This article has been created in collaboration with National Geographic Traveller (UK).
Experience the epitome of summer bliss at rooftop bars, where you can bask in the sun while savoring a refreshing cocktail. As the temperature rises, seize the opportunity to enjoy the balmy weather at these captivating open-air establishments scattered across the United Kingdom.
- Wagtail, London
While London boasts numerous rooftop bars with breathtaking views, Wagtail, situated in the heart of the Square Mile, stands out as an exceptional destination. Indulge in the awe-inspiring vistas of the city’s iconic attractions, including the Shard, Tower Bridge, St Paul’s Cathedral, and the Gherkin, all while delighting in signature cocktails like the Ruby—a tantalizing blend of cherry liqueur, lemon, pineapple gin, and prosecco.
- Goodness Gracious, Liverpool
For unparalleled vistas of Liverpool’s Three Graces—the Royal Liver Building, the Cunard Building, and the Port of Liverpool Building—make your way to Goodness Gracious. This extraordinary venue, located atop a former 1920s bank, provides the perfect setting to unwind and revel in the city’s allure. Open from April to September, weather permitting, it welcomes visitors to enjoy a drink or two amidst breathtaking surroundings.
- The White Lion, Bristol
Nestled amidst awe-inspiring scenery, The White Lion offers panoramic views encompassing the renowned Clifton Suspension Bridge, Avon Gorge, and the rolling hills of Somerset. Given its popularity, it’s advisable to arrive early to secure a coveted seat on the expansive terrace, as the bar operates on a first-come, first-served basis. Treat yourself to a pint and savor the menu’s selection of classic pub dishes while being mesmerized by the captivating panorama, particularly on clear days.
- Ubiquitous Chip, Glasgow
Gracing Glasgow’s West End, Ubiquitous Chip boasts an inviting outdoor terrace, a hidden suntrap that beckons visitors for a classic cocktail, a freshly pulled pint, or a delightful dram of whisky. With a diverse food menu, including options like a charcuterie board and seafood risotto, this cozy space is equally enchanting during the evening hours, especially at sunset.
- Kori Bar, Leeds
Indulge in the exquisite culinary offerings of Kori Bar, a rooftop restaurant and bar renowned for its sushi and chicken yakitori, perfectly complemented by Japanese-inspired cocktails such as the Supamario—a blend of Roku gin, Akashi-Tai umeshu, Caleño Dark and Spicy, peach and plum bitters, and prosecco. The venue also offers an extensive selection of Japanese whiskies, beers, and sakes, all enjoyed while admiring the splendid views of Leeds city center from the outdoor terrace.
- 20 Stories, Manchester
Occupying the top floor of a gleaming skyscraper in the vibrant Spinningfields district, 20 Stories delights visitors with its panoramic skyline views. As Manchester’s highest restaurant and bar, it features an open-air rooftop terrace where you can unwind and take in the breathtaking surroundings. Additionally, the creative cocktail list offers enticing choices, including the floral and fruity Sloe Love and the vibrant and citrussy Champagne Supernova—a tribute to Manchester’s legendary band, Oasis.
- Nor’ Loft, Edinburgh
Raise your glass to a memorable experience at Nor’ Loft, a chic champagne lounge located on the seventh floor of the Market Street Hotel. This elegant establishment places fizz in the spotlight, boasting a selection of over 20 varieties from independent growers and prestigious champagne houses. Additionally, indulge in expertly crafted cocktails, fine gins, and whiskies. To fully appreciate the fiery hues of a sunset, visit in the evening and enjoy the captivating views from the outdoor terrace.
This article was originally published in Issue 20 (summer 2023) of Food by National Geographic Traveller (UK).
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about rooftop bars
Q: When is Goodness Gracious in Liverpool open?
A: Goodness Gracious in Liverpool is open daily between April and September, weather permitting.
Q: What are the main attractions at Kori Bar in Leeds?
A: The main attractions at Kori Bar in Leeds are the rooftop terrace offering excellent views of Leeds city center and the selection of sushi, chicken yakitori, and Japanese-inflected cocktails.
Q: Which city is home to 20 Stories, the highest rooftop bar and restaurant?
A: 20 Stories, the highest rooftop bar and restaurant, is located in Manchester’s vibrant Spinningfields district.
Q: What can be enjoyed at Nor’ Loft in Edinburgh?
A: At Nor’ Loft in Edinburgh, visitors can enjoy a stylish champagne lounge experience with over 20 champagne varieties, as well as cocktails, gins, whiskies, and stunning sunset views from the outdoor terrace.
Q: Are reservations required for The White Lion in Bristol?
A: The White Lion in Bristol operates on a first-come, first-served basis, so reservations are not required. However, it is recommended to visit early to secure a seat on the vast terrace.