A definitive rundown of the best pub gardens in Exeter

Pimms is just a boozy fruit salad right?

The weather has notched up that one degree higher signalling to all Brits that it is officially socially acceptable to have a bbq every evening, have a Pimms at midday, and for every single Exeter student to bring out their summer wardrobe – and yes, I do mean their plethora of white trousers (you know the ones). Whether you’ve finished uni forever or have deferred all deadlines until August, everyone deserves a good pub trip, so we’ve rounded up the best pub gardens for you to romanticise your overdraft with a cheeky Aperol in sunshine-y peace.

1. Impy

I mean, every student knows the OG classic pub garden that is Impy. I actually think Impy might have invented pub gardens tbh.

2. Black Horse

Especially good if some of your party are smokers, Black Horse has a terraced garden around the back – so not only are you not on a main road, you also get feel like you’re in some kind of beach shack (providing you’ve never been to a real beach shack bar before).

3. Badavi’s Lounge

If you’ve never been down to Badavi’s Lounge – respectfully, are you okay. They have a super sweet terrace style decking area, adorned with just enough festoon lighting to make you feel like you could be on Love Island (drama not included).

4. On the Waterfront

If the view of the quay wasn’t enough (despite the trek down there), On the Waterfront offers cocktail deals and most importantly, massive jugs of Pimms.

5. Mill on the Exe

Not technically a garden, but Mill on the Exe has lots of tables outside by the lovely River Exe (in case the name wasn’t enough of a clue) where you can attempt to relax your fears about impending eBART results away.

6. Topsham Brewery

Possibly the best pub garden in Exeter, Topsham Brewery (on the quay – not Topsham) has a sprawling pub garden, lit entirely by fairy lights overlooking the lapping water of the quay – dreamy.

7. Margoux

Okay, not technically a pub, but Margoux’s rooftop bar is vibey enough to make you feel like you’re on hols – or at least somewhere much more exotic than Exeter…

8. Double Locks

So, as it turns out, most of the best pub gardens are on the quay, and given the gorgeous (for England) weather, it might just be worth making the journey down. If walking isn’t your thing, why not take the chance to bike or even paddle-board down to Double Locks and treat yourself to a cheeky (if on the ££ side) pint – maybe just the one though if you have to water-sport back.

9. Firehouse

I’m not quite sure what my love affair with Firehouse is about, and it may not be considered a classic pub garden, but there’s something to be said for the quaint, chilled vibes of Firehouse’s outside. With a mix of long tables and upcycled beer barrel seats, it’s got the perfect combo no matter what size your party is. Plus if it gets cold you can always dive inside. And, you know, there’s pizza, and pizza always has to make the list.

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