Fire pit ideas: 19 ways to cosy up after dark and create an enchanting atmosphere

Elevate your evenings spent outdoors with our favourite fire pit ideas, from rustic bowls to contemporary designs

fire pit ideas: firepit UK curved fire bowl
(Image credit: FirepitsUK)

Why not try our favourite fire pit ideas in your garden this year? That way, you can still make the most of your outdoor space after dark. 

A wonderful focal point for any patio, the best fire pits are ideal for injecting a touch of ambience to your outdoor get-togethers. And with summer on its way, we'll all be spending more time in our garden over the coming months. Making sure it's as cosy and inviting as possible is key. 

But fire pits aren't just for the warmer seasons. Whether you want to crowd around and toast marshmallows with the kids, or simply enjoy a hot chocolate under the night sky, a fire pit will help you make the most of your garden all year round.

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

1. Match your fire pit with your patio

fire pit ideas: stone fire pit on patio

Create a sense of cohesion for your space

(Image credit: Polly Eltes/Future)

Create a cohesive look by using the same materials for your fire pit and patio. We're loving this warm, sandy-hued stone. 

Not only does this robust design blend seamlessly with its surroundings, but it also creates a gorgeously rustic centrepiece between the two benches. Pop a wicker basket nearby to store extra logs, for an additional dose of charm. 

It's a perfect choice if you're looking for a more permanent feature for your plot. And if you're after more inspiration for your seating space, head over to our patio ideas.

2. Make a modern focal point

fire pit ideas: modern roof terrace

A streamlined fire bowl complements this contemporary scene

(Image credit: Davide Lovati/Future)

If you're a fan of contemporary styles with fuss-free lines and pared-back shapes, then how's this for an idea?

The sweeping curves of the modern chairs complement the fire bowl's design beautifully. Plus, we love the use of jumbo-sized tiles which accentuate the feeling of space. Once lit, the warm crackle and flicker of flames will add a sense of warmth and movement to the scene, ramping up the welcoming vibes.

Head over to our guide on how to make a garden feel modern for more tips to create an uber-trendy look.

3. Opt for a basket design

fire pit ideas: Barrington design from Garden Trading

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

This raw metal design has an industrial edge that would work well in modern and country-style plots alike. It's available in two sizes, so if space permits, you could opt for one of each  – a surefire way to make a statement.

With ample room for logs, it's perfect for keeping you and your guests comfortably warm late into the evening. And, it will naturally rust over time, which will only add to its authentic charm. 

Soften its sturdy look with twinkling festoon lights overhead, and add plenty of cosy textiles to your seating spot nearby.

4. Go for a sleek standing style

fire pit ideas: Morsø design on patio

(Image credit: Morsø)

If you love the idea of a fire pit but would like something a little more contained, then a vertical design is a good solution. 

It will still offer all the warmth and atmosphere of the classic bowl-shaped pits, and won't take up much floor space. What's more, a chimney-style design will help to channel smoke away from you and your guests, so can be more suitable for smaller plots.

5. Let it take pride of place

fire pit ideas: living gardens designed plot with raised fire bowl

Garden designed by Living Gardens

(Image credit: Living Gardens)

Here, clever landscaping ideas give a fire bowl pride of place. And not only does lifting it up bring it closer to eye level for a more impressive impact, but it also provides storage space beneath for logs. A painted backdrop and downlight accentuate its dramatic beauty further.

Even when unlit, fire features give the impression of warmth and make your garden feel like a welcoming, modern space, says Jonathan Martin, Garden Designer of Living Gardens. 'A fire bowl filled with daffodils in early spring is as bright and warming as when the same bowl is alive with flame in autumn.'

6. Go for pleasing curves

fire pit ideas: design from FirepitsUK

(Image credit: FirepitsUK)

A soothing shape such as this will provide any plot with a dose of elegance. Its wide diameter is brilliant for cooking, too – simply add an attachable grill rack. Your evenings outdoors will feel extra special instantly.

And if you love a touch of alfresco cooking, don't forget to check out our outdoor grill ideas for lots of gorgeous designs.

7. Surround with cushions for a casual vibe

modern conrete effect fire pit on a patio

Ramp up the cosy factor with soft textiles

(Image credit: Dunelm)

Want a more relaxed feel to your garden space? Surround your fire pit with a mix of comfy floor cushions or best 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. 

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. Create a sheltered spot

gas fire pit in an outdoor living area

(Image credit: Solus Decor)

Adding structure to your garden with our pergola ideas 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.

As with all fire pits, just make sure there's enough clearance around and above it, to prevent carbon monoxide from building up.

11. Choose a fire pit and log store combined

outdoor fireplace with integrated log store

Outdoor fireplace from Charlton Island

(Image credit: Charlton Island)

If you go for a wood-burning 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, this fire pit section is raised up for better views of the flames. A great option for small patios or courtyard garden ideas.

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

fire pit and table combined in one design

(Image credit: Solus Decor)

If you're searching for small garden ideas due to limited space, then a multi-functional fire pit will help you make the most of your plot.

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 design runs on natural gas/LPG or bioethanol, making it even easier to get instant heat on demand. 

13. Create a camping holiday at home

Fire pit surrounded by hay bales for a campfire themed night

Gather round 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 campfire-themed night in the garden. Bales of hay entirely optional.

14. 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 bioethanol 

(Image credit: Solus Decor)

If you're taking on a bigger 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. It's an eye-catching addition to our modern garden ideas.

15. 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. 

16. Create a magical corner

laser cut fire pit light at night

(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 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.

17. 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 best pizza oven buying guide), and try this fire pit idea instead. 

This is one for any wannabe chefs out there. 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. 

18. Have a S'mores night

toasting marshmallows over a fire pit

Toasting marshmallows is a fun activity for all ages

(Image credit: Gavin Van Wagoner/Unsplash)

What's 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, 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).

Not just for Halloween or Bonfire night celebrations, this is the perfect way to keep the kids entertained all year long. And if you're after more ways to keep them occupied outdoors, our garden activities for kids feature has tons of suggestions.

19. Go high for extra visibility

fire pit on a raised stand

Fire pit with stand from Lime Lace

(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.

What do I need to consider when choosing my fire pit?

fire pit ideas: set up from oka uk

Set-up from OKA UK including the Coricle coffee table

(Image credit: OKA UK)

Choosing a fire pit involves a number of different considerations, so the experts at FirepitsUK share their advice.

Firstly, the team suggests to consider your budget. 'Prices on fire pits vary greatly but beware the cheap versions,' they say. Usually they are mass produced from very thin steel, which will quickly deteriorate. If you go for better quality designs, they'll last for much longer and they don't have to be eye-wateringly expensive. FirepitsUK's designs are hand-made from thick British steel, will last over ten years, and start at £133.

The next factor to think about is how many people you want to have around your fire pit. 'The potential heat generated by the fire pit will vary depending on its size, so consider how many people will be sitting around it usually. Is it just for day-to-day family use, or will you be using it for parties?' they ask.

Third, how big is your plot? 'It's important to take into account how your fire pit will fit and look in your garden. If you need help visualising the size, it might help to make a template from newspaper and put it where you plan to use the fire pit. An extra 10cm in diameter can make a big difference,' the FirepitsUK team says.

And finally, think about whether you plan to cook on your fire pit – some designs are particularly good for doing so. So, if you're keen on grilling up a storm over an open flame, choose a fire pit that is a comfortable height to cook over and can take versatile cooking accessories such as the Plain Jane, suggests the team.

If you're looking for something a little grander for cooking alfresco, then head over to our outdoor kitchen ideas.