It’s been a long time coming, but many pubs with outdoor spaces are now reopen and as befits a town that boasts so many extraordinary green spaces, Swindon is full of pubs with welcoming gardens or patios where punters can enjoy a refreshing springtime drink.
Many pubs are taking bookings and up to six individuals or two households can have a drink together at last. There may also be some restrictions on how long a table is available, so it’s wise to check on a pub’s Covid restrictions in advance.
So, let’s raise a glass to ten pubs that come into their own in the springtime.
Rudi’s, Regent Circus. This town centre terrace in a cool art deco building has long been a hit amongst the young and not so young alike and has one of the best selections of cocktails in Swindon from the Shakespeare’s Tipple and Pornstar Martini to Cotton Candy Fizz and Butterscotch White Russian.
The Runner, Wootton Bassett Road. The recently refurbished pub serves good food all day and offers parents the chance to dine al fresco next to a rolling stream while their children run around to their heart’s content in the large garden and adventure play area.
The Hop Inn, Devizes Road. Think of The Hop Inn as an on-going beer festival. There’s an ever-changing selection of 12 guest brews – stouts, sours, bitters, IPAs, wheat beers, saisons and pale ales, and 4 permanent favourites – its self-named Hop Bitter by Ramsbury Brewery, Freedom’s lager and pale ale, and Weihenstephaner Bavarian wheat beer.
The Kingsdown, Upper Stratton. The Kingsdown has sat proudly in Stratton St Margaret, Swindon for over 170 years. Just a stone's throw from Arkell's Brewery, on a warm spring day there are plenty of tables with or without umbrellas, plus a new terrace and shaded marquee area perfect for taking cover for drinking when the temperature's rising.
The Sun Inn, Marlborough Road. It’s all about location, location, location for The Sun Inn. Not only does it have its own large garden and children’s play area, but it’s situated right next to Coate Water Country Park, a great place for a spring day out. You might even catch a live band playing outdoors in the thatched shelter.
Mackenzies, Wood Street. An Old Town fixture for more than twenty-five years, Mackenzies’ long outdoor terrace is where Swindon’s young, free and single like to mingle to compare suntans and spring outfits. If you’re already taken, don’t worry – you can still enjoy food and good music all day with your nearest and dearest!
The Dockle Farmhouse, Bridge End Road. Large, family-friendly pub with an equally large garden, the former Greenbridge public house comprises the old Dockle farmhouse, built in 1800, and two extensions, added in the 1980s. It’s a Wetherspoon pub which means you get value-for-money food and drink, and in this case, lots of vintage photos of Swindon on the walls.
The Sun Inn, Lydiard Millicent. The Sun Inn is a family friendly pub, serving great fresh food using local ingredients, set in the picturesque village of Lydiard Millicent. Marquee tables and garden tables are available for bookings.
The Blunsdon Arms, Thamesdown Drive. Conveniently located close to the A419 Blunsdon Bypass, The Blunsdon Arms, complete with huge inviting beer garden, is a great place to refuel after a long day exploring Lydiard Park, the Orbital shopping centre, or Mouldon Hill.
Manor Farm, Haydon Wick. Set in a restored 17th century farmhouse, Manor Farm’s exposed oak beams might normally keep you inside, but the beer garden will tempt you out into the sun. The pub prides itself on its “superior comfort food”, with gourmet burgers and rich puddings.