Garden shade: 10 stylish and functional outdoor parasols

For a real outdoor living space, you need not only something to sit on, but something to sit under!

We never know what the British summer is going to throw at us, and on any one day we might be equally in need of shade from the sun and somewhere to get out of the drizzle. It’s lovely to have space for a bower, summerhouse or pagoda, but not everyone has an outdoor space that lends itself to a permanent structure.

Garden umbrellas and parasols are easy to move around, adjustable and will keep the worst of the elements off your lunch! We’ve picked out ten of our favourites.

1. Amalfi grey parasol, Harley & Lola

If you don’t like bright colours, this elegant grey parasol will fit into any style of garden. It’s free standing and can be easily moved, adjusted and rotated to provide maximum protection from the sun. It has a mechanical handle for easy opening and closing, handy tilt mechanism and air vent. £299 from Harley & Lola.

2. Portofino parasol, Indian Ocean

Fancy making a statement? Made from top quality materials, the Portofino parasol is the luxury choice and can be customised with your choice of colour and piping. It’s portable enough to re-position easily, and has a simple shape that will add to rather than detract from your dining area. £640 from Indian Ocean.

3. Couture garden parasol, Sywawa Belgium

This garden parasol is finished with a pretty stitching effect, made from a series of laser cut holes in the top layer, showing the a second layer of contrasting fabric underneath. Made in ultra hard wearing Symacryl, which blocks out 97% of UV rays out, you can choose from 24 different colours for the top and lining. Also available in two different sizes, prices start at £310 from Go Modern.

4. Glatz Alu-Push Parasol, Riverside Outdoor Living

Don’t have the space for a huge parasol? The Alu-Push is the ideal sunshade for small spaces and fits almost any irregularly shaped corner. The tilt joint can be angled according to shade needs and adjusted for height whenever necessary.Available in different colours, prices start at £145 from Riverside Outdoor Living.

5. Capri parasol, B&Q

A great choice if you’re on a budget, the Capri parasol comes in a choice of shapes and colours. Measuring around 2.5m for the round version, it will provide shade without taking up too much room. It comes with its own carry bag, but you’ll need to buy a separate base. £49 from B&Q.

6. Riviera 3m free arm parasol, Dobbies

If you have a table without a parasol hole, or you’re looking for flexible garden shade, the extra-large Riviera 3.0m free arm parasol could be what you’re looking for. A simple wind of the handle puts the shade up or down, so you can easily adapt to the changing weather in your garden. It’s available in a range of colours, and costs £159 from Dobbies.

7. Riviera deluze 2.5m crank parasol, Dobbies

For a no-nonsense, good value option, this simple parasol has a crank handle mechanism for raising and lowering. The angle can’t be adjusted, but it’s a good, basic choice for a small to medium dining area. It comes in a range of bright colours to add a cheerful note to your garden on grey days. Note there’s no base included. £79.99 from Dobbies.

8. Geisha garden parasol, Norfolk Leisure

Perfect for long afternoon picnics, this Geisha parasol will add an oriental flavour to your garden. It has fibreglass ribs which are highly durable making them more flexible and less likely to bend or break, while the centre pole is aluminium for lightness and strength. The opened parasol measures 2.7m in diameter. £79 from Cuckooland.

9. Modern simplicity 2m wide parasol with base, Homebase

Made from solid FSC® certified Eucalyptus wood, this Modern Simplicity parasol is an inexpensive way to stay out of the weather. Its water-resistant material makes it easy to clean and maintain, while the wood base adds a touch of style. £29.99 from Homebase.

10. Lotus 2.7m parasol, Achica

Make a feature of a necessity with this eye-catching Lotus parasol. Designed with an oriental touch, it comes in a range of vibrant bright colours. £49 from Achica.


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