Food & Drink

The best UK cities to enjoy a pint outdoors this summer

Norwich has been crowned the ‘beer garden capital of the UK’ – but it’ll cost drinkers as it’s one of the priciest places to enjoy a pint.

The study investigated the number of beer gardens per person in major UK cities and compared it to the cheapest places to buy a beer.

Norwich scored 86 points out of a possible 100, thanks to its high number of beer gardens compared to population, with 4.77 beer gardens for every 10,000 residents.

This coupled with its typically good weather conditions helped it scoop the top spot – while the Scottish cities of Aberdeen, Glasgow, and Dundee trail at the bottom of the table.

Hot on Norwich’s heels were Oxford and Brighton, scoring 83 and 81 respectively, according to the study from Electric Radiators Direct.

With a total of 70 pubs with beer gardens, Oxford has 4.59 beer gardens for every 10,000 residents, while Brighton is home to 107 beer gardens, working out at just under four per 10,000 residents.

Both cities also netted top scores thanks to their welcoming weather with the South East enjoying the highest average temperatures in the country, as well being generally bright and dry.

According to an analysis of Google Reviews, at least 17% of beer gardens in Norwich are equipped with outdoor heaters meaning drinkers can enjoy a tipple even when the temperature drops.

This is the case for at least one in six (15%) of the beer gardens in Oxford and Brighton, which can also be kept balmy even if the British weather takes a turn.

It also factored in average temperatures, sunshine and rainfall levels in each region, to determine the best spots to enjoy a cold drink in the sun.

The South East has claimed the top spots, but data has shown its northern cousins in Scotland are sadly not top destinations for outdoor drinking.

Aberdeen, Glasgow, and Dundee trail in at the bottom of the table, scoring just 10, 12 and 21 points out of 100 respectively.

Aberdeen has the lowest number of beer gardens pro capita overall, just one beer garden for every 10,000 residents, followed by Glasgow (1.1 beer gardens per 10k residents) and Dundee (1.7 beer gardens per 10k).

But drinkers in Aberdeen and Dundee can rejoice as they’re top destinations for those looking for a cheap beer, both averaging £3 per drink.

Understandably all of these cities have also scored poorly due to their low average temperatures, general lack of sunny days and the typically high rainfall levels in Scotland.  

According to the Met Office, the average spring temperature across Scotland was 5.9 C° last year – almost two degrees below the national average of 7.3 C°.

As part of the research, Electric Radiators Direct also investigated the average price for a pint in each major city.

Aberdeen, Bradford and Dundee reign supreme with the cheapest pints averaging £3 a go, while London, Belfast and Brighton carried the torch of priciest pint between £5.50 and £5.

Stephen Hankinson, Managing Director at Electric Radiators Direct, said: “As the weather starts to get warmer and the days get longer, many are excited for the return of outdoor socialising and al fresco dining.

“Our research has identified Norwich as the best ‘beer garden hotspot’ in the country, boasting the highest number of pubs with outdoor seating in relation to population and generally favourable weather conditions.

“British weather can, of course, sometimes be unpredictable and evenings can get chilly even after a sunny day.

“It’s important to be comfortable even when temperatures drop, which is why patio heaters can be a great added value to a beer garden.

“Despite outdoor socialising not being a requirement anymore, we’ve seen a +250% increase in demand for patio heaters for both home and commercial use.

“This highlights just how many businesses may have adopted outdoor heating to make customers’ experiences more comfortable, even on a nice summer evening.”

Top 10 cities for enjoying a drink outdoors this summer










Milton Keynes

‘Worst’ 10 cities for enjoying a drink outdoors this summer










Nottingham and Coventry

Top 10 UK cities with the cheapest pints

Aberdeen, Bradford and Dundee (£3 average)

Hull (£3.10)

Peterborough (£3.25)

Stoke-on-Trent (£3.30)

Derby and Newport (£3.50)

Milton Keynes and Birmingham (£3.60)

Swansea (£3.70)

Coventry (£3.75)

Liverpool (£3.80)

Leeds (£3.85)

Top five UK cities with the most expensive pints

London (£5.50)

Belfast and Brighton (£5)

Norwich (£4.35)

Oxford and Edinburgh (£4.25)

Bristol (£4.15)

You can find more information about the study here.

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