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Outdoor spaces for pubs and bars have been open for about a month by now, and that means I’ve had a good few weeks to check out some of the places I used to frequent before they all shut, as well as check out places that I’ve never been to before. Trying out pub gardens across Nottingham has been an interesting experiment for my friends and I and I’ve been impressed with just how much space various establishments (pubs, bars, restaurants) have managed to utilise in getting their businesses back up and running. As venues inside now prepare to open soon, here’s some outdoor spaces I recommend you visit until then!


1. The Bodega’s Secret Garden 

The Bodega’s Secret Garden is the most garden-like venue I’ve been to so far. Hidden within Cobden Place (next to/behind The Bodega), this secret garden has a number of picnic tables surrounded by fairy lights and florally decorated wooden frames. Because of its popularity, it requires booking as well as a deposit (price depending on how many people you’re booking a table for). Essentially, your deposit is a drink bought in advance. When you book, you choose a drink along with your table and this drink is brought to you when you arrive. Though probably the most expensive on this list (depending on what you order), there is a good selection of drinks to choose from—from cocktails (Margaritas and the infamous Long Island Iced Tea) to classic spirits/mixers and various beers and wines. I definitely recommend this one if you’re looking for somewhere picturesque.



2. Cured 

Cured is located on the same road as Nottingham Station and has two small outdoor venues—a street-level venue (along the bridge/road) and a canal-level venue. If you’re lucky, you can sit along the canal. Otherwise, you can sit on picnic benches along the street, although still with an overlooking view of the canal from the bridge. The prices at Cured are good for both drinks and tasty bar food and all the servers are very lovely. I believe you can book if you really want to reserve a canal space, but it is also open to walk-ins!



3. Via Fossa

Via Fossa’s beer garden is located entirely along the canal and boasts being the largest beer terrace in Nottingham, located right between The Waterfront and craft-beer venue The Canalhouse! This one has to be booked in advance but does not usually require a deposit. And, as if being perhaps the largest beer garden in Nottingham isn’t enough, they also have cheap cocktails on tap! (Though sadly only 1 out of 3 of the cocktails was available when I went.) Via Fossa is a particularly lovely venue to have some evening drinks whilst watching the sunset along the water.



4. The Castle Pub & Fothergills 

Though these are two different pubs, I’m grouping them together because they are literally right next door to each other, and really the only difference between them (when sitting outside, at least) is the slight variation in prices, with Fothergills being the more expensive. As might be expected from a pub called ‘The Castle’, these two are right outside of Nottingham Castle and just up the road from the famous Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem. Both of them are walk-ins with decent prices and all the drinks you could expect from your typical pub.



Whether it’s to explore some new places, to give yourself a break during coursework and exam season, or to celebrate at the end of finals season, each of these (and many more) are wonderful pub gardens to consider for your afternoon or evening drinks. Happy exploring!


Niamh Parr

Nottingham '21

Final year English student drinking multiple cups of tea a day and trying to keep up with my ever growing to-read list
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