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Find out the best date to start drinking outside in the UK

A cocktail brand has claimed to have worked out the exact best date to start alfresco drinking in the UK.

New study reveals best city in the UK for a beer garden pub crawl

NIO Cocktails, a ready-to-drink cocktail brand, made the move to discover when drinkers across the country were most likely to be able to enjoy boozing outside after the cold winter months have come to a close.

The brand compiled weather information including maximum temperature, total rainfall and the maximum wind speed in London, Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff for every day last year from the beginning of January until the end of December.

An average was then calculated for each calendar day based on the previous five years. Once the average temperature was greater than 18 degrees Celsius, and rainfall and wind speed was low enough, it was considered “pub garden season”.

Using this information, England’s ‘first’ day according to research is 7 May, which is just after the first bank holiday weekend in the month. Wales’ is just over a fortnight later on 20 May, and Northern Ireland can expect ideal conditions at the end of the month on 30 May.

Unfortunately, for those based in Scotland, they will need to wait a bit longer, with the Summer Solstice — 21 June — expected to be the best date to start experiencing the perfect weather conditions for enjoying a drink in the garden.


The UK’s temperate, and temperamental, climate has a big impact on the on-trade.

Last year’s wet weather across the summer, especially in early August, had a profound impact with sales in managed venues down 6% in the first week of the month compared to 2022.

Last year was the wettest July on record in Northern Ireland and parts of England, with a UK average rainfall of 140.1mm – the sixth highest figure since 1836. The damp conditions kept customers away from beer gardens and terraces.

The category to suffer the biggest year-on-year drop was cider, with a 15% decline in sales. While not cider’s biggest drop in July, this was likely the result of the fruit-based booze being a popular option for al fresco drinking in the sun.

Jonathan Jones, CGA’s managing director for the UK and Ireland, said at the time: “The unpredictability of weather patterns highlights the significance for businesses to adeptly manage these challenges and tailor strategies to ensure resilience and growth in the on premise.”

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