Cobbles for garden texture

Our exciting range of natural stone cobbles make eye-catching landscaping in any garden design.  They are ideal for water features and will add drama and visual interest to your project. Our beautiful cobbles are sourced from raised beaches, glaciers and old river beds where nature has tumbled stone into smooth, varied shapes and sizes.  Create a bright, light coastal vibe with Long Rake Spar White Decorative Cobbles or go for the warm vibrant Marshalls Atlantic Cobbles which look fabulous under water.

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Bestselling cobbles

Stonemarket Celtic Cobbles are grey, worn natural stone cobbles ranging in size from 200 -300mm - think of those beautiful wild coastlines of Ireland and Wales!

Marshalls Atlantic Cobbles are available in an array of naturally vibrant colours that look fabulous in many gardens, adding texture and reflected light where you need ground cover or weed suppression.

You'll love the impact created by Stonemarket Spanish White Cobbles -  perfect to brighten up dull areas of the garden or to create a Mediterranean garden atmosphere.

Long Rake Spar exclusives

Our fabulous range of glacial, marbled, banded and speckled cobbles come from Long Rake Spar.  From ice blue and terracotta, to black basalt and dove grey, there are myriad colours to bring the wow factor to your landscaping project.  Check out Long Rake Spar Rainbow Cobbles - gorgeous banded sandstone cobbles in rust and cream!

Quality, value and expertise from Turnbull

We pride ourselves in bringing you great landscaping products at competitive prices.  We’re confident that you’ll find what you're looking for on our site, but you can always ask us for advice if you want more detail or advice. Give our friendly, experienced team a call on 01529 308839 or check out our convenient web chat facility.

*Delivery is free on all Long Rake Spar products, or free on 4 bags+  when ordering Marshalls or Stonemarket - see our delivery terms for more information

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How to lay a block paving driveway: a straightforward guide

Tips and simple steps to laying a block paving driveway

Before planning your driveway paving, you might find it helpful to familiarise yourself with the basic installation process.  It’ll give you an idea as to whether you attempt DIY or engage a qualified installer.  We do recommend you call in the professional for large projects, but if you want to have a go yourself at a small extension or replacement section of your drive, or perhaps a pathway, then you’ll find this step by step guide handy.

Remember that particular driveway products can have individual technical specifications, and that you/your installer need to read these carefully.  Marshalls block paving products all come with their own installation guides, as do Stonemarket driveway blocks and setts.

You can buy block paving bricks in all shapes and designs, from the basic 200x100mm paver, rounded cobbles and traditional 100x100mm granite blocks to over-sized sandstone setts. They’ll require different foundations and some are trickier or more time-consuming to install than others.

Tools needed to lay block paving

Already in most people’s DIY sheds: shovel / broom / rake / tape measure / spirit level / mallet /string line and pegs

To buy: straight-edged timber lengths for screed rails

To hire: cement mixer, compacting tool or Vibrating Wacker Plates, block splitter or diamond disc saw (in total this will cost you about £100 a day)

How to lay paving blocks

1. Excavate your driveway

Block Paving

Dig out the area required to at least 150mm below the damp proof course of your house, making sure you create a gradual slope so that rain water can run into your drainage system and away from the parking area.  Aim for a 1cm drop for every 60cm of paved length.

2. Create edge restraints

Edge restraints provide a strong frame for the driveway blocks.  Set them in concrete mortar foundations and they’ll prevent any movement of the blocks once cars start to use the driveway.  Check that the final height of edging blocks or kerbs is the desired finished height of your block paving, using a level and string to check as you go.  Apply concrete to the outside of the edging, to about halfway up the height of the block, so it has a firm setting.

3. Put down a sub-base

You’ll need to put down a layer of at least 100mm of sub-base, usually MOT Type 1.  This will make sure the paving is stable enough to support the weight of cars.  Spread the material inside the edge restraints and rake to make sure it’s distributed evenly.  Firm it all down using the wacker.  Go over the whole area half a dozen times so that you get a really stable, long-lasting sub-base for your driveway.

4. Lay a sand layer

Sand helps you address any inconsistencies in levels across the driveway area.  Use sharp sand with some moisture to it and spread it evenly over the sub-base.  Give the sand the once-over with the wacker to get a smooth surface for screening.

5. Screed to level off 

Block Paving

You’ll need to level off the sand by screeding it. Insert two pieces of straight edge timber (your rails) into the sand and make the top of the rails level with the bottom of the final layer of block paving.  Run a third piece of timber along these rails and you’ll scoop up excess sand excess sand as you go.  Screeding will also allow you to check there’s the right direction of fall on the driveway base.

6. Lay your blocks

Block Paving

Start at the bottom of the slope in a corner, or against a straight edge or border. Put put each block down flush where it should go.  Use a block splitter or diamond disc saw to trim blocks to size where needed. Aim to have blocks sitting 10-15mm above the height you want, as they’ll be compacted down once you’ve finished laying.

7. Joint with sand

Sweep kiln-dried sand across the paving area, making sure you fill the joints.  Compact and then add more sand. Repeat until all the joints are fully filled.

Marshalls, suppliers of quality block paving for driveways, have some great videos, Click here and see if this DIY job is for you!

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