Socialising and dining outdoors can be a more comfortable and enjoyable experience, when you add a garden pub bench to your outside space.
There are few activities more quintessentially British than sitting round a picnic table in a pub garden, with friends, a pint, and a plate of chips – and a high-quality table and bench set is an essential part of that experience.
Whether you want to attract customers to your business, increase your dining options, or recreate the pub experience at home, a picnic bench that allows family and friends to sit and catch up outdoors is sure to be a worthwhile addition to your garden.
Pub benches are traditionally made from wood, but metal and plastic options are also available. They come in various sizes and styles, and range from being able to accommodate small groups of 2 or 4, up to larger groups of 8 people and more.
If you’re looking to add a practical and stylish seating option to your outside space, read on for our pick of the 5 best garden pub benches available, based on their appearance, quality and value for money.
Last update on 2021-08-01 / All Pricing & Imagery from Amazon Product Advertising API
Just add cider, your favourite people, and the sun!
Our best garden pub bench is made from dip-treated Scandinavian pine, and seats up to 8 people
Topping our list of the best garden pub benches on the market is this round wooden picnic bench by BrackenStyle.
This dark brown bench features a traditional style, with a 110 cm diameter table in the middle, and 4 fixed, curved benches around the edge. These can comfortably accommodate up to 8 people, so it’s ideal for families and larger groups to gather around.
Being made from durable FSC-certified Scandinavian pine means that the bench is hardwearing, and the wood is also dip-treated, to help it better withstand the elements. The manufacturer recommends re-treating the wood annually, to retain the colour, and prolong its lifespan.
The timber used is 35mm thick, which makes the bench particularly strong, and suitable for commercial use in pubs and hotels, as well as domestic use. The centre of the table has a 40mm parasol hole, to keep your family or patrons cool, on hot sunny days.
Those wary of DIY might not be thrilled to hear that the bench requires some self-assembly. It’s also not the most affordable option on our list. However, if you’re looking for a high-quality garden pub bench or patio table – one which looks stylish and will last for years to come – then this solid wood option is hard to beat.
- Made from high-quality FSC-certified Scandinavian pine.
- Thick 35mm timber makes it strong and durable.
- Dip-treated to help it withstand the elements.
- Large size with 110cm table top can accommodate up to 8 people.
- 40mm parasol hole for keeping cool on hot days.
- Suitable for commercial or domestic use.
- Expected lifespan of 10+ years.
- Low table height means you might struggle to get some parasols underneath.
- Requires self-assembly.
- Not the most affordable option.
Our best value garden pub bench is smaller and simpler in style, but still hard-wearing enough for commercial use
The garden pub bench we think offers you the best value for money is this Commercial-Grade Bench by Arbor Garden Solutions.
Despite the highly affordable price tag, this classic-style picnic bench is made from heavy-duty kiln-dried timber, and is durable enough for commercial as well as domestic use.
The timber is a lighter colour, and perhaps not as aesthetically-pleasing as our top pick, but there are cover caps to disguise visible bolts, which improves the overall look of the bench.
It is smaller than our top pick, with a 4ft table top, but it’s still large enough to comfortably seat 4 – 6 people, so it’s fine for couples and smaller groups. A parasol hole in the centre also means you can easily slot a shade-covering into your table.
As with our first choice, this one is delivered flat-packed, and requires self-assembly on arrival. The benches and table top could do with being a little wider for comfort, but considering the price, we really can’t complain too much.
- Highly affordable.
- Made from heavy-duty kiln-dried timber.
- Wood sourced from responsibly-managed forests.
- Suitable for commercial and domestic use.
- Comfortably seats 4 – 6 people.
- Includes parasol hole.
- Smaller than our top pick – table top and benches could be wider.
- Requires self-assembly.
This foldable option is a great solution for those with limited space, and is easy to transport to events, or on trips
Our next option offers something slightly different; instead of a wooden bench, this Relaxdays Bastian Folding Benches & Table Set is made from a metal frame, and rattan-effect plastic.
The big selling point of this one, is that it all folds down into a compact size, with a handle for easy transportation. This makes it an ideal, portable option, for taking to events, or on camping holidays.
It’s also a great space-saver for those with smaller gardens, who don’t want the table up when not in use. It can be easily stored away in a garage or shed, and just brought out when you have guests, or require additional seating.
Rubber caps on the feet make the furniture suitable for use inside, as well as outside, which further increases its user-friendliness and versatility. However, it is undoubtedly not as sturdy as our previous wooden models.
It might not be the best quality option on our list, but overall, if you’re looking for a portable garden bench solution, this foldable table and bench set might be the perfect choice – and it won’t break the bank.
- Made from durable, weatherproof plastic, with a strong metal frame.
- Stylish rattan effect.
- Easy to wipe clean.
- Can sit 6 – 8 adults.
- Folding style makes it easy to transport.
- Ideal for camping trips or events, or for use in smaller gardens.
- Can also be used indoors.
- Easy to assemble, with very little effort.
