In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s pretty warm this week and it’s also the last bank holiday of the Summer. So do yourself a favour, get out of the house and enjoy a Beer/Cider/Alcopop/Social Beverage of your choice in one (or more) of the best Milton Keynes beer gardens you can find. As self-confirmed Men About Town, Gent and I have scoured the local area for the best examples for you to rest up and make the most of what will inevitably become your last chance to see the sun for another 10 months. You. Are. Welcome.
Therefore, in no particular order, we bring you the very best beer garden action in and around Milton Keynes.
Our favourite Milton Keynes Pub Gardens
The Navigation Beer Garden, Cosgrove
With a few pubs on the canal to choose from in this list, I implore you to walk up the Grand Union and find the Navigation at Cosgrove because when the heat kicks up and the sun starts to set, you will be instantly transported back to that amazing Summer holiday that is now all but a distant memory. Here, they have put some serious thought (and money) into what the perfect pub garden should be. It’s easily one of our nicest outdoor pub spaces with a decked out terrace over looking the canal. The food is OK once they get going with the proper pizza oven they’ve got hidden in the back of the kitchen, just don’t expect fireworks.
The Galleon Beer Garden, Old Wolverton
Wolverton may currently be experiencing a foodie revolution but at it’s heart stand several pubs and when it comes to stretching out in the sun with a pint or half of social beverage, you can’t go far wrong with The Galleon. With a surprisingly extensive playground for the kids as well as a stage which hosts various musical events, the Galleon hits all the right buttons right alongside the Grand Union Canal. The bar isn’t exactly heaving with local brews but for a cooling pint on a hot day, you can do a lot worse. Plus the kids will love the climbing frame.
The Swan Beer Garden, Salford
Technically not quite in MK, The Swan nevertheless scores major points for it’s huge glazed wall which opens half of the entire building out into the garden. It’s large, modern and yet still as much a country village pub as you could ever hope for. The location is good, the beer is better and the food is great. This place is a real all rounder with only it’s severe lack of parking letting it down – until that is you realise that there is a massive car park around the back (confession: I did not spot the car park on my visit and ended up parking in front of someones house. I think I got away with it though, so shhhhhh). We’ve visited The Swan before, so don’t miss our review.
The Black Horse Beer Garden, Great Linford
Another pub right on the canal. The Black Horse has a fantastic garden on two levels with shady bits, sunny bits and grassy bits, this is exactly what pub gardens should be. Cool yourself down with a glass of iced Pimms and stretch out, I suspect that you might end up staying for a while so it’s a good job the place is so comfortable. Their beer selection may be limited but the setting more than makes up for it.
Ye Olde Swan Beer Garden, Woughton on the Green
A tranquil garden in the middle of Milton Keynes, the Swan stands proud with it’s massive garden. There isn’t much else there but for when you’ve got a hazy summer’s day, a cold glass of something refreshing and perhaps someone close to share it with, why would you need anything else?
The Crooked Billet Pub Beer Garden, Newton Longville
With a couple of proper beers, great food and a beer garden that doesn’t get too crowded, the Crooked Billet is a secret slice of Summery greatness. This pub hasn’t quite hit the main crowd yet so make the most of it before you lose your chance and it becomes so crowded that you’re fighting to get to the bar.
The Old Beams Beer Garden, Shenley Lodge
One of the most established and well known pubs in Milton Keynes, the Old Beams is always popular with it’s decent beer, good prices, comfy sofas as well as it’s large outside area. Plenty of tables mean that it’s a favoured destination when the temperature rises. There is enough space for the kids to run around too so you’re able to properly kick back.
The Bell Beer Garden, Beachampton
Only a couple of minutes from the edge of town, the Bell sits in the middle of Beachhampton like a king; enjoying a lengthy garden, real ale selection and the promise of an afternoon of quiet relaxation. The kitchen produces solid and decent pub grub (if not outstanding) that will certainly satisfy most cravings if pork scratchings simply won’t cut it for you.
The Cross Keys Beer Garden, Woolstone
The Cross Keys has a loyal following and while the pub garden isn’t exactly the most exciting, it’s still a bit of a hidden gem. Tucked away in the middle of Woolstone, it’s a lovely old pub with plenty of character. A bit of grass, a few tables and a nice bit of shade so you can avoid that truckers tan if you need to. If you’re close by and desperado for a pint, it’s certainly worth a look.
The Black Horse Beer Garden, Woburn
Finally, I’ve bent the rules slightly here because not only is the Black Horse not quite within the town boundaries, it’s also one of the smaller gardens in the list and actually doesn’t have any grass at all! But it’s included because a) Woburn is a really nice village anyway and b) while the Black Horse is usually a place to come to eat the team are also more than happy to serve you a decent pint or a glass from their excellent wine list which is easily one of the best of all the pubs here. And anyway, who knows on a hot day, the Black Horse’s cooler shadey, paved and enclosed terrace might just be your perfect spot!
Catching some sun in a Milton Keynes pub garden
So there you have it, this may not be an exhaustive guarantee of amazing food or local craft brewed beer, but it is a good hit list of some of the best pub gardens to spend your Bank Holiday Weekend. So if I were you, I would make the most of it! If we’ve missed any of your particular favorites let us know in the comments, or tweet us @2menabouttown with your Bank Holiday pictures!