The sun is shining, you’ve a pint of craft beer in your hand and you can smell delicious home-style cooking emanating from the pub kitchen. A lazy afternoon in a pub garden is a treat many of us have been eagerly anticipating.
While not every pub is able to open up just yet, those with outdoor seating are ready and waiting. Whether it’s a quick pint after work, a leisurely lunch with friends or a celebration with the family, we know just where to go to find the best beer, the tastiest food and the prettiest beer gardens in West Sussex.
Please do check local restrictions and the pub’s own website for up-to-date information and regulations. Please drink responsibly. We recommend ringing the pubs in advance to check up to date opening times and to make a reservation.
Our favourite pubs in West Sussex with beer gardens
Here’s our selection of the best beer gardens in West Sussex. If you have a favourite that isn’t on the list do let us know in the comments below.
The Duke of Cumberland Arms, Henley, Haslemere
Hidden away in the hamlet of Henley, just south of Fernhurst, The Duke of Cumberland is a fabulous country pub and restaurant with an extensive garden.
With many interesting and thoughtful features, it is an idyllic find described by the Michelin guide as “A hidden gem, nestled in pretty tiered gardens with trickling streams, trout ponds and splendid South Downs views.” When we visited we found the food, beer and service to be excellent and worth the price tag.
Visit their website for more information DukeofCumberland.com or call 01428 652280 to book a table.
Images courtesy of the Duke of Cumberland.
The Fox Goes Free, Charlton, Chichester
With the rolling hills of the South Downs National Park just the other side of a low flint wall, the views from the spacious pub garden at The Fox Goes Free in the little village of Charlton near Chichester are hard to beat. Overlooking Levin Down, a National Trust site, spring is a particularly enchanting time as you may see sheep with their young lambs in the neighbouring field.
This picturesque flint pub is four hundred years old, with open fireplaces, oak beams and bags of character. It has renowned for good food and beer, fines wines and excellent service and is in our mind one of the loveliest pubs in Sussex, if not the entire UK.
Visit their website for more information TheFoxGoesFree.com or call 01243 811461 to book a table.
The White Horse, Chilgrove, Chichester
Don’t be fooled by its address on the village high street, when you arrive at the Whtie Horse, you’ll not see a single shop, restaurant, post office or even another building in sight. This white-washed, wisteria clad inn was built in 1768 and is set amongst vast green lawns. The grounds are so big that it’s not unknown for guests to arrive by helicopter!
The food and service is excellent with ample outdoor seating and there’s plenty of parking with charging points for electric cars. Inside the pub is a charming mix of contemporary rustic chic blended with the traditional character you’d expect to find in an historic country pub. Gin lovers must try a glass of locally distilled Chilgrove Gin, bursting with Sussex-grown botanicals.
Visit their website for more information TheWhiteHorse.co.uk or call 01243 519 444 to book a table.
Stay at The White Horse
With several sumptuously furnished rooms (two with private hot tubs) The White Horse in Chilgrove also makes the perfect overnight getaway. Historic towns and villages including Chichester, Arundel and Amberley are all within easy reach. And the myriad of walking and cycling trails of the South Downs National Park are on your doorstep. Check availability and book, The White Horse.
George and Dragon, Houghton, Arundel
One of the oldest pubs in Sussex, the George and Dragon in Houghton near Arundel, dates back to 1276. Inside you’ll find inglenook fireplaces, oak beams and bags of character. Outside, the sweeping views from the beer garden across the South Downs National Park make the perfect setting on a sunny day.
The food is superb, made from locally sourced, freshly prepared seasonal ingredients.
Visit their website for more information TheGeorgeAndDragonHoughton.co.uk or call 01798 831 559 to book a table.
Images courtesy of the George and Dragon.
The Gribble Inn, Oving, Chichester
A lovely thatched cottage that was once the home of the village schoolmistress, Miss Gribble, this pub and brewery is a hidden gem in the Sussex countryside. The patio garden is a pretty setting, the food is great and the beer, brewed in the onsite microbrewery, is second to none.
If you’ve never drunk at the Gribble before, why not try a taster tray with three third of a pint of samples from their own excellent beers. We’d also recommend selecting a small portion (see the fish n chips below) for your main course to leave room for one of their delectable homemade desserts, for all but the largest of appetites.
Visit their website for more information Gribbleinn.co.uk or call 01243 786893 to book a table.
Read our review of The Gribble Inn.
Black Horse, Amberley, Arundel
In the picturesque village of Amberley, this historic inn has a spacious terrace and garden with views across the rooftops to the rolling hills of the South Downs National Park. The village is just five and a half miles north of Arundel.
The railway station in the village is a one-mile walk away and the train journey down from London takes just over an hour from Victoria station. A limited food menu is on offer now with the main restaurant opening on 17th May.
Visit their website for more information AmberleyBlackHorse.co.uk or call 01798 831183 to book a table.
Stay at The Black Horse, Amberley
A stay at The Black Horse would be the perfect way to celebrate a special occasion. As well as the lovely village and the South Downs Way being on your doorstep, Amberley Castle is just a short stroll away and we can highly recommend their afternoon teas.
Many more picturesque towns and villages, and hilltop walks are within easy reach plus the wonderful, largely outdoor Amberley Museum is a little over a mile away. Check availability and book, Black Horse.
Cake image courtesy of The Black Horse
The Black Rabbit, Arundel
In an idyllic setting by the River Arun, The Black Rabbit is just over a mile from the centre of Arundel. Part of the Hall and Woodhouse family of pubs.
The Black Rabbit has a reputation for great food and drinks and it does get booked up well in advance. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a table right by the river and some even have a view of Arundel Castle.
Visit their website for more information TheBlackRabbitArundel.co.uk or call 01903 882638 to book a table.
The George, Eartham, Chichester
While the garden here is smaller than the others featured, The George is nevertheless a worthy inclusion in this round-up. The wine, beers and food available here are all superb.
Hidden away in a tiny historic village in the South Downs National Park, there are some fabulous walks starting and ending on the pub’s doorstep, including Nore Wood, an ancient woodland renowned for its bluebells. And The George serves our favourite Sunday roasts in the county.
Visit their website for more information TheGeorgeEartham.com or call 01243 814340.
Read our review of the Sunday lunch at The George.
Blakes Bar, Felpham, Bognor Regis
While not strictly speaking a pub, Blakes Bar is the wonderful new terrace bar from the Beachcroft Hotel, right on the seafront in Felpham. It’s so picturesque, overlooking the sea, how could we not include it in this roundup? We’ve not had a chance to try it out yet but hope to very soon! We recently reviewed their stunning Beach Hut Suites which you can read about here.
Visit their website for more information, Blakes Bar.
Images courtesy of The Beachcroft Hotel
More great West Sussex pubs with beer gardens
The Shepherd & Dog, Fulking near Brighton
Visit their website for more information ShepherdandDogPub.co.uk or call 01273 857382.
The Inglenook, Pagham, Bognor Regis
Read our review of the Sunday lunch at The Inglenook.
Visit their website for more information TheInglenook.com or call 01243 262495.
Travel Blogger ‘Travel With Kat’ and Co-founder of Sussex Bloggers