18th Nov 2022 -

Pea gravel is a popular choice for landscaping and gardening work, with a multi-coloured look and smooth rounded shapes. Whether building a landscaping feature, making a driveway, or laying paving slabs, pea gravel is an attractive and easy-to-use product. In this guide from Building Materials Nationwide, we’ll explain the origins of pea gravel, the types on sale in the UK, and the four main uses for it within landscaping and gardening work.

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What is Pea Gravel?

Pea gravel, sometimes sold as pea shingle, is a type of gravel that is used in UK landscaping. Pea shingles will be composed of small rounded stones, each around the size of a pea. The stones will typically be between 6mm and 10mm in width and will be in a variety of colours including grey, brown, and other lighter hues. 

This gives pea gravel a pleasing look reminiscent of a stony beach. Pea gravel is formed naturally and is found near bodies of water. This gives it a more rounded look than crushed stone. It remains a popular product within the world of gardening due to its versatility, its great look, and its low price.

What Types of Pea Shingles Are Sold in the UK?

As the variety of natural rock types making up pea shingles is one of its main selling points, you won’t find colour options when shopping within the UK. The main choice available to you is whether to opt for a 10mm size or 20mm. Larger sizes will be less likely to get stuck in car tyres or shoes if used on driveways. Costs are similar for each option, and when looking to use gravel in purely decorative ways which of the two options is best for you will therefore be a matter of personal preference.

What is Pea Gravel Used For?

Pea gravel serves a variety of visual and practical purposes within landscaping and gardening and is a popular product across the UK for creating visual elements of a garden, building driveways and paths, and as a mulching material around plants.


Pea gravel is used for a variety of visual elements within landscaping, offering an attractive, consistent look that can contrast features like hedges and planters, and blend with stone features such as statues or water fountains. When used alongside water fountains, pea gravel will quickly drain all water, leaving your gardens free of puddles. 

When laying pea gravel within a garden it will need to be properly contained before installation, even if it is in an area that won’t receive any foot traffic. This means flattening the base soil, installing a layer of crushed rock, laying a plastic weed barrier, and then pouring the pea gravel.

Driveways and Paths

Pea gravel is also a great choice for creating a driveway or garden path. It contrasts well with grass while wearing far better and being easy to maintain. You will need to border your driveway or path with solid rocks or bricks to contain the gravel. Much like landscaping work, you will need to compact and level all ground below, lay a covering of crushed rock, a plastic weed barrier, and then the pea gravel itself. As covered earlier, larger 20mm pea gravel is less likely to become wedged in shoes or car tyres. You will need to rake your gravel paths occasionally to keep them level and ensure there isn’t loose gravel around their borders. It is worth buying extra pea gravel to keep your path topped up when required.

Mulching Material Around Plants

Mulching involves placing a layer of material on the surface of the soil, conserving soil moisture and preventing the growth of weeds. Pea gravel is a popular choice as a mulching material, which can be laid around a variety of plants to help their soil remain rich. While there are other mulching options which directly add nutrients to the soil, pea gravel will help to keep heat and moisture within the soil and to give your plant beds an attractive look.

Patio Stones

Pea Gravel can also be used as an underlay for patio stones or other paving materials. Constructed in the same way as a driveway or garden path, you can simply place patio stones atop your gravel bed. Pea gravel will help to allow moisture drainage and absorb ground tension, ensuring continual performance from your patio stones. This can be a great DIY way to create sturdy paving within a garden space.

Paving slabs and brick against pea gravel shingle edging in grey tones for a garden space.

What Does Pea Shingle Cost?

We sell both 10mm and 20mm pea shingles through our website, as part of a wider range of aggregates. While prices can fluctuate, at the time of writing our 10mm pea shingle costs £2.19 before VAT for a 25kg bag and £47.49 before VAT for our 850kg bulk bags. Our 20mm pea shingle also costs £2.19 before VAT for a 25kg bag and £47.49 before VAT for an 850kg bulk bag. While purchasing in bulk obviously brings savings with it, smaller gardening jobs could potentially be covered by a few smaller bags, while larger projects like driveways could require several bulk bags of pea shingle.

Quality Pea Gravel For Sale

Building Materials Nationwide offers a range of aggregates including pea shingles for sale, with delivery options across the UK. We work with professional landscapers and builders, aiming to be the one-stop shop for all supplies, saving our customers both time and money. 

Alongside our gravel options, we have heavy-duty weed control mats for underlays and a range of gardening supplies. Customers working within the industry will also be able to sign up for a trade account through our website. Trade accounts grant access to our full network of suppliers, faster delivery options, and the services of a dedicated account manager.

Sign up for a trade account through our website today.