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Best pub gardens across Kent opening on April 12

It's not long now before pubs and restaurants with outdoor spaces can reopen from April 12.

To help you plan ahead, we take a look at some of the county's best pub gardens - though we can't guarantee the weather...

It's almost time to say cheers to drinking in a pub garden again
It's almost time to say cheers to drinking in a pub garden again

The Singleton Barn, Singleton, Ashford

A tithe barn dating back to 1631, the building is full of character with oak beams and open rafters under which exceptional ales and quality pub food are served. The family-friendly venue has a large garden and play area for kids and is one of the most popular pubs in the area for live sport. More at singletonbarn.co.uk or call 01233 629379.

Singleton Barn pub
Singleton Barn pub

The Pavilion, Harbour Street, Broadstairs

Located on the beachfront at the award-winning Viking Bay, visitors can enjoy supping on a pint with views out to sea with the sand just metres from their feet. With a balcony and lower beer garden, which has its own bar too, it is a prime spot for the summer months and you can even walk onto the beach from the garden area. Food is served all day. More at pavilion-broadstairs.co.uk or call 01843 600900.

The Broadstairs Pavilion
The Broadstairs Pavilion

The Dolphin, St Radigund's Street, Canterbury

Found in the winding, cobbled back streets of Canterbury, The Dolphin, run by local pub magnate Charles Smythe, had a revamp and provides with a comfortable atmosphere and has a large beer garden, allowing for social distancing. More on Facebook or call 01227 455963.

Charles Smythe at the Dolphin in Canterbury
Charles Smythe at the Dolphin in Canterbury

Old City Bar, Oaten Hill, Canterbury

Located close to the centre of Canterbury, the Old City Bar is one of five boozers owned by city pub magnate Charles Smythe. The tavern has a large pub garden equipped with several tables and heaters. It serves up a menu featuring pub classics, such as burgers and fish and chips. More at oldcitybar.co.uk or call 01227 766882.

The Old City Bar in Canterbury will be open outside in April
The Old City Bar in Canterbury will be open outside in April

The Shakespeare, Butchery Lane, Canterbury

The Shakespeare is tucked away along a narrow lane a stone's throw from Canterbury Cathedral. It is believed its historic premises first opened as a pub more than 200 years ago. Peckish drinkers are able to choose from a wide range of hearty dishes and burgers on the tavern's menu. More at shakespearecanterbury.com

Nearly time to drink in a pub garden
Nearly time to drink in a pub garden

Waggon at Hale, Capstone Road, Chatham

Traditional, family-run pub overlooking fields and near Capstone Farm Country Park, is a popular haunt for families and dog walkers taking a stroll around the lake and woods. Its large garden includes a play area and is home to the pub's resident pets. The menu ranges from light lunches to fine dining with cocktails and unusual gins also available. More via Facebook or call 01634 400800.

The Waggon at Hale
The Waggon at Hale

The White Horse, St James Street, Dover

This hidden gem of a pub is always popular with locals and people passing through, but is easy to miss if you don't know where to look. Famously good food can be enjoyed in a beer garden fenced with centuries-old stonework. It does get sun, but the paved floor also means it's a perfect spot no matter the weather. More at thewhitehorsedover.co.uk or call 01304 213066.

The White Horse in Dover
The White Horse in Dover

The Cricketers, Crabble Avenue, Dover

If you fancy sitting in the grass on a sunny day without worrying about being too close to other people, this is the pub garden for you. Spacious and sunny all day long, it has a good range of meals and a large range of beers. It's family-friendly, and the garden is more than big enough for kids to run around in. More at cricketersdover.co.uk or call 01304 206396.

The Cricketers in Crabble Avenue, Dover
The Cricketers in Crabble Avenue, Dover

The Coastguard, Bay Hill, St Margarets Bay, near Dover

Called the nearest pub to France, visitors will certainly be able to feed any cravings for a seaside view. The seating area at the front is almost directly on the beach, so would serve as a great setting-off point for socially distanced walks on the beach. With plenty of seafood dishes, as well as traditional pub fare, there's something for everyone. More at thecoastguard.co.uk or call 01304 853051.

The Coastguard pub, Bay Hill, St Margarets Bay, Dover Picture: Alan Langley
The Coastguard pub, Bay Hill, St Margarets Bay, Dover Picture: Alan Langley

The Red Lion, Badlesmere, Faversham

The family-run free house serves real ales, wines and has an entirely gluten-free kitchen, all set in the beautiful village of Badlesmere. There is a generous and picturesque child-friendly garden. More at redlionbadlesmere.com or call 01233 740309.

The Red Lion, Badlesmere
The Red Lion, Badlesmere

The Pullman, Church Street, Folkestone

Just off the main drag of the town the unassuming pub is nestled in a side street and has a surprisingly luscious garden in the back. Highly reviewed by those who visit, it is like a miniature rainforest - a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the high street and beach. More at thepullmanfolkestone.com or call 01303 488966

The Pullman pub in Folkestone Picture: Gary Browne
The Pullman pub in Folkestone Picture: Gary Browne

The Harbour Inn, Harbour Street, Folkestone

The Harbour Inn is a fantastic spot to soak up a seaside atmosphere and people-watch. There's an outdoors seating area. The food is fantastic, if a little on the pricey side, but there's definitely a reason why locals and day-trippers alike keep coming back for more. Details at theharbourinnfolkestone.co.uk or call 01303 487260.

