RAIN is really rather wet, night follows day and PubSpy is missing pubs – some things are so blindingly obvious they don’t really need saying.

When the lockdown was announced in March I took to my typewriter and battered out some self-pitying prose about how I felt directionless without my go-to drinking holes.

But a glance at the comments section underneath each piece quickly showed me that my lament had been received by readers with all the empathy of a pebble.

One urged me to remain in isolation long after the current lockdown was lifted while another suggested I used this time to re-evaluate my relationship with alcohol, a concept I considered while sipping at a single glass of scotch.

A further foul-mouthed fan celebrated the possibility of a few months without having to read my f***ing drivel.

Never one to disappoint, I took a few months off in which I tried, and failed, to learn a new language, found out Mrs PubSpy has a second middle name and took part in more video call quizzes than you can shake a stick at.

But now, with pub-goers slowly daring to whisper about the possible return of their local, I’m back.

It will be many months before you can crowd around a bustling bar, vying for the attentions of staff as you attempt to order a brew or two, so I have decided to celebrate an oft-overlooked element of the great British pub – the beer garden.

Here are some of my top picks from my travels across Sussex.

The Beachy Head, Beachy Head Road, near Eastbourne

The Argus:

Like a scene from Tolkien’s Middle Earth, this Hobbit Hole of a venue is a delight.

Visitors are treated to stunning views across the South Downs to the cliffs at Beachy Head and the ocean beyond.

The grounds of the barn-like building offer plenty of space to allow for social distancing, with several tiers of seating areas separated by a series of stairs and sailing inspired railings made up of hefty ropes swinging from wooden bollards.

When I visited the site in March last year, a cracking pint of Doom Bar followed by a tipple of Tribute, a calamari starter and a burger were enough to earn my favour.

The Shepherd and Dog, The Street, Fulking

The Argus:

Another countryside site to add to your bucket list, The Shepherd and Dog is a gem tucked away in the sleepy village of Fulking.

The cosy pub backs on to an impressive grassy garden.

Similarly to The Beachy Head, the venue offers plenty of space for seating across several tiers while giving its guests spectacular views of the rolling hills which surround it.

On a clear day, it is said you can see planes taking off from Gatwick, although I couldn’t make out any aircraft when I dropped by last year.

The pub also serves a proper country pub pint (I still have fond memories of my Three Point Five ale from the Sussex Franklins Brewing Company) and fantastic food.

Good Companions, Dyke Road, Brighton

The Argus:

A countryside pub is a lovely experience, but sometimes you want something a bit closer to home.

So, for my next selection, I have left the fertile pastures of the South Downs and returned to the mediocre smoke that is Brighton.

The Good Companions pub in Dyke Road is a worthy reward for anyone willing to make the trek up an unpleasantly long hill from Brighton Station.

Several palm trees in the sizeable garden bring an unusual taste of the tropics to Sussex, and the pub has a fine selection of ales to choose from.

Admittedly, my last visit was somewhat soured by some rather unpleasant youngsters at an adjoining table.

But, given the fact that this jaunt was almost two years ago now (and I do remember being impressed by the venue’s cheery staff and expansive outdoor area) it is probably time for me to revisit the site.

And I suggest you do the same.

The Signalman, Ditchling Rise, Brighton

The Argus:

The city’s self-professed “best kept secret,” high plant-covered walls hide a pleasant courtyard just metres from the London Road railway station.

When I first visited the site, the garden was doused in a dismal grey drizzle but I made a note to return on the uncommon occasion that Brighton was blessed with blue skies.

And I was not disappointed as the walled area proved to be quite the sun-trap.

Add to this ample selection of ales, including a tasty vegan offering from Gun Brewery, and a two-for-one burger offer, and the pub won me over.

Some questionable scribblings in the toilets were also a noteworthy feature.

Tiger Inn, The Green, East Dean

The Argus:

For my final pick, it’s time to take another trip to the countryside.

Set in the small village of East Dean, the Tiger Inn does well to pair England’s green and pleasant lands with Britain’s brown and brilliant beers.

Just a mile from the beach, the quintessential country pub is a delight for ramblers and amblers from all walks of life, with a green outside offering families with children a great space to play while they wait for their food. It’s the little touches that can make the biggest of differences, and a cricket scoreboard in the toilet cemented this as one of my favourite Sussex haunts.

It is not yet known when pubs or their gardens will be allowed to open but watch this space.