Soak up the rays and check out top beer gardens while the sun shines

While we can’t always depend on the weather in Northern Ireland, we can depend on top-notch beer gardens serving up refreshing drinks and mouth-watering food in delightful surroundings.

Friday, 10th September 2021, 6:00 am

While we can’t always depend on the weather in Northern Ireland, we can depend on top-notch beer gardens serving up refreshing drinks and mouth-watering food in delightful surroundings.

There are few things more refreshing than pulling up a pew, soaking up the sun and enjoying a cold pint or glass of wine with friends and family.

To help you make the most of the last few weeks of summer, Discover Northern Ireland has put together a list of some of our favourite beer gardens for you to enjoy, from covered courtyards, to family (and dog) friendly venues, as well as a few ‘Instaworthy’ spots.

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The Dirty Onion and Yardbird


Babel rooftop bar and garden: Located atop the stylish Bullitt Hotel, Babel rooftop bar and garden boasts incredible panoramic views of Belfast and has been named as one of the best beer gardens in Europe. Cocktail lovers will be in heaven as the drinks menu is based around ‘Shrub Cocktails’, with the bar’s living walls - made up of 300 plants and herbs - provide a fresh supply of ingredients and garnishes.

The Dirty Onion and Yardbird: A firm favourite for visitors to Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter, this quirky venue has it all. A modern take on a traditional Irish pub, the Dirty Onion is Belfast’s oldest building, dating back to 1780. Its striking wooden- frame exterior, coupled with its contemporary courtyard, is the perfect blend of old and new that lends the spot its distinctive character. While taking in the unique surroundings, enjoy their famous Yardbird chicken alongside an extensive drinks menu – including a wide selection of craft beers. The venue is also dog friendly, allowing your four legged friend to join in with the craic.

Co Antrim

Mary McBride’s, Cushendun: Once one of the smallest pubs on the island of Ireland and protected by the National Trust, Mary McBride’s is situated in the picturesque Glens of Antrim, in the beautiful coastal town of Cushendun. It is the perfect stop off on your way to explore the famous Causeway Coast. Enjoy stories from the locals about the late landlady.

Sleepy Hollow, Glengormley: Working closely with local food producers to create traditional Irish food with a modern twist, this is not only a hidden gem from the hustle and bustle but the perfect place in the countryside to enjoy a cocktail in their small beer garden.

Co Londonderry

Harry’s Shack, Portstewart: With stunning views of Portstewart Strand, local seafood and a DJ on Saturdays, who needs the Balearics? Watch the sun go down in the most beautiful of settings, sipping a cold beer and munching on some fresh scampi, it doesn’t get much better than this.

Co Down

The StillHouse, Moira: Home to Hughes Craft Distillery - a small batch distillery owned by husband and wife Stuart and Barbara Hughes – this hidden gem is not to be missed. Whether you are passing through the village for a bite to eat, catching up with friends over cocktails, looking for somewhere to watch the match on the big screen or enjoying the live entertainment over the weekend, The StillHouse has something for everyone. Enjoy a refreshing drink in the beautiful walled garden, located at the rear of the distillery. A picnic style lunch is on offer and dog lovers can even bring their pets along.

Daft Eddy’s, Killinchy: This picturesque pub, nestled off Sketrick Island in Strangford Lough, provides a large outdoor seating area and is renowned for its fresh seafood and a host of other dishes all using local produce. Enjoy a crisp cold pint while taking in the beautiful surroundings.

Co Tyrone

Sally’s, Omagh: One of Northern Ireland’s most celebrated venues, Sallys has been trading under the brand name in Omagh for three decades. With its winning combination of stunning food, extensive drink selection and live entertainment, Sallys mixes charming, traditional surroundings with a sleek, modern lounge and courtyard area. Sally’s Lounge.

Co Fermanagh

Watermill Lodge, Lisnaskea: Watermill Restaurant could be mistaken for something out of a Disney movie. This unique setting on the shore of Lough Erne is not only a place to unwind and enjoy a glass of some of the very best wines but also fine dining and stunning views. Watermill Lodge Restaurant, accommodation and fishing breaks.

Co Armagh

Sally McNallys, Portadown: Nestled in the countryside, this family-run venue is the perfect location to sit and enjoy some pub grub. Winners of Best Casual Dining in County Armagh at the Northern Ireland Hospitality Awards 2018, why not try their famous handmade pizzas from their outdoor stove and relax in the spacious beer garden.

For more great beer gardens, check out Things To Do In Northern Ireland.

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