Top 10 English Rooftop Bars
This week temperatures will be climbing to a balmy 20°C, and it has us looking ahead to our favourite time of year: rooftop bar season, otherwise known as summer. We’re here to round up some of the UK’s very best so that you never need visit a subpar establishment. It’s a season to be enjoyed, after all!
Netil360 serves its drinks in big plastic beakers, and there aren’t seats so much as spots you can plonk yourself down in. It is certainly not fancy, but it very much deserves its place on this list. The atmosphere here is laid-back, the music is great, and drinks aren’t horrendously expensive. We recommend making the climb up the many flights of stairs in this east London establishment early on, so that you can catch some rays on a sunny day before the crowds draw in.
In stark contrast with Netil360, Aqua Kyoto is a sleek, grown-up affair. The dress code here is smart, and you’ll enter the bar through a gleaming Asian restaurant with chic interiors. Drinks here aren’t cheap, but they sure are delicious. We recommend embracing the occasion and opting for cocktails to really give yourself a taste of the high life.
Peckham is home to some seriously strong rooftop bars. It’s a great spot from which to enjoy a good sunset, with views out across the city from its most well-loved spots. Forza Wine wins the title of best spot in Peckham for us. It has long-bench tables and a laid-back atmosphere, but it’s the winning combination of delicious Italian fare and dreamy views that has us swooning.
This Shoreditch establishment looks like a liquor store upon entry, and in fact, it is. They stock a serious array of whiskies and other spirits, but don’t get distracted… There are some lovely bars to discover here. The basement bar is a moody number, with tables in coves, making it a great spot for a date night. TT Liquor’s rooftop offering feels so much like a hidden gem at the moment (none of the crowds, all of the excellent drinks) that we were almost loathe to feature it but we couldn’t let you down like that!
20 Stories is one of Manchester’s sleekest establishments, with modern British fare served alongside delicious cocktails in upscale surrounds. The terrace here has fire pits and a BBQ to ensure that you’re left with that holiday feeling even on the greyer of days. Book ahead to bag a table, and be sure to dress to impress.
Atlas Bar in Deansgate is a more laid-back affair. The bar has a bit of a pub feel, but it’s not all pints here. Instead, there are gins across the globe to sample. Can you imagine a more refreshing tipple to enjoy on their sprawling terrace on a warm summer’s day?
If we could spend a rare sunny day in Manchester anywhere it would be at the rooftop pool of the King Street Townhouse. Located on the seventh floor of the hotel, this infinity pool will allow you to glide above the crowds of the city centre. Once you’ve finished your dip, what you’ll need is a cocktail at the rooftop bar. Both of these experiences are limited to guests only, and you’ll need to book to bag a spot at the bar.
Goodness Gracious Roof Garden
Liverpool’s Goodness Gracious Roof Garden is a walk-in only affair, meaning that you’ll be able to seize the day on those sunny afternoons that beckon for cocktails on a sun-scorched rooftop. This colourful bar boasts a prime location, on the eighth floor of West Africa House and enjoys views out over the Three Graces, Liverpool’s most famed and historic buildings. It’s not all about the views here though, there are some seriously tasty cocktails to be enjoyed.
The Rooftop Terrace, The Varsity Hotel
The Varsity Hotel is one of Cambridge’s best-loved hotels, and it’s not hard to see why when it has cosy chic interiors and lots of little nooks to play a board game in with your holiday companions. However, the real jewel in the hotel’s crown is the rooftop terrace, which is sprawling and completely open-air meaning that you can make the most of the sunshine. It’s one of the highest spots in the city, and so offers impressive vistas out over the colleges below.
If a rooftop tipple isn’t quite fancy enough for you, and instead you want a steak dinner to top off the experience, Marco Pierre White’s Birmingham outfit is the spot for you. The restaurant offers panoramic views of the city thanks to the 360° windows. On days when the sun shines, you’ll want to head to the terrace to enjoy the extensive cocktail menu alongside your meal. When the weather is cooler, a retractable roof keeps this area in action. Who says rooftop bars are just for summer anyway?
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