Concrete and tiles are durable and easy care. Surface treatments such as colouring, exposed aggregate and patterned cutting mean concrete doesn’t have to be a boring slab of grey.
Asphalt gives an inconspicuous but hardwearing surface allowing plants to be the main focus of attention. It also wears well, but can be hot to walk on.
Bricks and cobbles allow for interesting patterns and are easier than some other options if you want to lay paving yourself. They are not usually set in concrete so there is more chance of weeds, but loose pavers are ideal if you need to retain access to underground services.
Timber decking is comfortable, warm and easy-care. A boardwalk works wonderfully as a pathway through tricky terrain, or where there is water to cross. Pebble, shell or gravel surfaces, while not as long lasting, are easy to lay and good for informal or less used pathways. Smooth pebbles are easier on bare feet than sharp gravel or shell.