Choosing the right paving or flagstones for your driveway, patio, or garden path can be complex, with a variety of materials, colours, and finishes. Cotswold paving is a popular type of natural stone, with stunning shades ranging from deep cream hues to pale greys.

Other solutions include clay or reclaimed bricks, slate pavers, granite slabs, porcelain paving, limestone, and concrete. Each has different properties around frost resistance ideal for the UK climate, longevity, thickness, and colour. The paving materials we recommend may depend on the nature of the installation you would like and other factors, such as whether a paved path will be used daily or as a decorative garden feature.

In this article, we clarify the differences between brick and Cotswold stone paving, two of the most popular durable paving slabs, and explain some of the projects for which these pavers are best suited.

Factors to Consider When Selecting Natural Stone Paving for Your Garden

The first area to think about when planning the design of a new patio or flagstone pathway is the aesthetic and finish you’d like your paving to have. For example, you might select your preferred paving material based on:

  • The colour, brickwork, or render on the exterior of your property, opting for paving that is consistent with the period and style of your home.
  • Existing paving or decking, selecting paving that either stands out with a contrasting colour, or has a similar finish for a smooth appearance.
  • The size of the area you’d like to pave – this will influence the cost of your garden project. For example, using flagstones as a stepping stone path will require fewer packs of paving than creating a larger-sized patio.
  • The space or section of your garden where you’d like to install a paved area. The underlying substrate, drainage, and direct exposure to sunlight could impact the most appropriate materials and the scope of the work, such as the depth we’d need to dig down to create a stable base.

It’s also well worth taking precise measurements of your planned patio or driveway since measurement inaccuracies can make it difficult to make direct comparisons of the costs of potential paving materials or to budget correctly for the end-to-end cost of your garden or landscaping project.

If you would like independent advice about which paving slabs will meet your design aspirations or to arrange a convenient time for one of the Cotswold Paving and Landscaping team to visit your property and take measurements on your behalf, you are welcome to get in touch at any time.

The Pros and Cons of Cotswold Stone Paving Pack Size for Patios, Paths and Drives

Cotswold stone is a traditional, hardwearing type of stone that has been handmade in this region of Britain for hundreds of years. You can buy modern or antique pavers or purchase replacement paving slabs to repair older patios or pathways that have become damaged over time.

The timeless, classic feel of these paving slabs makes them perfect for period properties or newer residences where you’d like your garden to be equally functional and beautiful, using the charm of local paving to add interest and pattern.

A type of limestone, Cotswold natural stone slabs are strong and resilient. Their colour ranges from a warmer, rich honey shade to golden and pale slabs. As a rough guide, stone quarried from the central Cotswolds tends to be warmer, and stone originating from closer to Bath has a creamier, whiter, or greyer palette.

One of the reasons Cotswold paving slabs are so widely used is that they are versatile and can be laid in any pattern or configuration, using mixed sizes of stones for a mosaic effect patio or pond surround or picking larger, uniform slabs for steps and paths.

The advantages of Cotswold stone in paving projects include excellent frost resistance. The weather-hardened natural stone is durable and impervious to changing temperatures. While Cotswold pavers can be more expensive than budget alternatives, the longevity of the stone means that a newly laid patio will remain in perfect condition for decades to come.

Some lighter colours of natural stone can be more prone to developing algae, so they require pressure washing after periods of dampness and rain, but a textured stone can offer added slip resistance.

Considerations When Creating a Paved Brick Feature in Your Garden

Our next paving material is brick, although there are numerous variations depending on the type of brick you’d like to use. Reclaimed bricks are popular for cost and sustainability reasons. They are cleaned of old cement, concrete, or mortar and ready for immediate use. Modern clay bricks are the most common as-new type of brick and are fired in a kiln or pressed.

Homeowners might opt for brick paving because the wide availability of bricks means the cost of laying a path is often lower than when using a natural stone paving system. However, most older homes in the Cotswolds are built from locally quarried limestone, so it is less common to create brick paths since this material is unlikely to match the exterior of your home.

Alongside lower average costs, brick paving is highly durable and provides a more pleasing finish than a simple poured concrete path. It also tends to retain its colour over the years without becoming worn or faded. The bricks used in brick paving are almost as long-lasting as stone, but the cement or other grouting used between smaller-dimension bricks will require replacing sooner.

Paths or patios created with bricks will require more paving materials to construct, since a standard brick size is considerably smaller than a natural stone slab. You’ll also find that clay bricks must be sealed against water ingress and require re-sealing periodically.

Choosing the Right Paving Slabs for Your Property

The right solutions, of course, depend on how you’d like your driveway or paved patio to look and the materials and types of paving slabs that are best suited to your personal taste.

We often suggest reviewing our previous paving and driveway installation projects to get an idea about what the finished paving might look like – and comparing recently completed paving in properties similar to yours as inspiration.

For more information about Cotswold stone or brick paving, to arrange an obligation-free quotation, or to request advice about the best options for your garden makeover, please contact our experienced team. All quotations provided will include the total cost inc VAT, giving customers a clear understanding of the financial commitment.