There is no shortage of places to enjoy an nice cold beer in Colchester - but as the summer begins, we all start hankering for a taste of the outdoors - The beer garden beckons! Here's our guide to some of the best local pubs to enjoy an alfresco pint!

Two Pints of Colchester Brewery Beer

The Odd One Out

This unassuming building on Mersea Road is very popular with locals, and it has a secret - it's beautifully planted beer garden. Serving beer from Colchester Brewery alongside ciders and spirits, it's one of Colchester's friendliest watering holes. Dogs are not only welcome, but actively encouraged.

The Kings Arms

This Greene King Brewery pub on Crouch Street has possibly the biggest beer garden in the land (Fact check needed!) and provides plenty of seating for large groups on benches, tables and under a covered arbour area. They also have a yummy food menu.

The Victoria Inn

The Victoria Inn

The (un)official Yorkshire Embassy to the borough of Colchester since 2010, this friendly real ale pub on North Station Road has outdoor space to the rear of the building, which can be a real sun trap - there is a covered area if the heat gets too much!

The Purple Dog

Situated on the corner of Trinity Street and Eld Lane, The Purple Dog has been a place of refreshment since 1647. This lively pub is right in the heart of Colchester's city centre and it's compact outdoor area has plenty of benches and provides shelter against the elements, come rain or shine.

The Centurion

The Centurion

This large lively sports bar at the top of North Hill is popular with students, but has an excellent range of beers and food to suit everyone. Be prepared to fight for a table if there is a big football or rugby match on - they even have screens outdoors in the sunny garden to the rear.

The Hospital Arms

This Adnams brewery pub to the west of the city centre where Crouch Street meets Lexden Road is small in stature, but has a delightful beer garden to rival it's larger counterparts.

The Castle Inn

The Castle Inn

Geographically closest to Visit Colchester HQ & Colchester Castle, The Castle Inn on Colchester High Street has been quite recently refurbished, and has lots of benches to accomodate thirsty visitors after a day of exploring.


Less of a pub and more of a cocktail bar, Twisters on North Hill prides itself on playing good music. Its' long garden is chilled by day, and comes to life at night. At the weekend, they turn up the volume and dancing is highly encouraged.

A sign for Twisters Beer Garden

Escape the city centre at these pubs a little further afield in the wider 'Beautiful Borough' of Colchester

- Enjoy a pint beside the sea at The Victory on Mersea Island.

- The Swan @ Chappel has fantastic views of the Chappel Viaduct.

-The Rose & Crown and The Black Buoy are delightful pubs near the waterfront in Wivenhoe.

-Escape to the country at either the Donkey & Buskins or The Hare & Hounds in Layer.

- Relax by the riverside at The Anchor in Rowhedge.

- The Whalebone in Fingringhoe has a very large beer garden that is well worth the journey.

As ever, we are happy to hear your suggestions. Let us know your favourite local beer garden down in the comments below!


Wivenhoe Pub Trail
Walking Route
The Black Buoy Pub Wivenhoe

A self-guided walk, created by The Wivenhoe History Group around the twenty-four current and former pubs in Wivenhoe.

Colchester Food & Drink Festival
Food / Drink Festival
The Colchester Food & Drink Festival

The annual Food and Drink Festival returns to Castle Park



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