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People sat enjoying a drink at outdoor venue Escape to Freight Island

The biggest beer gardens in Manchester where you might actually get a seat

It’s finally the Easter bank holiday weekend and with temperatures set to soar in Manchester (sort of), people will be flocking outside to beer gardens.

If Thursday was anything to go by, the city’s streets will be packed with revellers drinking pints back in the fresh air.

We all know the pain of walking pub-to-pub trying to find a seat on a sunny and/or warm Manchester day, so we’re rounding up the biggest beer gardens in the city.

You might actually stand a chance at getting a seat in one of these, if you’re quick enough.

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Thomas Street and Edge Street

The biggest beer gardens in Manchester where you might actually get a seat, The Manc
Thomas Street. Credit: David Dixon via Geograph

This was one of the few positives to come out of the pandemic – removing vehicles from a back-to-back stretch of the Northern Quarter.

It means that the bars along Thomas Street and Edge Street can now fill the roads with tables and chairs in one giant beer garden.

You’ll find the likes of Common, Terrace, Smithfield Social, the Bay Horse Tavern and Wolf At The Door all being given the al fresco treatment.

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Castlefield

The biggest beer gardens in Manchester where you might actually get a seat, The Manc

Two beer garden institutions both stand in the canal-side setting of Castlefield.

Both The Wharf and Dukes 92 are stuffed to the brim with pub-goers in spring and summer, thanks to their massive terraces.

It’s one of the prettiest spots in the city centre too.

Escape to Freight Island

The biggest beer gardens in Manchester where you might actually get a seat, The Manc

This hospitality giant was initially purpose-built with social distancing in mind (wasn’t 2020 a wild ride?!), leading to a seriously roomy outdoor space.

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While the bulk of the action has now shifted indoors to the Ticket Hall, Freight Island’s colourful outdoor space will be back in its element over the coming weeks.

You’ll find street food traders like Belzan pasta, Voodoo Ray’s pizza, and Mi & Pho all trading here, on this formerly-forgotten patch near Manchester Piccadilly.

The Oast House

The biggest beer gardens in Manchester where you might actually get a seat, The Manc

Beer gardens seem to be everywhere in Manchester these days, which is of course a good thing, but we still have a soft spot for the original outdoor watering hole.

Cast your mind back a few years and The Oast House was one of the only venues that really focused on an open-air offering.

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It’s still the same today – masses of tables in the heart of Spinningfields, with live entertainment and a belting Aperol Spritz too.

Hatch

The biggest beer gardens in Manchester where you might actually get a seat, The Manc
Hatch. Credit: Jody Hartley

Hatch’s little village of shipping containers, each one home to an independent business (from food and drink to retail), is a true all-weather venue.

Part of it is sheltered by the Mancunian Way that soars overhead, other parts are heated by patio heaters, and parts are left in optimum position for soaking up some sunshine.

The rooftop terrace that overlooks the whole space is our personal favourite.

Read more: Manchester weather forecast for Easter bank holiday weekend as warm weather FINALLY returns

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Mala

This ‘secret garden’ bar opened right in the heart of the Northern Quarter last year.

Tucked behind those big mint-green wooden boards on Dale Street is a cluster of picnic tables and wooden huts festooned with fairy lights and plants.

It might not be the tropics, but they’ve got the cocktails to trick your tastebuds into thinking it is – we’re talking frozen strawberry daiquiris and frozen pina coladas. Oh, and there’s beer too.

The Corn Exchange

The biggest beer gardens in Manchester where you might actually get a seat, The Manc

Another corner of the city where bars and restaurants spill outside alongside one another is the Corn Exchange.

Its residents – including Salvi’s, Banyan and Cosy Club – almost all have their own terraces, but it’s the ones on the Exchange Square side who get the most sunshine.

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You might have to queue a little while, but with so much seating, you’ll be sipping a drink in the sun before you know it.

Featured image: Escape to Freight Island

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