- Not as sturdy as wooden models.
- Nor as aesthetically-pleasing.
A round garden table and bench set with a lighter finish, capable of seating up to 8 people
This next option, this BrackenStyle Picnic Bench, boasts the same design as our top pick, with a round table, and 4 semi-circular benches fixed in place around it. The table top is 110cm in diameter, and the whole footprint of the bench is 180cm in diameter.
As with their Brown Pub Bench, this offering from BrackenStyle is also made from pine, but it’s treated with a light green stain, so the finish of the wood is significantly lighter. This gives the bench a more Nordic look, which might be more appealing to some users.
This pub bench is priced similarly to our top pick, and matches its quality, with timbers of 32mm thick. It’s suitable for commercial or domestic use, and will be just as at home in a beer garden or park, as in a private garden. The 40mm parasol hole in the centre offers a convenient way to keep cool on hot days.
You can place the bench outside straight away, and it’s durable enough to be left outside year-round – just wipe dirt away with soapy water, and treat it annually with a wood stain, to keep it in the best possible condition.
It’s worth noting that 2-person self-assembly is required, and due to the weight of the bench, you’ll probably want to install it in its final location, as it’s not the easiest to move around. On the plus side, you can take the weight as assurance of the sturdiness of this high-quality pub bench.
- Made from FSC-certified Scandinavian pine.
- Light Nordic style.
- Seats up to 8 people.
- Suitable for domestic or commercial use.
- Easy to clean using soapy water.
- 40mm hole to accommodate a parasol.
- Our most expensive garden bench.
- Bench has a light green tinge, due to the treatment – although this will fade over time.
- Requires self-assembly by 2 people.
- Heavy, and can be difficult to move around once assembled.
A simple wooden design, with two benches that fit underneath the table, to save space
The final option on our list is this YEWS Compact Pub Bench by Arbor Garden Solutions, which comes with a table, and 2 separate benches.
As with the previous BrackenStyle option, this one has a Light Green treatment, which gives the wood a lighter, natural finish. To further improve the look of the bench, all visible bolts are concealed with black cover caps. All fixings are also corrosion resistant, for longevity.
This rectangular pub table and bench set is another good option for those with limited space, as the benches fit underneath the table, and can be stored there when not in use, reducing the overall footprint. The other advantage of the benches not being fixed in place, is that you can adjust their position, to wherever is most comfortable for you.
We think the 4ft table top is large enough to comfortably accommodate 4 people, or 6 at a push, which does mean it’s more suited to smaller families and gardens. There is a 41mm parasol hole in the centre of the table, to allow for a shade cover.
As with most of these garden bench sets, it is delivered flat-packed, and you will require a socket set for assembly, so make sure you have one on-hand. Providing you have this though, assembly isn’t difficult – and we think you’ll be more than happy with the resulting high-quality and practical pub bench.
- Made from pressure-treated 4” x 2” timber.
- Fungal and rot-free for up to 15 years.
- Space-saving design allows the benches to be stored under the table.
- Bolt cover caps improve appearance and safety.
- Convenient parasol hole in the middle of the table.
- Ideal for smaller gardens.
- Delivered flat-packed, and a socket set is required for construction.
- Softwood may warp slightly over time.
How To Make A Pub Bench
The best way to make a pub bench depends on whether you’ve bought a pre-made option, or you intend to do a little DIY, and make your own.
If you’ve purchased a pre-made pub bench, such as those we’ve featured here, then you should always follow the installation instructions provided by the manufacturer. Here are a few general rules to follow:
- Make your pub bench in the location you want it to end up. This is particularly important if you’re assembling a solid wood bench, as these can be heavy, and difficult to move once installed.
- Lay out all the parts first, and check against the instructions, to make sure you’ve got everything you need – including the fixings.
- Locate any tools you will need. A socket set and ratchet are often required, to tighten bolts.
- Enlist the help of a friend. Parts of the bench set may be heavy, and you will probably find it difficult to hold pieces in place and tighten bolts at the same time. For this reason, we always recommend 2 people for assembly.
- Follow the instructions! That’s what they’re there for, after all.
If you decide to make your own pub bench, you’ll probably want to follow something along the lines of the procedure below:
- Make a plan. Search for ideas online, and find a diagram of exactly what your bench will look like, and the measurements for each part. A classic wooden picnic bench design will usually include a tabletop, 2 bench seats and 2 A-frame sides, with brace pieces to make it sturdy.
- Source your materials. This could be 2” x 4” timber from a builders’ merchants, or you could reuse old plywood or wooden pallets.
- Cut your wooden planks to the correct size, using a tape measure and saw.
- Use high-quality screws and fixings, to ensure your finished bench is sturdy and can take the weight of several people.
- Treat the wood with a pre-treatment, to protect it from weathering, and keep your homemade pub bench looking its best.
April is a freelance writer who specialises in writing about home and garden design and the environment. She is an avid wildlife-enthusiast and adventure-seeker, and feels happiest when in the Great Outdoors.