Believe it or not, summer is finally upon us so it’s time to make the most of it. Bars with an outdoor area are a great venue to spend time enjoying the sunshine with your friends and family, and all in the company of some fantastic views. We’ve uncovered the best bars around London to help make your next weekend one to remember.

Summer cocktails on a rooftop bar

Whether you’re looking to explore a new area of London, impress your work colleagues or try something totally different, we’ve found the coolest scenic bars in London to add to your hit list.

Central London

Savage Garden, Tower Hill

Located at the top of the DoubleTree Hotel, this rooftop bar is an experience like no other. Open all year round, for you to enjoy cocktails exploding with creativity and 360 views onto some of London’s iconic landmarks, including the Gherkin.  

When you arrive on the 12th floor, the urban aesthetic is captivating. The design takes inspiration from the city landscape of London, from graffiti walls to daring suede seats. But the best is the spectacular outdoor area. Two terraces overlook a sensational landscape. There’s even a resident DJ from Wednesdays through to Saturday to get you in that weekend mood.

Nearest tube: Aldgate or Tower Hill

Order: The Savage Spritz

Who to take: Perfect spot for brunch with friends

Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden, Southbank

This award-winning rooftop garden is budding with delightful flowers and allotments. Alongside picturesque views of London’s skyline, it acts as a perfect escape from the bustling city below.

Centrally located in the city, you can easily stop by after shopping or work to take in the sun and savour a splendid drink of your choice. The garden surrounding the rooftop bar is preserved by a group of volunteers who have experienced homelessness and addiction. This conservation work has helped them to put their lives back on track.

Open from early April through to October (weather depending) and is totally free!

Nearest tube: Waterloo or Embankment  

Order: Strawberry Bellini (jug option available…)

Who to take: With a cap on capacity and a no smoking policy it’s great option to take the family.

Southbank, London after sunset

East London

Franks Café, Peckham

Franks Café in Peckham finds itself uniquely placed at the top of a car park. Entering via a gritty stairwell, this south London hotspot has stayed true to its urban surroundings.

Frank’s Café has now been open for over a decade, and there’s no surprise why. This large outdoor space has plenty of seating, a large bar, an art gallery and of course, breath-taking views. Catch a look over the impressive London skyline – a striking sight in the day but even more so at sunset.

Nearest tube: Peckham Rye

Order: Pimms & Lemonade

Who to take: Dazzle your work colleagues with this trendy spot without breaking the bank.

Summer cocktails placed in front on city skyline

North London

The Woolpack, Hertford

Not far from the centre of Hertford lies this cosy pub. This centuries-old venue is the ideal stop to enjoy locally brewed ale and captivating views.

Enjoy a pint of the finest local brewery with a freshly made burger in their outdoor area that overlooks the River Lea. Ideal for lunch or an evening drink enjoying the summer weather.

This local treat is a great choice for families: they’re a wide selection of milkshakes and organic coffees to choose from and it’s dog friendly too.

Nearest station: Hertford East

Order: Try one of their latest local ales.

Who to take: Treat the family for a splendid lunch

The Old Barge, Hertford

Discover this British pub situated on the heart of the River Lea in Hertford. With contemporary cuisine that accommodates for all, including great vegetarian options, all at an affordable price, makes this location a must-visit.

The convenient location means it’s easy to get to if you’re arriving in the car, on the bike or on foot. If the weather’s nice, taking a walk along the river with The Old Barge as your destination spot will be a wonderful weekend activity for all the family.

Be sure to keep an eye on their events, as they often hold family-friendly events throughout the week, such as music quizzes, and even beer festivals throughout the year.

Nearest station: Hertford East

Order: Enjoy their delicious Sunday roast

Who to take: take your friends to the weekly quiz

West London

Radio Rooftop Bar, Aldwych

Get into the flow of summer with this spectacular rooftop bar. Find Radio Rooftop at the top of the ME London hotel. A burst of exotic colours and a stunning design greets you as you arrive. This rooftop bar brings the flourishing spirit of South America to London.

Expect tremendous views, as rooftop bar overlooks the Thames and some of London’s most iconic landmarks, like Big Ben.

With afternoon tea and brunch on the menu, it’s not just an impressive location for drinks. Sit back and relax with a casual weekend dinner with your family while admiring the view.

Nearest tube: Holborn or Temple  

Order: Tropical punch or afternoon tea

Who to take: Bring the family and immerse yourselves in Mediterranean cuisine and striking scenery

London skyline showing iconic buildings next to the Thames

The perfect summer party doesn’t have to stop once you’ve left your new favourite rooftop bar. Discover some unique cocktail recipes that you can try at home! Read the article here.