FANCY a beer in the sunshine this bank holiday weekend?

Look no further than our pick of ten top Hampshire pubs with giant gardens perfect for a bank holiday beer:

The Lapstone, Horton Heath

Daily Echo:

THIS 300-year-old Hampshire village pub was saved from the jaws of developers and given a new lease of life with a spectacular £1 million refurbishment.

The Lapstone at Horton Heath reopened a year ago and now boasts six garden domes and an authentic Italian menu which combines Mediterranean passion with Hampshire produce.

Russ Kitching took it over in 2018 when it appeared it would close for good and the land potentially be used for housing.

The successful purchase of the pub by his Chandler's Ford based soft drinks company Thirstee Business followed a Save The Lapstone campaign by locals.

The pub is fast becoming somewhat of a community hub.

The pub offers everything from Mindfulness Mondays, which aim to combat loneliness, to yoga on Friday mornings. Soulful Sundays are afternoon jamming sessions for local musicians and regular markets in the marquee feature food, drink, arts, and craft stalls.

The Sir Walter Tyrrell, Brook

Daily Echo:

THIS traditional pub offers music, meet ups, food and fun - all in the heart of the New Forest and close to the site of a British legend.

The Sir Walter Tyrrell at Brook lies just yards from the Rufus Stone, which marks the site of the demise of William II (Rufus).

The pub is named after the man who is said to have killed the King during a hunting accident in 1100.

With its vast outdoor area overlooking the Forest and impressive children's play area, it's a popular spot for families and visitors alike.

It's also used by a host of car and motorbike clubs, including the BMW and Porsche clubs, for their regular gatherings.

Former aviation recruiter Melanie Cross and her chef husband Nick took early retirement to take over the pub in April 2018.

Sobar, Southampton

Daily Echo:

IT'S Southampton's best kept secret beer garden, which has hosted some of the world's top DJs.

Sobar may look like any normal drinking establishment from its frontage on Bevois Valley Road.

But it opens up, tardis-like, into a huge outdoor space for 400.

Several times each summer, Sobar is taken over by legendary garden parties featuring the likes of DJ EZ, Norman Jay MBE, So Solid Crew and DJ Luck and MC Neat. Local DJing legend Alan Fitzpatrick is also a regular visitor.

The Virgin family, parents Neville and Sue and siblings Becky Al-Najjar and Parris Virgin have been at the helm for the last 15 years.

The Fishers Pond, Colden Common

Daily Echo:

A WATERSIDE pub has reopened its doors following a half million pound renovation to give it a fresh new feel.

The Fisher's Pond, near Colden Common, has undergone a complete transformation this year. 

Changes include the addition of a stylish private dining area and a beautiful new garden area for customers to enjoy this summer and beyond.

Along with the new look, the relaunched Fisher’s Pond has introduced an all-new brunch menu. Sharing and grazing boards on the terrace are proving popular and there's an impressive children's menu on offer too.

The Huntsman, Brockenhurst

Daily Echo:

THE Huntsman is a charming 13th century pub in the heart of the New Forest.

It's a welcoming local pub with rooms situated on Lyndhurst Road, a central Brockenhurst hub next to many Forest walking routes and a host of  attractions nearby.

The extensive garden offers al fresco dining for more than 200. Following lockdown, the space has been revamped with covered areas, more parasols and heaters to keep diners and their four-legged friends cosy.

The pub always does a roaring trade around the delightful fire pit.

The White Horse, Otterbourne 

Daily Echo:

IT'S the Grade II listed former coaching inn which has been transformed into a country pub for the modern day.

Refurbished during the third national lockdown, The White Horse at Otterbourne boasts an outdoor bar and pizza oven, a popular children's play area, heated drinking and dining huts and a covered and heated pagoda.

The large rear garden is popular with families and also has a rear dining terrace, which tends to be used as an extension of the restaurant during the summer months.

In front of the pub, there is more space for drinking and dining with three heated huts and three large tables under a covered and heated pagoda favoured mainly by adult only parties. 

The Hobbit, Southampton

Daily Echo:

IT’S the iconic Southampton pub with a unique fantasy theme and one of the biggest beer gardens in the city.

The Hobbit, on Bevois Valley Road, now boasts a burrow-like bar with faux round windows, a moss wall, wood paneling and leather-upholstered furniture as well as a dungeon-styled live music room after reopening following a £600,000 refurbishment.

The room has a stage, a professional sound system and space for an audience of 80. Glazed doors can be opened up, so that bands can be enjoyed by customers in the gigantic garden too.

The fantasy theme continues outside with an enchanted forest verandah and an armoury-inspired games area sporting two pool tables. The enlarged garden has seating for 240 – including 150 seats under cover – plus new furniture, planting and festoon lighting. An outside bar – complete with draught beer and cider – and a kitchen with stone pizza ovens serve those dining al fresco.

A new outdoor stage has enabled The Hobbit to build on its reputation for music and hold festivals, comedy nights and other events for up to 500.

The Anchor, Eling

Daily Echo:

YOU would be forgiven for thinking you were on holiday abroad when you take a seat in this Hampshire pub garden.

That's the view of Kirsty Williams, the licensee of The Anchor Inn in Eling.

Kirsty, who has been at the pub for two and a half years, told the Daily Echo: "We're set on the waterfront of Eling Quay, next to the historic tide mill.

"It's the best location in Totton and just like being on holiday abroad."

The pub's delightful beer garden overlooking the water also boasts a heated undercover area.

Customers flock to The Anchor for their famous cocktails and sangria, as well as a great selection of real ales and gins.

They also enjoy home cooked tapas, pub classics like lasagne, burgers and steaks and Sunday lunches, which can be enjoyed to the sounds of live chilled music every Sunday from 3.30pm.

The New Forest Inn, Emery Down

Daily Echo:

IT'S best known for delicious pies and stunning floral displays and its visitors include ponies, cattle and donkeys.

The New Forest Inn is always a particularly big hit with punters thanks to its spacious garden seating more than 100.

The traditional 17th Century coaching inn, in the heart of the open Forest at Emery Down near Lyndhurst, boasts a delightful green and cream exterior adorned with dozens of beautiful hanging baskets.

The New Forest Inn has been owned by Debbie and Duane Lewis for the past 14 years.

The Hampshire Bowman, Dundridge

Daily Echo:

It'S the Hampshire pub set in ten acres.

There's no problem with social distancing at The Hampshire Bowman at Dundridge where there is outdoor seating for 400 and plenty of space for you to pop up a gazebo, enjoy a pint and an al fresco lunch with your family or let the children enjoy the play equipment.

You may be served by a landlord whose connection with the country pub close to Swanmore goes back over 30 years.

Mark, 35, and 28-year-old Chloe Newman, who met at the pub when they both worked there for the previous landlady, became one of the youngest couples to run a pub when they took it over in 2012, and are now bringing up their three children there. 

The pub is, of course, very family friendly, and pooches are welcome to join pub dog Iris, a labradoodle.

The ten acre space, about two acres of which is taken up by the pub and overflow car park and about one acre of which is set aside for the archery club, was very much enjoyed by the Newman children during lockdown.

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