Rotary dryer in small garden

Best Washing Lines for Small Gardens (UK)

If you’ve got a bit of outdoors space, it can be tempting to save a bit of electricity and use it to dry your clothes.

However, if your garden is on the small side, it can be difficult to find a washing line that won’t take up a lot of the space.

A good washing line should be strong enough to withstand the elements as well as the weight of lots of wet clothing.

In this roundup, we’ll be covering two main types: straight washing lines, and rotary washing lines.


Best Washing Lines for a Small Gardens in the UK

1. LIVIVO Outdoor 45m Rotary Washing Line

LIVIVO Outdoor Garden 4 Arm 45m folding Rotary Washing Line Clothes Airer Dryer with Free Ground Spike and Cover (Charcoal)

Drying space: 45 m
Type: Rotary

If you’re not willing to put a line across your entire garden, a rotary dryer might be better for you than a regular clothesline.

They can be a little more difficult to install though, often involving either concrete or a long stake.

However, once installed they are a much more permanent solution to your drying needs.

This product comes with a ground spike that can be driven into the dirt, provided your ground is hard enough to hold it.

Included is also a cover for the rotary dryer so you can protect it from the elements when it’s not in use.

As the name suggests, this rotary wasing line offers 45 metres of drying space while only taking up two metres of space across.

The line is polyester coated in PVC which should be strong enough to last for years to come.

Easy to install and built to last, this rotary washing line would be a great choice for a relatively small garden.


2. Brabantia Essential Rotary Washing Line

Brabantia 30m Essential Rotary Washing Line (Metallic Grey) Collapsible Umbrella System, 3 Arm Outdoor Clothes Dryer + 35mm Plastic Ground Tube

Drying space: 30 m
Type: Rotary

Brabantia’s Essential Rotary Washing Line is a very high-quality product that offers 30 metres of drying space.

It also has a simple ‘umbrella’ adjustment system that allows you to easily put the line up and take it down.

The included plastic ground tube can be fixed into the ground with concrete, or with a separate ground spike.

When not in use, the ground tube can be covered with the cap, preventing the hole from filling with dirt or water.

If you’re short on space, each of the arms has a hole on the end for mounting clothes hangers. This allows you to maximise your drying efficiency which is handy for larger families.

For added space efficiency, this rotary dryer has a sturdy hanging loop which allows the entire thing to be easily hung up out of the way.


3. Minky Retractable Reel Washing Line

Minky Retractable Duo Reel Washing Line, Grey, 2x15m

Drying space: 30 m
Type: Retractable

This retractable washing line from Minky offers a whole 30 metres of drying space across two 15-metre lines.

The primary selling point of this washing line is that it’s retractable. That means when it’s not in use you can just unhook the lines and reel them in, leaving your garden nice and open.

Both lines are sunlight resistant, and thanks to the PVC coating are extremely easy to wipe clean.

The whole casing can be unmounted from the wall bracket fairly easily for simple removal during winter months when it’s not going to be in use.

Take a look at our list of the best retractable washing lines for even more great space-saving drying options.


4. H&S Steel Core Washing Line

H&S 50m Washing Line Rope Steel Core Laundry Clothes Lines Thick Strong Plastic PVC Cover Garden Outdoor

Drying space: 50 m
Type: Steel core clothesline

If a retractable reel doesn’t quite offer the simplicity and versatility you require, this heavy-duty steel-core clothesline from H&S can be mounted however you desire and is strong enough to withstand some serious punishment.

The line is rated for up to 200 kg of clothing, which is more than enough to support your washing.

Like the Minky Retractable line, this clothesline has a PVC coating which means it’ll wipe clean with ease if it gets dirty.

Users have reported using the line for lots of washing with no sagging or problems whatsoever, so you can be sure that this line is tough enough for your needs.


Washing Line FAQs

Can I have a washing line in my garden?

There has been more and more talk over the years surrounding bans on drying washing outdoors in the UK, especially since these restrictions are common in some parts of the USA.

Despite this, there is no law in the UK that bans people from installing washing lines or drying clothes in their own gardens. However, this does not prevent landlords, housing developers or housing associations from attempting to impose their own rules.

If you do rent, either privately or through a housing association, check your tenancy agreement to make sure you don’t have a clause stopping you from drying clothing outdoors.


Where should I put my washing line in my garden?

When it comes to mounting a washing line in your garden, there are a range of factors that you should consider in terms of choosing the best location.

1. Space

You will need to make sure your washing line has adequate space around it, not just for airflow, but for safety too.

Washing lines will need enough space around them and be tall enough to give you easy access without tripping or hitting your head.

If you are using a rotary washing line, you ideally want a minimum of one metre of space around the line to allow you and your family to pass easily, and to stop clothing catching on fences, trees or shrubs as it blows in the wind.

The top of the washing line should always be within easy reach of the primary user.

If it needs to be higher for any reason, consider mounting it on a pulley so it can be lifted up once it has been loaded, and then dropped back down once the washing has dried.

If your washing line is going to be mounted in the ground, you will need to make sure you do not have any water, gas or power lines within a metre of the post locations, or in the 60 cm underneath the depth of the post.

You will need to make sure the soil or ground is able to support the washing line properly, and take steps to make it safe if the ground is too loose.

2. Location

The exact placement is a crucial consideration in all gardens, but especially small ones.

If you place your washing line too close to trees, for example, you will find that not only will scraps of plant matter end up in your laundry, but bird droppings will too.

3. Seasons and weather

Before committing, you will need to consider the weather in your area and the seasons during which you are most likely to use your washing line.

Consider where the sun hits your garden throughout the year as during summer, the direct sunlight can damage your clothing and during the winter, clothes can dry slower.

Breezy locations are typically best when it comes to drying clothes outside; for many homes, this will be along the side of the property rather than to the front or back.


What is the smallest rotary clothes line?

Rotary clothes lines are an incredibly convenient choice. Not only do they offer a lot of space for drying clothes, but they fold down into a convenient size when it isn’t being used too.

The smallest rotary clothes line we could find is the OurHouse SR20101 3-Arm Outdoor Rotary Airer. The

26 metres of washing line gives plenty of space for all of your laundry, and the diameter of 163 cm means it’s surprisingly small when in use too.

For when it isn’t in use, this handy washing line even has a hanging hook so you can tuck it away in a corner of the garage or your home to keep it out of the way



If we had to pick just one washing line to recommend for small gardens, it would be the LIVIVO Outdoor 45m Rotary Washing Line which offers an impressive 45 metres of drying space despite only taking up two metres of your garden. It’s easy to install and built to last, and is a very efficient way to use the space in your garden.