Stay cool this summer – splash out on an outdoor shower

Want to be at one with the great outdoors? We have expert advice and gorgeous imagery to inspire the alfresco bather in you

Our summers are getting warmer and weeklong heat waves are no longer a thing of myth – installing an outdoor shower in a secluded corner of the garden creates a refreshing spot to cool off on hot days. Invigorating, fun and you don't need acres of space to have one. But where to start? From plumbing to privacy, we share our advice, alongside beautiful imagery to inspire...

Go back to basics

outdoor shower with deck area

(Image credit: TBC)

In its simplest form, an outdoor shower consists of a sprinkling fixture attached to an outdoor tap or garden hose, no plumbing required. Easy to do, but take heed – cold showers only! Think about what you're going to be using it for. It does the job for sandy feet and muddy dogs, but if you're after a bit of warmth, you may want to consider taking the plumbing plunge.

Get the temperature right

beach side outdoor shower with hot water faucet

(Image credit: TBC)

There's no doubt about it, a hot shower is more appealing. It does, however, require a tad more planning. The easiest way is to have a plumber install a hot water faucet onto an outdoor wall and attach a heavy-duty hosepipe. It's affordable and also avoids frozen pipes in the winter – simply detach the hosepipes and store them away.

Hooking up to the permanent water lines in your home is option number two. The best place to install a shower fixture is on a kitchen or bathroom outer wall, that way the hot and cold pipes can simply be run outside.

Things get more complicated – and costly – when it comes to stand-alone showers away from the house, but it's certainly doable. It's well worth the investment, particularly for those with beautiful views to make the most of!

Deal with drainage

The best advice? Don't ignore it. Letting water build up can lead to long-term foundation issues. The most common and eco-friendly way to drain an outdoor shower is to let water seep directly into your garden. If the ground is reasonably porous and the shower isn't used too often, this could be the solution for you. Alternative options include fixed drains, dry wells and shower drainage pans.

Add a tub

white house with outboor bathtub shower and umbrella

(Image credit: TBC)

Looking for a more relaxing bathing experience? Place a vintage bathtub in your garden and fill it up with from your new shower – simple, yet oh-so effective.

Choose au naturale (or not!)

outdoor shower made up of stone wood and slate

(Image credit: TBC)

Take the opportunity to be creative with design. Use natural materials such as stone, slate or wood to feel at one with nature and choose a water-resistant material that's easy to keep clean for flooring.

Cover up

open bathing booth in garden with shower

(Image credit: TBC)

Think about where to place your shower, an open bathing booth isn't for everyone! Find a sheltered spot or opt for a shower curtain; one that's made to weather outdoor elements and is also mildew resistant.

Create a dressing room

outdoor shower with dressing room and slipper

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mel Yates)

You might be showering off in your swimmers, but it's a good idea to provide a spot to change into dry clothes. This could be a permanent structure like a shed or summerhouse, or a tall tent that you can pop up and down as needed.

Style beautifully

outdoor shower with ladder and towel

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Scarboro)

Once the practicalities are in order, turn your attention to detail. For a beachy feel, try weathered wood, scattered shells and rustic tin lanterns. Towels can be draped over bamboo ladders or on built-in hooks, whilst hanging buckets are the perfect storage solution for soap, shampoo and other washing essentials. Why not invest in outdoor lighting, to style your shower, too? Bright fairy lights bring a cheery touch of colour to before-bed ablutions!