The Three Daws, West Street, Gravesend

Sitting on the edge of the River Thames looking out towards Essex, the Three Daws has exceptional views of the estuary. The historical tavern, which dates back to the 1400s, provides a wide range of ales and boasts an impressive menu with sharing platters and classic pub grub. Although there is plenty of space, booking is advisable due to the picturesque location. More at threedaws.co.uk or call 01474 566869.

The Three Daws pub, Gravesend
The Three Daws pub, Gravesend

The Windmill Tavern, Shrubbery Road, Gravesend

At first glance The Windmill Tavern looks to be a small, secluded pub with not much out the back. But don't judge a book by its cover - the quaint drinking house boasts a sprawling but enclosed lawn area for patrons to enjoy not just its specialist ales and range of flavoured gins, but its food menu which includes light bites, all day breakfast, a selection of fish and classic burgers. Details at windmillpubandgarden.com or call 01474 352242.

The Windmill Tavern, Shrubbery Road, Gravesend
The Windmill Tavern, Shrubbery Road, Gravesend

The Ferry House Inn, Harty, Isle of Sheppey

This award-winning pub, right on the Swale Estuary, dates back to the 16th century. Now also a popular wedding venue, its restaurant has been awarded an AA Rosette for dining and it boasts gardens, an oak gazebo and children's play area. There is also a brilliant circular walk from Harty, across unspoilt country, down to the beach at Shellness - with a stop in at the pub for family-farmed beef and lamb, home-reared free range game birds and homegrown veggies, fruit and herbs. Details at theferryhouseinn.co.uk or call 01795 510214.

The view from The Ferry House Inn at Harty on Sheppey
The view from The Ferry House Inn at Harty on Sheppey

The Dirty Habit, Hollingbourne, near Maidstone

Not far from Leeds Castle, high up on the Pilgrims Way, the Dirty Habit is part of the same small, but ever-expanding chain as The Farmhouse in West Malling and the Potting Shed at Langley. Tastefully decked out both inside and out, the pub serves up an impressive menu that includes sharing platters and authentic wood-fired sourdough pizzas. The large walled garden has plenty of space, but booking is advisable. More at elitepubs.com/the-dirty-habit or call 01622 880880.

The Dirty Habit
The Dirty Habit

The Duke of Marlborough, Union Street, Maidstone

The town centre boozer underwent a dramatic refurbishment in the first national lockdown, and its extensive pub garden at the back is now a shining example. If you fancy something other than the beers and ales there's also flavoured rums and ginseccos to try. Contact via Facebook or call 01622 677727.

The Duke of Marlborough pub in Maidstone
The Duke of Marlborough pub in Maidstone

The Plough Inn, Langley, near Sutton Valence

A real sun trap, this large patio area may not be in keeping with the traditional beer garden but its well-spaced benches and neatly divided booths make social distancing easy. The promise of cocktails on tap and a great pub menu make this recently renovated inn a safe bet for a sunny post-lockdown pint. Details at theploughpublangley.co.uk or call 01622 842555

The Plough at Langley
The Plough at Langley

Playa Freehouse and Restaurant, The Leas, Minster-on-Sea, Sheppey

The Playa is that rare hostelry - a pub on the Isle of Sheppey with a sea view. It is popular with residents and visitors alike and until the last lockdown staged regular band nights indoors and music festivals in its large beer garden. It has been running a takeaway menu but also has a great little restaurant for when we are allowed back inside. More via Facebook or call 07494 020957.

The Playa is located on The Leas in Minster, Sheppey
The Playa is located on The Leas in Minster, Sheppey

The Tudor Rose, High Street, Upper Upnor, near Rochester

A gem of a pub at the bottom of a cobbled street in the village it is next to Upnor Castle, an Elizabethan artillery fort overlooking the River Medway. Aptly furnished to reflect the area's rich naval heritage, there is a large walled garden at the back with shaded areas. Impressive menu, real ales and dog-friendly. Details at tudorroseupnor.co.uk or call 01634 714175.

The Tudor Rose pub in Upnor
The Tudor Rose pub in Upnor

Belle Vue Tavern, Pegwell Road, Ramsgate

There's a reason this pub garden is called 'The Balcony of Kent', with its stunning views across the picturesque Pegwell Bay towards Sandwich. With a large space, much seating and an outdoor 'Sundowner Bar', it is one of the most popular summer spots in Thanet. Visitors can enjoy al fresco meals from an extensive menu and barbecues, with the BBQ Shack open Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings during the summer, weather permitting. More at thebellevuetavern.co.uk or call 01843 593991.

The Belle Vue Tavern
The Belle Vue Tavern

For more food and drink news across Kent click here.

Our Secret Drinker is all set for the return of pub gardens.

Read our Secret Drinker reviews here.

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