Five of Nottingham’s best beer gardens

With the weather forecast to be scorching this week and next, there’s never been a better excuse to spend some quality time outdoors on the weekends. If stepping into a country park isn’t your thing, the city center is full of incredible hidden gems with outdoor seating areas perfect for a visit.

Just make sure you’re prepared for the weather as it’s easy to get burned over a coffee, or something stronger, at one of the many cafes on our list.

There are plenty of options to choose from, including coffees at Contemporary, cakes at Colwick, and even a sticky bun at Beeston. We narrowed it down to just five outdoor options for places to hang out.

Blend has taken over the cafe from Nottingham Contemporary

1- Contemporary Nottingham

Nottingham Contemporary offers a bit of quiet culture right in the heart of the city centre. However, there is plenty to do at the gallery besides picking up the art, including plant shopping with Sap Plants, gift shopping at the quirky shop, and also soaking up the sun in their outdoor seating area.

The cafe, which is downstairs in the basement, opens out the back near the tram line. Despite its busy location, the cafe and outdoor space are relatively quiet. Nottingham coffeehouse chain Blend recently opened its new location at Contemporary, so there’s plenty of coffee and food on offer on-site.

2- Wired on wheels

Wired on Wheels is a bit of a hidden gem in Nottingham with one of the most scenic surroundings to stop and grab a coffee. The distinctive yellow van sits in the middle of Colwick Park near the Waterfront Activity Center

Exceptional coffee is best served with one of their hot croissants halfway through while you watch the birds and water from your seat. It’s a great place to walk your dog and spend time with the family as there are plenty of hikes to do.

The beer and coffee area of ​​the Garage
The beer and coffee area of ​​the Garage

3- The mechanic

The Garage in Chilwell is definitely one for the weekend as it has a number of coffee vans and street food vendors. Although if you’re in the mood for something a little stronger than coffee, they also have a full bar on site.

The outdoor seating area is definitely a place to get there early as it can get very busy, but it’s worth the wait as it’s a great place to soak up the sun. There are lots of different vendors on site, so there are several food vans to choose from, including fresh pizzas and homemade chocolates.

4-Gedling Nature Park

Gedling Country Park is a short drive from the town center but very easy to get to. It is an ideal place to spend a day browsing the various walks it offers.

The park cafe offers a range of different cakes and coffees which can be enjoyed in the surrounding seating area while the children enjoy the nearby play area. It makes a difference to get out of town as the park is beautifully quiet by comparison and the seating area is perfect for soaking up the sun.

Broadway Cinema, in Broad Street, Nottingham
Broadway Cinema, in Broad Street, Nottingham

5- Broadway Cafe

The cafe on Broadway got a makeover during the lockdown and relaunch of their cafe. The revamped menu now features new pizzas, burgers and sides. The cafe’s outdoor seating area is perfect for people watching while you sit back and watch the world go by.

Hockley is a great location for outdoor cafes, bars and restaurants, so even though Broadway is full, there are plenty of options to choose from nearby. However, it’s worth coming early to grab one of the outside tables if you can, as dishes like the kimchee-laden tater tots or their homemade pizzas are worth fighting for a spot.

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