’s plenty of space for the kids to run around and burn off some energy, and you’ll also find lots of benches to accommodate the crowds on a sunny day. There is also a play area for youngsters right by the seating area, so you can easily keep an eye on what they’re getting up to.
The Black Swan is a great family-friendly destination. Its position is ideal for walkers: just a few minutes’ stroll through woodland from Pannal, down the hill from the south-west edge of Harrogate, and on the scenic footpath taking you out to Almscliffe Crag with its far-reaching views of Yorkshire.
The Black Swan serves food seven days a week, including a traditional Sunday lunch, and also has a popular quiz night every week and occasional live music. If you’re after a beautiful setting for a special occasion, the team will also accommodate parties either in the pub itself or in a marquee in the garden.
This traditional country pub is a favourite with people walking in the Crimple Valley, and offers views across the area. It’s on the route of the Harrogate Ringway, which takes you on a loop of about 20 miles around the outskirts of the town. Its beer garden is complemented by a conservatory for days when the weather isn’t quite good enough to eat or drink outside.
Open seven days a week, the pub offers traditional home-cooked food in historic surroundings – the building dates back to the 17th century. Although its garden is tempting on a summer’s day, the surrounding countryside is particularly beautiful under a layer of snow or a heavy frost, so don’t count it out in the winter!
One of the newest additions to the Harrogate scene, this micro pub is already making its mark. It may be in the centre of town, but it has a sun-trap yard perfect for enjoying its selection of ales (probably accompanied by springer spaniel Zac, who likes to spend his days there too).
A combination of locally-sourced and UK ales means there’s always something new to try, and taster glasses are on offer for those who aren’t sure which to choose. The bar staff are always happy to give their advice – so if you’re an enthusiast, make sure you leave plenty of time for a chat with the expert behind the pump. If you’re not an ale fan yourself, there are plenty of other options on the menu to keep you happy too.
The Little Ale House is a firm favourite with many of the Baltzersen’s Team and a fair few of our customers too, so don’t be surprised if you see some of our staff in there relaxing with a beer after a busy shift!
Part of a small group of local pubs and ale houses, the Swan (still known locally as The Swan on the Stray despite a change of name last year) is renowned for its warm welcome, good food and great beers. As the name suggests, it overlooks part of Harrogate’s famous 250-acre Stray, and at the rear it has a sunny beer garden popular with regulars.
Its focus is on traditional real ales, but it also has a great selection of whiskies and gins, as well as a good wine list. Although The Swan is technically part of a small chain, it gets an honorary mention here because it’s locally-based (sister pubs include the Old Bell Tavern in Harrogate town centre and the Mitre in Knaresborough) and its beer garden has been popular with locals for many years.
A chic alternative to the traditional beer garden, The Square and Compass at North Rigton offers stylish outdoor seating in a well kept patio area at the front of the pub and is a popular stopping point for walkers who are passing on their way to or from Almscliffe Cragg. The grey sofas and tables and chairs give this beer garden a very contemporary feel.
There’s plenty of parking and from here it’s only about half an hour’s walk to the crags. More adventurous walkers set out from Harrogate and stop at the pub en route before heading up the crags and back home again. Understandably, given its location, the Square and Compass is geared up for wellies and dog walkers and if the weather does take a turn for the worse, part of the indoor dining area is available for those with muddy boots and pets.
With an extensive menu served seven days a week, and a selection of local cask ales and good wines, you’ll never be short of something to eat or drink. A private dining room is also available for special occasions and, if you’re lucky, you’ll find live music playing in the pub – there are two jazz nights this summer.
Let us know in the comments below which beer gardens you like to relax in during the summer!