When the sun is shining on Merseyside, chances are you’ll want to find the nearest beer garden.

Whether it’s for an al fresco pub lunch or after work pint, there’s nothing better than sitting outside with your mates and actually feeling like you could be on holiday.

With such unpredictable weather in this country, and after months of the pubs being closed during lockdown, we’ve certainly earned a few drinks in the sunshine, so get your shades out and head down to one of these.

Constellations

An urban garden carved out of a former warehouse and recycling yard in the heart of the Baltic Triangle, Constellations is a stripped back space with great music, decent food and well stocked bar. Order a craft beer and stay until the sun sets and the stars come out.

Having reopened after lockdown, the garden is now taking bookings for a maximum of six people, from no more than two separate households. It's open from Friday to Sunday.

The Dovey

The Dovedale Towers beer garden
The Dovedale Towers beer garden

The Penny Lane ‘brew house’ is always popular when the match is on, and its decent beer garden is a good enough reason to nip down when the sun is shining. There’s a large sectioned off outdoor area with plenty of tables so chances are you’ll get a seat even when it’s cracking the flags.

Did you know the pub was even home to Freddie Mercury for a short time in 1969? You can read more about The Dovey's fascinating history here.

Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden is tucked away within the Baltic Triangle
The Botanical Garden is tucked away within the Baltic Triangle

Each summer, there seems to be an alcoholic beverage we all decide to drink by the gallon and this year gin still tops the list.

Every bar you visit seems to boast a ‘gin menu’ and if somewhere has a tiny yard out the back, it’s now become a ‘gin garden’.

If you want something a bit more authentic, however, this is your best bet.

The Botanical Garden was one of many places that kept us going during lockdown, after launching a delivery service that brought frozen cocktails straight to your door. Now you can once again enjoy drinks in its pretty sun trap, listening to relaxed tunes and surrounded by beautiful plants.

The Lodge

The Lodge is open to customers again after its refurbishment
The Lodge

The Lark Lane boozer has spruced up its outdoor area in recent years with pretty plant pots and colourful paint work.

It’s not the biggest beer garden, but if you can shoehorn yourself in, it’s still a sweet space in which to cool off with a chilled aperitif.

It's also dog-friendly making it the perfect spot for a post-walkies pint after a stomp round nearby Sefton Park.

Since reopening after lockdown, The Lodge is serving a limited menu of food favourites until 8pm.

Pump House

If you want the real tourist experience, you can sit outside this pub and take in the Albert Dock, Pier Head and Liverpool ONE all in one sitting.

It gets absolutely chocka when the sun comes out at the weekend, so go mid-week and earlier in the day if you prefer a peaceful pint.

A great spot for people watching too.

Since reopening after lockdown, customers are still allowed to stand outside in the beer garden if a table isn't available, but must stick to social distancing guidelines.

Free State Kitchen

Free State Kitchen on Maryland Street
Free State Kitchen on Maryland Street

If you’re in town and want the feel of a proper garden, this is the one for you. While most city centre beer gardens are just a yard with a few tables and a string of bunting, this has actual grass and trees.

The menu is packed with American classics like patties, slaw and hot wings, and it all seems to taste even better in the sunshine. Doesn't everything?

While FSK is taking bookings for inside now it's reopened after lockdown, it's welcoming walk-ins for the garden when there are seats available. However, it can't guarantee being able to move you inside if the weather turns during your visit.

Allerton Hall

Allerton Hall, in south Liverpool
Allerton Hall, in south Liverpool

Locally known as the ‘pub in the park’ it feels like you’re in a quintessentially English country garden outside this red stone building off Springwood Avenue.

A particularly good option if you’ve got energetic kids, as there’s a play area and tons of space for them to run around on the grass.

There's also some pretty nature trails and woodland areas surrounding the pub, where can work up an appetite first.

Sefton Arms

West Derby certainly has its fair share of pubs and this definitely boasts one of the biggest beers gardens in the village.

At the weekend, it’s heaving come sunset with people having a few scoops before heading into town, so get there early if you want a seat. Further up the road, the Jolly Miller is another popular choice for an outdoor bevvy, with lots of tables looking out onto Queens Drive.

Thomas Rigby's/Lady of Mann

One of the city’s oldest pubs, Rigby’s on Dale Street, is a Grade II listed building serving hearty food, cask ales and more than 40 world beers.

