Chasing the Sun: The Ultimate Guide to Beer Gardens in Manchester

No really, this is the ONLY guide you need on the next sunny Saturday to perfectly bask in those glorious beams all day.

We’ve given you the 10 best beer gardens, hidden ones and even roof terraces in Manchester, this time we’re telling you exactly when to go to each to catch the best of the sun’s rays. 

The sun is making attempts to shine down again so we thought we’d better put in some hard work, get down to the best outdoor drinking spots and plan a Finest Day Out Chasing the Sun.  

I’m not joking, this has been a slog writing and researching this, but it’s worth it for the greater good of the city that never sees the sun. Right? So buckle up, and join in on Chasing the Sun on the next sunny-ish Saturday.  

*Disclaimer don’t come trying to find me if there’s an hour where the sun is stuck behind a building that has just been thrown up last night and your shoulders get cold, alright?

Morning Sun: 9 am – 12 pm


The Counter House
We recommend starting out at The Counter House which is open 9am-12pm and sizzled by the sun almost all day. We reckon The Counter House is in the sun for 7 whole hours so it’s a pretty good all dayer if you get too sloshed after your bucks fizz breakfast. Food is served all day, they’ve got healthy bowls, full plates, beers, cocktails, freshly pressed juices and sweet treats. What more could you want, eh? 

The Counter House, 35 Blossom St, Manchester M4 6AJ
thecounterhouse.co.uk

 

Flok
I don’t doubt you already know Flok is the place to be when the sun is out, and rightly so. The sun starts beaming in Stevenson Square pretty early but actually hits the outside seating area from around 10: 30 am. This is another spot you could pretty happily spend all day getting sunburnt as Flok is open til 2 am and basking in the sun’s warm glow pretty much until it sets. There are a few brief moments in the shadows when it goes around some buildings, so for best results, we reckon going down in the morning before you have to sit on the pavement when everyone and their Gran head down.

Flok, 5 Stevenson Square, Manchester M1 1DN
flokmcr.co.uk/

Afternoon Rays: 12 pm – 4 pm

Thomas Street; Cane & Grain, Terrace NQ, The Bay Horse
Walk 5 mins down the road in the glorious sunshine and pull up a pew at Cane & Grain and/or The Bay Horse Tavern. Both have a couple of seats outside that get a good few hours of the sun between 12-6pm. The lightweights can get some ribs and chips off the grill at Cane & Grain, the rest of you lot can carry on to the next watering hole. Terrace is perfect for an all-day boozer, just move a few feet to the other half of the terrace and chase the sun around the rooftop.

Cane & Grain, 49 -51 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1NA
Terrace NQ, 43 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1NA
The Bay Horse, 35-37 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1NA

 

Foundry Project Manchester
Foundry Project is pretty much in the sun from 10 am until around 3 pm. They’ve got a bottomless lunch 12-5pm where you can get a burger or pizza with as much prosecco or bloody mary’s as you can stomach (which is probably a fair bit). They also have Estrella in a giant tank straight from Spain making it the freshest pint of Estrella you can get your hands on in the entire country, which is just the tipple you need on a sunny day. 

Foundry Project, 22-10 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1DH
foundryproject.com/

 

Shambles Square
Shambles Square is a bit of sunspot and unfortunately, it’s no secret. This place gets rammed. So jump on a seat as soon as one gets free and get a cheap pint. There’s some pub grub too in case you get a little bit peckish. The sun beats down in this area from around 12-4pm so you’ve got a good few hours of basking to enjoy. 

Shambles Square, 2 Cathedral Gates, Manchester M3 1SW

 

Old Nags Head
A proper Manchester local pub with roof terrace full of murals of Manchester icons is a bit of a hidden gem. There are a good few hours of sunbeams between 12-4pm. It would be sacrilege to order anything other than a decent beer or ale at this place  – so bear that in mind when it comes to ordering your tipples. 

The Old Nags Head, 19 Jackson’s Row, Manchester M2 5WD

 

Castlefield
Castlefield is home to Dukes 92 which has the sun all day and a MASSIVE terrace that fills up pretty quick as soon as you lot get a glimpse of the sun. The Wharf is just on the other side of the canal and has about 6 hours of sunshine until 3 pm with a lovely patch of grass to the right which is great for a bit of lounging or even a picnic.

Dukes 92, 18 – 25 Castle St, Manchester M3 4LZ
The Wharf, 6 Slate Wharf, Manchester M15 4ST

 

Bunny Jackson’s
You can’t have a pub crawl without Bunny Jackson’s and the outside area gets an hour of the sun between 4-5pm. If you’re ready to call it a day, 10p chicken wings start at 5 pm which will sort you right out. If you carry on and enjoy happy hour, hot dogs are served 10pm-2am for 50p to help you soak up the day’s drinking. 

Bunny Jackson’s, 1 Jack Rosenthal Street, Manchester M15 4RA
bunnyjacksons.co.uk/

Evening Sundowners: 2 pm – 8 pm

Crazy Pedro’s Bridge Street
If you’re doing this in order, I’m gonna guess everyone might need to get an Uber to Pedro’s from Bunny’s, but if you’re stumbling on down, credit to ya! It should take 15 mins to walk but maybe add a minute for every pint you’ve had so far. I have meticulously calculated a pretty mega 6-hour shining beacon of glorious sunbeams outside Pedro’s, between 1-7pm. You can get a massive Strawberry Daquiri Sharer for £15, and a few slices of pizza to help keep you going on to the next sunspot.

Crazy Pedros, 55-57 Bridge St, Manchester M3 3BQ
crazypedros.co.uk

 

The Oast House
A pretty busy courtyard spot that gets the sun from 12-6pm, plenty of classic cocktails and an extensive selection of beers, pale ales, lagers and ciders as well as food and the odd bit of live music in the evenings and on the weekend. They’ve just done it up and it looks gorgeous with plenty of places to sit and catch some rays. 

Oast House, Crown Square,  The Avenue Courtyard, Manchester M3 3AY
theoasthouse.uk.com  

 

Rain Bar
The beer garden on the canalside tends to overflow with people but this is the perfect spot to watch the sunset. The garden is coated by the sun pretty much all day, I reckon from 9 am till sundown. Good luck getting a spot, if you can’t, grab your glass and go and sit on the side of the canal. I wouldn’t recommend dipping your toes in though – who knows what beasts might lurk beneath the murky water. 

Rain Bar, 80 Great Bridgewater St, Manchester M1 5JG
rain-bar.co.uk

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