With the many chocolate-box villages of Oxfordshire a short drive or bus journey away, it's no surprise that you can find a glorious beer garden, swathed in countryside, venturing outside the city. But for those looking to raise a pint in the sunshine within the city, it can be hard to find a good spot where you're not fighting with hundreds of others for a seat. That's why we've hunted - tirelessly and selflessly - for Oxford's most underrated beer gardens. Tell your friends - but not too many of them!
Set just back from the bustling Cowley Road, this beloved local is a lovely blend of traditional pub decor with a light, airy atmosphere. Venture through the pub and out into the garden, though, and you'll discover a great number of tables where you can while away a few hours with a glass in your hand and the grass under your feet.
There's so much going on at The Oxford Blue that the beer garden runs the risk of being overlooked as one of its finest features. If you're not distracted by the awesome wood-fired pizza oven keeping punters going with the pub's mouth-watering fare, or the variety of themed quizzes and other events, you'll reach their lovely terrace. The fragrant honeysuckle plant and strings of fairy lights create a delightful atmosphere, enhanced by free live music on Friday nights.
The front of the Dew Drop always seems to be heaving, especially when the sun shines, so their delightful, lesser-known beer garden can be argued to be hiding in plain sight. If you can fight your way through the throngs at the front, you'll reach the peaceful spot, best enjoyed with a side of smugness about the fact you're more knowledgeable than the fools stuck by the road...
It may seem fairly small from the outside, but the front of this pub hides an extensive beer garden, big enough to ensure you'll get a table despite its popularity. Visit regularly to keep an eye out for announcements about their famous barbecues, which have been described as 'like going round a mate's for a houseparty' by users of this very website!
Recently refurbished under new management, the James Street Tavern now boasts a spacious terrace out back, replete with rustic furniture and plenty of greenery. Open from 4pm every day, it's a perfect spot for an after-work drink in the sun.