There was a time when it felt like sitting in a beer garden or sun-drenched terrace was a thing of the past. But, from 12 April, after what feels like a lifetime, we will be able to do exactly that.
Thankfully, Cornwall is home to some of the best pubs and bars in the country, all of whom have shown steely resilience throughout the pandemic and adapted to operate in a Covid-safe manner. For many, this has meant investing time and energy into their outside spaces.
Here’s our pick of Cornwall’s best pubs and bars with outdoor seating.
Meaning Goose Pond in Cornish, Polgooth Inn is a 16th-century pub with a rich history as a favourite stop for the miners working in the area.
The team there have been hard at work preparing the outdoor seating area, which offers plenty of space for people to spread out and enjoy their first pint.
Outside seating is first-come-first-served.
Cornish vineyard Camel Valley is known for its award-winning range of English sparkling wines.
Accessed via an easy cycle along the popular Camel Trail between Wadebridge and Bodmin, the vineyard is the perfect spot to enjoy the peaceful afternoon sun with a glass in hand. The vineyard will be offering table service, serving its wine by glass or bottle, on the sun terrace overlooking the vines. Limited space means booking is essential.
Sitting on the site of the former much-loved Doombar, The Atlantic Bar and Kitchen boasts some of the best views on the north coast, looking out across Polzeath Beach.
Owned and operated by the immensely popular Harbour Brewing, the bar’s two front terraces are perfect for taking in the sunset with something chilled in your hands. We also highly recommend the pizzas, but at 20 inches you’ll need to make sure there are enough people in your group to share with.
We’ve long been a fan of this 17th-century pub, close to Newquay, and are delighted to see the addition of large tipis in the garden.
When the weather is fine there will be plenty of outdoor seating, but the tipis will provide shelter on wetter days.
Chef patron Ben Ambridge, a former Fifteen Cornwall graduate, will be creating a wide range of burgers, flatbreads, and salads, served alongside local beer, wine and spirits. As always, you’ll need to book.
A favourite for its location right on the waterfront, the Pandora Inn is a traditionally built 13th-century pub with heaps of character.
Whilst it is accessible by car, the best way to arrive at the Pandora has to be by the sea. The small beach is perfect to stash a kayak or paddleboard, and the pontoon is ideal for mooring larger vessels. The Pandora will be offering plenty of food and drink on its floating outdoor seating area.
This country-style pub in the heart of Cornwall’s capital has created a new alfresco dining space called May’s Garden Restaurant. Open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for food and drinks, there will be a set menu on offer with an emphasis on high quality local produce.
Take a sneak peek at the beautifully intimate new space complete with flickering fires to keep you warm over on Instagram.
First opened in summer 2020, this beachside shack sits right on the sands overlooking the water. It has a new outdoor seating area with shelter from wind and rain, as well as a fire pit to warm you up on colder evenings.
Lula will soon be hosting summer sessions, where you can go and enjoy a drink or two whilst listening to live music in proper beach bar style. Enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner here, or have your food to take away and sit amongst the dunes.
Not just an award-winning wine merchant, BinTwo is one of the go-to places for drinks and a light bite in Padstow.
Its outdoor seating area sits up to 24 people in booths with a retractable overhead sail to protect guests from those pesky showers. Open from Tuesday to Sunday, the team serve a great selection of wines by the glass or bottle, speciality coffee, and bar snacks – including fresh Padstow crab rolls.
A hub of converted shipping containers, Saltbox is one of Wadebridge’s most trendy dining spots with both covered and open outdoor space.
There is a rooftop bar located on the upper deck which serves a fantastic selection of wines, cocktails, and local beers. You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to food, with a host of independent street food businesses offering everything from pizza, burgers, burritos, tacos, tapas, Indian cuisine, and coffee shop treats.
After sprucing up its garden and adding a retractable awning, the Artist Residence Clubhouse is ready to welcome guests from 12 April whatever the weather.
Known as a neighbourhood hangout, its garden bar will serve cocktails, wine, local beers and cider from 12pm daily. There are also some delicious sounding snacks on the menu from its seafood shack.
This south coast pub has a fantastic garden where you can enjoy views over the famous Charlestown Harbour whilst you dine.
Open daily for the first week, then from Wednesday to Sunday until the summer. No bookings required, just pop along and the team will find you a table.
A Rick Stein establishment, this quaint village pub near Padstow has plenty of tables in its beer garden to enjoy a refreshing drink and quality pub food.
It will be open all throughout the first week from 12 April, then from Thursday to Sunday in the weeks after until fully reopening mid-May.
One of the most westerly pubs on our list, the Gurnard’s Head is well prepared for outdoor reopening, having invested in Jabula stretch tents for cover in all weathers.
Opening for drinks, coffee and cake, light bites, late breakfast and lunch, it’s the perfect place to enjoy dramatic views over Cornwall’s Atlantic coastline.
This traditional Cornish pub on Bodmin Moor created a new garden kitchen last year, and is ready to reopen to serve great food and ales. It has a large garden, so there’s plenty of space to spread out away from other visitors.
Recently featured in the list of the UK’s top 100 gastro pubs, St Kew Inn will be opening its beer garden in the Cornish countryside for guests to enjoy their first pint.
It will also be opening its new smokehouse in the coming weeks, serving wood-fired food (weather permitting).
An easy-going pub and pizza spot in the heart of Falmouth, 5˚ West offers plenty of outdoor seating with both a front balcony overlooking the quay and a spacious beer garden in the back.
This pub is open from 12pm – late, seven days a week. Don’t forget to bring your mask.
Positioned overlooking Fistral Beach, this beach bar offers a large outdoor area with spectacular views over the bay. A great casual spot to grab a drink and watch the sun go down, Fistral Beach Bar is a favourite for locals and tourists alike.
The team there have been busy preparing the renewed outdoor space, and it looks like the cellar is fit to burst with a healthy stock of beer.
The Heron Inn is a fantastic pub overlooking the River Fal in Malpas, just outside Truro. It might just be the perfect place to kick back and watch the world go by.
Opening on 12 April, spots on the Heron Inn’s outside terrace will be available to book, with the team preparing for all weathers by installing a retractable cover and heating. They will also be closing the car park and turning the space into a lovely beer garden which will take guests on a first-come-first-served basis.