Best garden parasols UK 2023: garden umbrellas for blocking sun and wind
A perfect, pretty garden parasol will provide shade and comfort in your backyard this summer - we review the best
This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on items purchased through this article, but that does not affect our editorial judgement.
Oh, those lazy hazy crazy days of summer - afternoons spent in the garden enjoying the sun, cool and comfortable under a parasol to keep you safe from the UV rays. What a dream. And with one of these gorgeous garden umbrellas, it could be a reality.
A well chosen garden parasol is ideal for creating ambience in your garden seated area or next to your deckchairs. At once relaxed and chic, it means you never have to fret about sunburn or getting to hot. Bring gorgeous hotel vibes right into your backyard.
And these days, the choices are superb, from sophisticated, to bohemian, tropical to modern. There’s a garden parasol for every kind of garden space.
Some stand alone as a freestanding parasol or come with their own base, while some are designed to slot into a garden table.
Do I want a normal parasol, or a cantilever?
Normal parasols and umbrellas have minimal flexibility - you can’t really tilt them to alter the cast of their shade. By contrast, a cantilever parasol can flex it’s ‘hood’ away from the stand, to lend its shade to where you want it to go.
Cantilever parasols have the benefit of flexibility, the trade off is that normal parasols are generally sturdier (if you live in an exposed, windy area, this is a consideration).
What size garden parasol should I go for?
At least 2 metres, to ensure a reasonable cast of shade. 2.4 metres is industry standard. Of course, if you have a larger backyard, go for something a little wider.
It’s worth bearing in mind that a larger parasol requires a stronger base unit, so make sure to purchase accordingly. Some models will come with the base unit included, other garden umbrellas comfortably fit into a garden table. If you don’t have a table and the parasol doesn’t have a base unit, we recommend this option, the Aria Resin Free Standing Parasol Base, £45.95
A fabulously chic all-in-one option if you don’t have a garden table but want somewhere to place that all important summer drink as you laze.
With a stylish glass and wicker table forming the parasol base, it will stand-alone. The black canopy is both striking and ideal for warding off UV rays - a modern looking option.
A classic ash wood pole holds the canopy aloft, and it comes with a waterproof sleeve to keep it protected when it’s not in use.
In sleek anthracite, this tilt parasol is ideal if you want to create a perfect al fresco dining room.
Three meters wide, it will provide ample shade. The coverage is UV light proof, the canopy rain proof - it can tilt, so regardless of the time of day, you can adjust the canopy to block the sun’s rays.
It comes with a 100kg concrete base and is made of sturdy aluminium, so this parasol won’t be going anywhere in wind and rain. Big, beautiful, and strong: well worth the price tag.
There’s very little to quibble with with the Anthracite Parasol. With a 3 metre wide circumference, it offers a wide circle of shade.
A wind outlet in the canopy prevents the cantilever parasol from being buffeted about - notoriously an issue with these models. The base is included with the unit, and ensures the parasol itself is sturdy.
With a crank handle for open and closing, it’s no effort and all to put up or take down. Easy to assemble, too. A great choice.
Want to make a statement? Bring a taste of the tropics to your garden with this lovely, Bahaman-style beach parasol.
The canopy is made from braided plant fibre, and with a 2.2 metre diameter, is large enough to keep multiple family members covered (There’s also nylon in the upholstery - don’t worry, this will protect you from sun and light showers).
With a simple up and down lever, this is the type of dream parasol you want to lounge under with a tiki cocktail. Can’t go abroad? Go on holiday in your backyard.
Charles Bentley cantilever parasols tend to sell out each summer, being - as they are - some of the best on the market, and very reasonably priced.
This hanging umbrella makes a great alternative to a more traditional parasol.
Free-standing, you can place whether you want in the garden (you simply need a weight at the bottom to secure fast) - so the canopy can hang atop a BBQ or hot tub.
It’s easily adjustable, too, so you can tilt to cover as required, as the sun moves.
It comes without a base - we recommend pairing with Sturdi’s 25kh parasol base, a heavy, reliable number.
So elegant: this garden umbrella is modelled on traditional Japanese geisha parasols, and captures their serene beauty.
Available in five colours, it’s canopy is stretched across 24 fibreglass ribs, to give it the classical, beautiful form. But besides looking good, this umbrella performs well.
It has a weatherproof canopy, a strong aluminium central staff. To be put up and down with a non-sticking easy to use crank handle - it’s a distinctive, pretty choice. Please note, though, the base comes separately.
This is a gorgeous umbrella-cum-parasol, with it’s retro yellow colour scheme and delightful white fringing.
Can do double duty: it’s light and transportable enough to take to the beach, or will bring a sense of candy-coloured fun to your backyard.
We all know we can trust John Lewis implicitly when it comes to homewares, and this freestanding parasol proves no exception.
Great for al fresco dining or afternoon parties, this 3 metre parasol is freestanding. Best of all, you can adjust the shaded area to cover any seating area without it needing to be fitted to the centre of a table.