Hands up if you’re a little excited about pub gardens reopening on 12th April. Just in time for warmer weather, this next step on the roadmap sees restaurants and pubs with outdoor eating facilities allowed to reopen.
All the ideas here are places I’ve been too or have been recommended by friends or Red Kite Days followers on social media. Is your family favourite here? If not let me know I’ll get pop them in the guide.
Please check directly with venues (most you’ll probably need to book in advance anyway) before going.
Pub Gardens & Outdoor Dining in Oxfordshire
The Waterfront Café, Benson
Set on the banks of the Thames with great views, amazing food and a genuine focus on ensuring safety, I highly recommend the Waterfront Cafe. They’re an independent, family run bistro style cafe/restaurant and great for ice cream too! Breakfast, lunch or just tea and cake. There’s parking on site and it’s also a good spot to take a walk along the Thames Path to work up an appetite. The owners are parents themselves so have a family friendly outlook.
Red Lion, Islip
A lovely village pub, it also has the benefit from being a short 2 minute walk from the Islip Village Play Park. However, from the sound of their plans, you’ll not want to leave once you’re there. They will have a new decked patio and seating in the Olive Garden. There’s an astro turfed area just outside the barn (which is going to have a sports bar and cinema), new playground apparatus outside arriving soon and plans for cinema showings. I’m going to pop along for a takeout coffee before the full garden dining opens from 12th April to check out all the amazing plans.
Victoria Arms (Marston, Oxford)
Reopening from 14th April and taking books now for up to 6 guests. The Victoria Arms Situated on the banks of the River Cherwell in Old Marston, the Victoria is a stunning riverside pub and restaurant. I’m loving the sound of their street food inspiration for the warmer months with wood-fired pizza, smash burgers, and soft-serve ice cream served on their terrace and garden. They’ve got some great updates including a covered and heated pergola terrace. Perfect for all-day al fresco drinking and dining by the river.
The Plough, Wolvercote
The Plough in Wolvercote reopens on 16th April. They’ll still being offering table service and will be wearing full PPE. Not connected to the pub itself but worth noting that there’s a little playpark in the green opposite the pub. A little play in the park before lunch in the beer garden sounds like a good combo to me.
The Six Bells, Kidlington
My closest pub with a beer garden, the Six Bells is great little community pub with long garden. There’s play park equipment at the end of the fully enclosed garden which means on a sunny day you really can chill and relax here.
The Perch, Oxford
The full restaurant menu will be available on the terrace, with drinks and food also available from the Shed Bar from 12th April. One of Oxford’s oldest pubs, it’s not far from Port Meadow. They have a picturesque garden and welcome anyone who loves great food and drink – whether they’re thirsty students, hungry walkers, exploring families, muddy dogs or adventurous visitors.
Annie’s Tearoom, Thrupp
Combined with a walk around St Mary’s Fields from Kildlington, this is a family favourite to stop off at. Great for sandwiches, wedges of cakes and bacon baps with an outdoor garden or just wander around to the canal side, sit on the benches and watch the barges.
The Trout Inn, Wolvercote
The 17th Century Trout Inn has a lovely outdoor eating area with views across the Thames and does a great Sunday roast. You could combine a visit here with a trip to Port Meadow or just over the bridge after their car park, take a family walk and explore the ruins of Godstowe Abbey. Reopens from 12th April.
The Old Fisherman, Shabbington
The Old Fisherman are also opening their gardens from 12th April. Set on the banks of a tributary of the Thames, not far from Thame, they have a big garden for outdoor dining.
The Old Shed, Charlbury
Set in the grounds of Banbury Farm which also has a lovely looking campsite, Cotswold View, The Old Shed is a welcoming coffee house with a fantastic range of cakes, delicious hot and cold lunches and a good cup of coffee. There’s a woodland area which is great for a family walk, wooden tractor to climb on in the garden and farmyard animals. They’re reopening their outdoor area from 12th April.
Bure Farm, Bicester
Bure Farm pub in Bicester is reopening their gardens on 12th April. Booking is not essential, though they would recommend you book in advance. They have a little climbing frame and slide in the beer garden so you might get a moment of peace with the kids!
The George & Dragon, Long Hanborough
Reopening from the 12th April and open from 12pm 7 days a week The George & Dragon have a large enclosed beautiful garden for families, do a kids menu and have a giant sand pit for the little ones. Children, muddy boots and dogs are welcome!
The Plough Inn, Finstock
This was a recommendation that came through from a local friend of mine. Reopening from the 12th for lunch and dinner. They are then open Tuesday to Sunday going forward which is their usual opening schedule. Tuesday to Friday 12-2.00 then 5-close. Saturday 12- close Sunday 12-6pm. They’ve got a great area outdoors so that kids can have a bit of a run around.
The Fishes, North Hinksey
The Fishes in North Hinksey is set in acres of wooded grounds leading down to the banks of Seacourt Stream. Recommended by a follower on Red Kite Days facebook page.
The Plough Inn, Long Wittenham
The Plough Inn is a 17th century Grade II listed pub situated on the River Thames in the village of Long Wittenham in rural South Oxfordshire. You can enjoy your food and drink in our large family friendly garden with frontage on the River Thames. Reopening on 12th April, food will be served 12-3pm & 6-9pm. (12-3pm only on Sunday) and outdoor seating is on a first come basis.
Castle at Edgehill, near Banbury
The garden is huge and both family and pet friendly. There are lots of lovely walks from the pub and a new garden shack for snacks, drinks and ice cream.
The Sun Inn, Hook Norton
Come rain or shine the gardens will always be open. Bring your blanket, brolly or sunscreen and join for some alfresco British dining! Marquee and stretch tents have been installed ready to help protect you from the elements. First come first serve no pre bookings available.
The Six Bells, Warborough
The Six Bells at Warborough is a beautiful English Pub dating from the 1600’s in the heart of South Oxfordshire. The beer garden spills onto the village green with a great playpark (recommended by Andy Bayly).
The Six Bells will be serving outside either at the front of the pub or in the garden. Families are most welcome and also dogs. They are open for the first week 7 days, but no food on Sunday or Monday evening. Monday evenings there is a pizza van outside the pub starting on the 19th April.