The UK’s 10 Best Bars with a View
From stylish beachside watering holes to London rooftop bars that offer a dynamic lookout over the iconic cityscape, enjoy a cold pint or two alongside spectacular vistas at the UK’s 10 best bars with a view.
If there’s one thing the UK knows how to do well, it’s having a drink. Lucky then that our quaint little island is home to more world-class watering holes complete with picturesque settings than you can throw a stick at.
From charming beachside bars to lavish London rooftops, here are our top UK bars with a view for your next date night.
Jin Bo Law, London
Sitting pretty on the 14th floor of the capital’s Dorsett City Hotel, right next to Aldgate station, Jin Bow Law has quickly made a name for itself as one of the UK’s best bars with a view. The expansive balcony runs the length of the swish Asian-style cocktail bar, with the likes of Tower Bridge, the Shard and the Gherkin all so close you could almost touch them.
Expertly-crafted cocktails are the name of the game here, and we highly recommend the Detox-Retox which, comprising Grey Goose vodka, Briottet apple liqueur, blue spirulina, lime, cloudy apple juice and coconut water, makes us feel all the less guilty about ordering a second round. Or a third, for that matter.
Rockwater Hove, Brighton & Hove
A stylish rooftop beach bar often hailed as one of the best in the UK, if you find yourself in Brighton this summer, be sure to pay Rockwater Hove a visit. Just west of the city’s famous i360 viewing point, it’s an elegant seaside spot complete with pristine ocean views and a pretty terrace perfect for soaking up the sun.
You could choose to just grab a quick drink, but we recommend taking a seat on the roof terrace and settling in for the afternoon with a delicious lunch of small and large sharing plates including Jersey oysters, tuna sashimi, beef short rib and the creamiest burrata in town.
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20 Stories, Manchester
Cocktails shouldn’t taste better at a higher altitude, but somehow they do at Manchester’s most popular rooftop bar and restaurant. Hiding (you guessed it) 20 storeys high above Spinningfields with the most impressive panoramic views of Manchester City Centre from the vast floor-to-ceiling windows, it was previously named one of the best rooftop bars in the world, and it’s not hard to see why.
Base yourself on the rooftop garden terrace and enjoy the likes of duck spring rolls, giant king prawns and dry day-aged sirloin steak alongside a crisp bottle of Riesling.
The Watering Hole, Perranporth, Cornwall
Calling all beer garden fans – the one at Perranporth’s The Watering Hole has just been named England’s best. Featuring sand instead of patio tiles, it’s a delightful spot to enjoy a pint while gazing out onto the ocean, plus the UK’s only bar, restaurant and live music venue that sits in the middle of the beach.
Throw in a stock of real ales from local breweries such as Sharps, St Austell and Skinners and a suitable seaside-friendly menu of fish & chips, vegan burgers and loaded nachos and you’re onto a winner.
The Cross Guns, Wiltshire
Fringed with plush green fields, weeping willows and panoramic views of the River Avon, The Cross Guns is Wiltshire’s prettiest place for an afternoon drinking session.
The pub’s honey-stone exterior makes way for a beautiful garden terrace flanked by plenty of picnic tables and serves up an impressive selection of local ciders, ales and beers that change weekly, while there’s even a tiki bar set up for the rest of the summer. Bottom’s up.
The Spyglass Inn, Isle of Wight
If it’s views you’re after during a visit to the Isle of Wight, we suggest making a beeline for The Spyglass Inn. Nestled on the water’s edge in Ventnor Bay with spectacular scenes across the English Channel, come the summer months and there’s no greater feeling than sitting outside on the terrace and overlooking the sea.
When it comes to the food, perfectly-poured pints wash down the likes of hearty homemade pub grub with an emphasis on freshly caught seafood by the neighbouring Ventnor Haven Fishery, with its Spyglass Admiral Platter the stuff of legend.
Muddy boots and well-behaved dogs welcome.
SUSHISAMBA Bar, London
There’s nothing quite like enjoying a crisp glass of rosé while soaking up the rays on a rooftop bar in London and, perched on the top two floors of one of the highest buildings in London, SUSHISAMBA offers one of the best views in the city.
A place to dress to impress, the atmosphere here oozes class and sophistication, and you can sit back with a carefully-curated cocktail as the glow of the sunset radiates off the world-famous Gherkin. It also happens to be the proud owner of Europe’s highest outdoor dining terraces where you can enjoy consistently excellent Japanese-Brazilian-Peruvian cuisine alongside those brilliant vistas.
Perched on the top two floors of one of the highest buildings in London, SUSHISAMBA offers one of the best views in the city.
LEVEL8IGHT The Sky Bar, Bournemouth
As the highest bar in the southwest, Bournemouth’s LEVEL8IGHT The Sky Bar takes drinking to entirely new heights. Quite literally. You’ll find it perched on top of the Hilton where, marrying an elegant interior lounge with a picturesque outdoor terrace, the 8th floor rooftop comes complete with epic views over the Bournemouth coastline and the English Channel.
From signature and classic cocktails to fine wines, beers and premium spirits, as well as a seasonal bar menu with tapas-style small plates, the food and drink is almost as impressive as the view. Almost.
Sora Sky Bar, York
When the Malmaison hotel opened its doors in York back in 2021, it brought with it a unique hospitality concept for the north east’s pretty cathedral town – a rooftop restaurant and cocktail bar serving up a panorama over the city that had never been seen before.
Taking in York Minster, the Nestle buildings, railway station and miles and miles of green open land, Sora Sky Bar is now highly regarded as one of the best bars in the UK with a view, complete with a modern design, quirky interiors and a delectable menu of Asian tapas dishes that most certainly don’t disappoint.
Aqua Shard, London
Last but not least, we couldn’t compile a list of the top bars in the UK with a view without mentioning Aqua Shard. Sitting up on the 31st floor of London Bridge’s iconic skyscraper The Shard and spanning two wings, sunrise to sunset views take in everything from the mesmerising London skyline to the River Thames, Houses of Parliament, St Paul’s, Tower Bridge and Canary Wharf’s skyscrapers.
Distinctly British, both gin and tea are strong influences on both the design and the cocktail menu, and you can’t go wrong with the signature ‘High Tea’ cocktail which comes crafted from Belvedere vodka, homemade raspberry curd, raspberry macaroon syrup, lemon and scone foam.