Stepney Bank, Newcastle NE1 2NP
This brand new brewpub is the tap for Newcastle Brewing Co, also known as father and son duo Mike and Leo Bell. They started in their garage, moved to a space in Ouseburn and now finally have their own part-crowdfunded, endearingly rough-and-ready place. It’s industrially chic inside, and there’s a festoon-lit outdoor courtyard underneath the arches of Byker Bridge, which is handy should the weather turn.
The Red Lion
22 Northumberland Street, Alnmouth NE66 2RJ
Hanging out on someone’s decking is as much a part of the British summertime experience as Test Match Special and wondering if the Proms will ever end. The raised decking at the top of this 18th century coaching inn’s beer garden has really rather lovely views across the Aln estuary.
The King’s Head Inn
Newton under Roseberry, Great Ayton, Cleveland TS9 6QR
What do you usually see in beer gardens? Fat labradors, bald middle-aged scalps gradually reddening, maybe lawn darts if you’re lucky? How about having a view of the full glory of Roseberry Topping. Phwoar.
The Fishing Boat Inn
14–15 Beach View, Boulmer NE66 3BP
This is the kind of place which Instagram heart-deluges are made of. There’s decking out the back and steps down to the beach, with the grand, unadorned sweep of the coastline given centre stage.
Duke of Wellington
Newton NE43 7UL
Traditionalism sometimes gets a bad rap from people who wear backwards baseball caps and say the word ‘bodacious’, but when it’s executed this well – with rotating guest beers like Jarrow Brewery’s Swinging Gibbet, an almighty beer garden, and with sharp, modern tics to the design – it’s pretty inarguably ace.
Tyne Bank Brewery
375 Walker Road, Newcastle NE6 2BS
0191 265 2828
This brewery tap’s a big multi-purpose space (it’s a very well-appointed shed, really) which lends itself equally to early afternoon post-lunch pints or a big night out. It’s like being at a massive warehouse party, but instead of having to listen to banging tech house for six hours there’s free ping pong. Ideal for a Bank Holiday session.
Hit The Bar
1 Bridge Street East, Middlesbrough TS2 1NW
This slice of slightly unexpected Williamsburg-via-Manchester cool is within stumbling distance of the train station and its south-facing frontage and outside benches catch the sun all day. The artfully distressed interior’s nicely cool too, and not just in terms of its temperature: it hosts regular DJ nights.