Fire pit ideas: cosy up after dark with these fun options

Get your marshmallows at the ready with our top fire pit ideas for alfresco evenings under the stars

fire pit ideas
(Image credit: Morso)

This time of year is a great time to try our favourite fire pit ideas in your garden so you can still make the most of your outdoor space after dark. A perfect focal point for any patio or outdoor area, the best fire pits are ideal for injecting a touch of ambience to your outdoor get-togethers. And let's face it, the only socialising we're likely to be doing over the coming months is outdoors, so making sure your garden is as cosy and inviting as possible for family and friends is key. 

Whether you can't wait to recreate your summer holiday and toast marshmallows with the kids, or you simply want to enjoy being outdoors sipping a hot chocolate under the night sky, a modern fire pit is a great addition to any space.  

We've gathered the very best fire pit ideas for gardens big or small, so read on to find out how you can create the perfect set-up in your space. 

1. Surround a fire pit with cushions for a casual vibe

modern conrete effect fire pit on a patio

(Image credit: Dunelm)

Want a more relaxed feel to your garden space? Surround your fire pit with a mix of comfy floor cushions or outdoor beanbags and you've got the perfect spot for lazy evenings with friends. This idea can work particularly well for smaller fire pits as you'll be able to sit closer to it and really soak up the warmth.  

This concrete-effect design works brilliantly with the sleek paving to give this garden a modern edge, while the fire pit cover is a sensible addition for extra safety – especially if there's a few cocktails on the drinks menu. 

2. Add character with a recycled fire bowl

traditional kadai recycled fire pit

(Image credit: Shimu)

Give your garden some instant charm by opting for a traditional Indian fire bowl, called a kadai. They're the perfect buy if you want to combine a wood-fired BBQ with a fire pit in one characterful design. 

Simply remove the grill when you've finished cooking (wear protective gloves or use tongs to do this obviously) and you've got a fire pit to enjoy for the rest of the evening. Typically made from recycled oil drums, they're available in a range of sizes and can come with either a low or high stand, depending on your preference. This recycled kadai is from Shimu

3. Cosy up a greenhouse

fire pit outside a greenhouse

(Image credit: Ella James)

We love this greenhouse idea of using your garden glasshouse as an outdoor room in winter. Add a fire pit near the entrance and then get cosy alongside your plants with comfy seating, cushions and throws. The flames from the fire pit will reflect off all of that glass to enhance the overall atmosphere too. Want some extra sparkle? String fairy lights up inside the greenhouse for added romance under the night sky.

4. Create a sheltered spot

gas fire pit in an outdoor living area

Halo elevated fire pit from Solus Decor

(Image credit: Solus Decor)

Adding a structure to your garden such as a pergola will give you a sheltered space where you can relax outdoors all year. While having some sort of roof over your head will protect your seating area from the elements, it won’t do much to keep those winter temperatures at bay, however. Adding a large gas fire table as the focal point will ensure you’ll be toasty whatever the weather. Gas designs are more expensive to buy than a basic wood-burning fire pit, but there’s no mess and you won’t have to contend with getting that bonfire smell stuck in your clothes and hair either. 

5. Choose a fire pit and log store combined

outdoor fireplace with integrated log store

(Image credit: Charlton Island)

If you go for a woodburning fire pit don’t forget that you’ll need somewhere dry to store your fuel, so if space is tight then look for a model that combines fire pit and log storage in one practical design. With the attractive log storage in the lower half, the fire pit section is raised up for better views of the flames. A great option for small patios or courtyard spaces.

6. Combine fire pit and table in one space-saving design

fire pit and table combined in one design

(Image credit: Solus Decor)

Small garden with limited space and want to make the most of every inch of your patio or deck? A practical multi-functional design is the answer to your space dilemmas. By day, this fire pit can be used as a handy side table for drinks and snacks, then once the sun has set you can remove the lid and turn up the heat. This Hemi 36 Fire Bowl with custom hardwood table top from Solus Decor runs on natural gas/lp or bio ethanol, making it even easier to get instant heat on demand. 

7. Create a camping holiday at home

Fire pit surrounded by hay bales for a campfire themed night

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

Overexcited kids? Check. Healthy (or unhealthy depending on your point of view) supply of marshmallows to make S'mores? Check. Fire pit to place right in the centre of it all? Check. The good news is you've now got all the ingredients for an atmospheric camp fire-themed night in the garden. Bales of hay entirely optional.

8. Go ultra modern with a sunken fire pit

Sunken seating area with modern fire pit in the centre

This Halo elevated fire is from Solus Decor and is available in a choice of natural gas, liquid propane and bio ethanol 

(Image credit: Solus Decor)

If you're taking on a bigger garden makeover and want to create a cosy seating area that can be screened from the rest of the garden, take your lead from this sleek set-up. Built-in bench seating on three sides of a central fire pit ensures everyone is in the heart of the action after dark. Raised beds filled with a mix of plants and flowers provide shelter and privacy, while also creating a colourful backdrop to this contemporary entertaining space. 

9. Take your fire pit on the go 

Large lit fire pit in a field

This Foscot fire pit from Garden Trading comes in three sizes, so you can pick the best one to suit your needs 

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

Love the idea of a fire pit but don't want to be restricted to only using it at home? Look out for a design with carry handles and you'll be able to put it in the back of the car and then take it with you on camping trips, or carry it down to the beach for some coastal alfresco cooking. 

Bear in mind the overall size of the fire pit if you want to take it with you on day trips or holidays – a large diameter might be great on your patio, but you'll probably regret it when you're lugging it up sand dunes back to the car. 

10. Create a magical corner

laser cut fire pit light at night

Spherical fire pit from Logi Fires

(Image credit: Logi Stoves)

Give your outdoor space a unique look with a bespoke fire pit. Whether you want dancing fairies, prancing horses or woodland animals as the decorative element on your fire pit, a bespoke option allows you to create your very own mystical design. Made from steel, this original spherical fire pit from Logi Fires is made by hand and features an intricate pattern that looks stunning when lit at night, creating a striking focal point in any outdoor space.

11. Up your culinary game with a fire pit bbq

Tall fire pit and bbq combined

(Image credit: Cuckooland)

If you really want to show off at your next garden BBQ party, forget cooking in a pizza oven (although if you're still after one, do check out our pizza ovens buying guide), and try this fire pit idea instead. 

This Quan Quadro Premium Large Wood Fired BBQ is one for any wannabe chefs out there, as it combines a large central fire pit surrounded by a carbon steel top plate so you can try out Teppanyaki style cooking while everyone else gathers around and tucks in. 

12. Have a S’mores night

toasting marshmallows over a fire pit

(Image credit: Gavin Van Wagoner/Unsplash)

One of the best uses for your fire pit? Making S’mores of course! Yes, there’s plenty of ways you can try and make them indoors over winter, but that’s not half as much fun as doing it over an open fire in the garden (and they don’t taste as good). Whether you’re having a Halloween or Bonfire night celebration, this is the perfect way to keep the kids entertained.

13. Go high for extra visibility

fire pit on a raised stand

(Image credit: Lime Lace)

Want to bring your fire pit into the heart of the action? Choose a traditional fire bowl with a raised stand and the flames will be closer to eye level when you’re sitting down around it. We love the rust effect of this fire pit as it brings extra character to the patio space.

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