Britain's hidden rooftop bars

Low-key spaces to soak up the summer ambience, from London to Manchester


There's nothing better than relaxing with a drink at a rooftop bar on a sunny evening in the UK. With a Pimm's in hand and glorious sunset in sight, Britain is the only place to be when the sun is shining. As the best-known beer gardens stay packed to the brim, climbing up to a low-key rooftop bar is the answer to escaping the crowds and enjoying an al-fresco drink.

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That's why we thought we'd share some hidden gems across the country. From Liverpool to London, these are the secret rooftop watering holes where you won't have to fight for a space at the bar...

Goodness Gracious, Liverpool

Offering a perfect view of the cities iconic Three Graces, Goodness Gracious is located on top of tea house Oh Me Oh My in the historic West Africa House. Accessed by a secret floral door, you take the lift up to the top floor where you enter a city centre oasis. Filled with soft cushions, beautiful flowers and with chilled sounds playing in the background, Goodness Gracious is the ultimate rooftop retreat in Liverpool.

Hotel Gotham

Club Brass at Hotel Gotham, Manchester

Set at the very top of the art deco Hotel Gotham, Club Brass's three rooftop terraces offer panoramic views over Manchester and feature vintage telescopes to spot passers-by below. The Club is open to members and Gotham guests only, with the space drawing inspiration from the building's former use as a bank. Hotel guests have 24-hour membership, where bar food, salads, sandwiches and puddings are served, as well as Champagne and cocktails.

Spitbank Fort

Spitbank Fort, Portsmouth

Surrounded by water and only accessible by boat, Spitbank Fort is a former working military fort that has been creatively restored to offer a fine island escape without having to travel too far from home. Guests to the remote spot can enjoy the sounds of the sea with a glass of fizz on the roof terrace or take in the view of the Isle of Wight from the top of the lighthouse. There's even a fire pit for toasting marshmallows in the evening.

Sky Terrace at Courthouse Hotel

Soho Sky Terrace at Courthouse Hotel, London

Almost entirely surrounded by brick walls in the heart of London's bustling Soho, the Courthouse Hotel's Soho Sky Terrace offers gorgeous views across the capital's rooftops. Enjoy a drink under the summer stars or spend a lazy weekend afternoon lounging around in style and soaking up the sun. Summer weekends bring the BBQ Brunch buffet until 28 August and the funky chill-out space serves up refreshing cocktails, light bites and mellow grooves for after-work socialising throughout the week.

Roof Garden Playground

Roof Garden Playground at Great John Street Hotel, Manchester

A trendy party spot above Manchester's city centre, this sun-kissed spot offers a south-facing terrace and all the ingredients for a fun-filled party experience. Still something of a hidden gem on the city's party scene, Roof Garden Playground combines candle lanterns and a smooth atmosphere with a hot tub and killer DJ sets.

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