It’s traditional on the inside, with lots of the little rooms to tuck yourself away in, but visit the pub on a sunny day and the place will look empty.

That’s because everyone’s in the generously sized courtyard at the back of the pub, which is shared with its sister pub, The Lady of Mann, next door and pleasantly secluded from the hustle and bustle of the main road.

Ye Cracke

Hidden away on Rice Street, just off Hope Street, this one’s easy to miss but well worth sniffing out. Like many city centre pubs, it boasts a Beatles connection - apparently John Lennon and his then girlfriend Cynthia Powell used to go ‘courting’ there when they were at the Liverpool College of Art.

The pub remains popular with students and arty-types and the leafy beer garden, which boasts plenty of seating and a laid-back atmosphere, fills up quickly when the sun comes out.

Back inside, be sure to poke your nose into ‘The War Room’ - a tiny room in the centre of the pub and the oldest part of the 19th century building.

Ye Cracke is planning to reopen after lockdown on Thursday, July 23, 2020 at 5pm.

The Peacock

Hugely popular with the Seel Street crowd, The Peacock fills up quickly on the weekends.

Since reopening after lockdown it's now doing table service inside, but outside is where you want to be when the sun is shining.

Day or night, the small courtyard at the side of the bar is great place to plonk yourself down and indulge in a spot of people-watching.

The Elephant

The south Liverpool suburb of Woolton is great for an afternoon pub crawl, with plenty of watering holes to choose from. The White Horse and the Cobden are well worth a visit for a traditional pint, and One Percent Forest, Pickled Olive and Nowhere bar all serve beautifully crafted cocktails.

Enter your postcode to find out the latest weather forecast in your area:

But The Elephant definitely boasts the best beer garden in the village. Sprawling out along Woolton Street, there’s plenty of space and the atmosphere really kicks up a gear when the sun comes out and the gin balloons start flowing.

The Liberty Tavern at the rear of The Elephant also has a stylish outdoor area, with a few seats if you're lucky enough to grab one.

The Monro

Small but perfectly formed, the beer garden at The Monro on Duke Street is also one of the prettiest in town. With hanging baskets, greenery and colourful blossoms, it’s an ideal spot for a romantic drink or lazy lunch.

There's a decent cocktail menu, and be sure to cast your eye over the list of seasonal puddings if you fancy indulging in something naughty.

The Monro has a provisional reopening date of July 16, 2020.

Matou

Matou restaurant at the Pier Head is possibly Liverpool's most glamorous beer garden. Pic Colin Lane
Matou restaurant at the Pier Head is possibly Liverpool's most glamorous beer garden. Pic Colin Lane

Ok ok, this is technically a roof terrace not a beer garden, but with one of the best views in Liverpool we just couldn’t leave it out.

With the Three Graces standing regally by its side, the Pan Asian restaurant on the second floor of the Mersey Ferry Terminal Building, is a great place to show off the city to visiting friends. Order yourself a Pimms and take some selfies with the Liver Birds.

Kazimier Garden

Kazimier Garden, Seel Street, Liverpool

One for those who want to avoid busy crowds, this quirky spot on Seel Street has a chilled atmosphere. Quite the sun trap, it's a city centre treat that pre-lockdown offered live music, special events and even summer barbecues. While some of that might be on hold for now, with pubs banned from having live music under government rules, The Kaz is still worth a visit for its relaxed vibe and friendly service.

It has reopened after lockdown with table service throughout, no booking system and staff on the door to keep count of how many people come in.

Dockleaf

Dockleaf drinking hall in the Cains Brewery Village

Boasting the "heart of a cocktail bar and the soul of a pub", this dog-friendly, urban setting is located in the Baltic Triangle, home to a host of independents.

With a menu of fresh cocktails, top beers and seasonal wines, there's something to tickle every drinker's tastebuds. The botanical beer garden downstairs is likely to be in big demand when Dockleaf reopens after lockdown.

The Britannia

The Britannia Inn in Otterspool is the perfect spot for drinks by the riverside.
The Britannia Inn in Otterspool is the perfect spot for drinks by the riverside.

For sweeping views of the Mersey, head out of the city to The Britannia on Riverside Drive, in Otterspool.

On a hot day you will need to be quick to get a seat, but there’s plenty of surrounding steps you can perch on while you watch the runners stride past and the boats bob along the city’s famous river.