Summer is on its way (with a few storms in between) and who knows, even a heatwave could take over the North East in the next few weeks.

But what is better than getting outside to make the most of the sunshine across County Durham after a long gloomy winter, with a pint in hand?

From walled gardens to sea views, it’s time to gather your family and friends and head down to some of the finest beer gardens offering ice-cold beverages and sparkling fizz to quench your thirst.

To help you decide where to venture next, here are a selection of some of the best with great views in the county, according to their Google or Tripadvisor reviews.

Some of the best beer gardens with a view in County Durham

The Rose and Crown

Location: Romaldkirk, Barnard Castle, DL12 9EB

Rating: 4.6/5 (Google reviews)

A visitor left this review: “A delightful lunch outside on the garden tables. Met with friends. Booking advised. Dogs are welcome outside and in the bar.

“I had bream and chips and mushy peas. Delicious. Caring owners (I believe) who served us. Friendly and attentive. We shall definitely be back for dinner one evening.”

The Bay Horse

Location: 45 The Green, Hurworth-on-Tees, Darlington, DL2 2AA

Rating: 4.7/5 (Google reviews)

One customer wrote: “We know this is a popular bar/restaurant, but called in on the off chance of a table. We were seated in the garden and chose two courses from the market menu. Wood pigeon and remoulade, followed by pork tenderloin and black pudding. 

“So satisfying and delicious.  No room for dessert. Wish we weren't driving as the only thing that could have improved it was a glass of Fleurie. The yummy homemade bread was perfect.”

Another added: "Outstanding. The food is delicious, lovely surroundings are too. And in the Summer there is a beautiful drinks garden out the back which is lovely too."

Black Horse Beamish

Location: Red Row, Stanley, DH9 0RW (Google reviews)

Rating: 4.3/5 (Google reviews)

This person wrote: “Went to a wedding here in the marquee. Really nice place, stunning views all around.

“Beer garden is nice to sit in too, get served at your table so can just relax.

“Didn't have any food from the restaurant but some others did and the fish was massive and smelled really nice!”

Hardwick Hall Hotel

Location: Hardwick Hall Hotel, Sedgefield, TS21 2EH

Rating: 4/5 (Tripadvisor reviews)

A pleased reviewer commented: "Called in here last week after work and spent a few hours in the very extensive beer garden - very impressed!! There are about 50 well-spaced tables in a great location overlooking the lake - fantastic as the sun went down! There is an outside bar and toilets with plenty of hand sanitizing stations. The staff, two young guys, were very friendly and gave me a good summary of the facilities and opening times etc. I look forward to visiting again soon !!"

The Crow’s Nest

Location: East Shore Village, North Road, Seaham, SR7 7XR

Rating: 4/5 (Tripadvisor reviews)

The Northern Echo: Recognise this pub view?Recognise this pub view? (Image: Tripadvisor)

This user commented: "Great little pub for a bite to eat with the kids. Top bar staff especially Emma! Cannot beat a free pool table. Nice place with great views of the coast. Would highly recommend popping in!"

South Causey Inn

Location: South Causey Inn, Stanley, DH9 0LS

Rating: 4.6/5 (Google reviews)

This person posted: “This was my 1st visit today. Weather was glorious, so we sat outside for a quick drink. Beautiful location. Felt like I was in the middle of nowhere and on holiday. Will definitely be back soon.”

Cosy Club

Location: Unit R9, The Riverwalk, Durham, DH1 4SL

Rating: 4.5/5 (Google reviews)

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One visitor said: “After hearing and reading rave reviews about The Cosy Club I visited for the first time this week and wasn't disappointed!

“Quite a spacious dining room including a balcony overlooking the river on the second floor.

“The tables were immaculately set out. I had a cider and the classic breakfast, and it was all delicious! Will be back!”