The Best Winter Beer Gardens in Manchester

By Manchester's Finest | Last updated 5 January 2024

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Manchester isn’t blessed with the best weather for most of the year, but winter can be particularly bad. Usually, we say goodbye to our favourite beer gardens and replace them with overcrowded, claustrophobic pubs, but below you’ll find an amazing catalogue of beer gardens and pop-up bars that will allow you to cosy up during the colder months.

The Refuge

The clue is in the name isn’t it? The Refuge’s Winter Garden is of course the perfect place to enjoy some cocktails over the colder months, and you won’t even need to venture outdoors. The inclusion of the stunning tree, and the surround conservatory manages to whisk you away into a sort-of Narnia wonderland just without any Turkish Delight or evil witches. There’s also their gorgeous new outdoor terrace too.

The Ivy

This four-storey behemoth features a huge rooftop garden featuring fire pits and lush foliage, alongside a fully retractable roof should you find yourself shivering on a particularly cold December evening. It’s technically inside, but also technically outside – essentially walking a velvet tightrope of sophistication and function. There’s no way you’ll get cold in here, even if there’s a storm belting about outside, you’ll be nice and toasty and, even better, perfectly placed to ride it out with cocktails.


If you’re still yet to visit Ramona, what have you been doing?! The majority of our time is spent day-dreaming about their truffle potatoes. Anyway, alongside its amazing food offerings, the venue’s winter village is the perfect spot for a cosy tipple!

Escape to Freight Island

Escape to Freight Island has been a hit with Manchester folk and beyond since it opened its doors. The outdoor Winter Island space is one of the lushest places in the city to enjoy a mulled wine and some class food courtesy of vendors including; Burgerism, Payal, Fuku and the Sunday Seconds carvery offering.

The Black Friar

On the corner of two of Salford’s busiest roads sits The Black Friar, an idyllic gastropub serving an exquisite menu of festive feasts. An essential stop off point for anyone on a winter pub crawl, it’s an ideal spot for a cosy Christmas night out with friends, with the perfect ambience, complete with cosy interiors and a warm, intimate atmosphere.


Nothing warms you up more than a big, hot, spicy curry and so getting your face wrapped around a big Lamb Nihari down at Zouk is the perfect remedy for a cold, dark winter day. Add to this an extensive outside terrace, which is heated, and you’ve got yourself one of the city’s best winter garden experiences – one you can even enhance with a bit of Shisha should you want to partake.


Everyone goes crazy over YES – primarily because of its perfect mix of live music, street food, cheap beer and of course THAT rooftop terrace. Resembling something you’d find in the deepest, darkest parts of hipster Brooklyn, the rooftop terrace of YES is the perfect winter hideout, with half under cover, and the other half jam packed full of scorching heaters. The venue has also extended its outdoor drinking/dining offering, with additional seating available next to venue. Perfect.

20 Stories

Having the highest terrace in the city and the most sought after view going, it would be criminal for 20 Stories not to keep their outdoor space open over the winter and as such they’ll have the roaring fire pits stoked throughout the cold, dark months to keep us drinking their cocktails and eating their food. There’s no denying the views are spectacular but they’ll be a whole lot better on a crisp, cold winter evening, wrapped up with a glass of warm mulled wine in your hands.

The Oast House

The Oast House in Spinningfields becomes even more charming than before during the winter months, with their iconic Christmas tipis as gorgeous and cosy as ever! The giant tipis are kitted out with a large fire place in the centre of the room and benches and tables occupying the outer rim. Whether you’re on a first date or just want to come out for a couple of drinks with your pals, you won’t have to barge your way through the crowd to get a drink from the main bar – there’s one already in the tipi, to save you some hassle. How convenient?

The Old Abbey Taphouse

Probably the best terrace that you’ve not heard of – the Old Abbey Tap House have a cracking outside bit – with cover, heaters, DJs, pizza and loads of craic. Once you’re here it’s hard to leave – especially when the shots come out.


Terrace has been a staple of the Northern Quarter nightlife scene for years now, and come summer or winter, its beer garden is a divine retreat away from the hustle and bustle of city centre living. The bar offers a great list of cocktails and beer from around the world, as well as a menu full of wood-fired pizzas, sandwiches, burgers and Sunday roasts, all of which can be enjoyed in the comfort of its heated terrace!

Beer Garden