How to Say Sidewalk in British

Knowing the right word for “sidewalk” in British English is helpful, particularly if you plan to visit or settle in the United Kingdom. In this guide, we will explore both formal and informal ways to refer to a sidewalk in British English. While regional variations may exist, we will primarily focus on widely used terms. Let’s dive in and discover how to say “sidewalk” the British way!

Formal Ways to Say Sidewalk in British

If you’re in a formal setting or need to use a more sophisticated vocabulary, the following terms are commonly used to refer to a sidewalk in British English:

  1. Pavement: This is the most frequently used word for “sidewalk” in the UK. It is preferred in formal contexts and more commonly used in southern England. For example, “Please be cautious while walking on the pavement.”
  2. Footpath: Although primarily used to refer to paths in the countryside, “footpath” may also be used in urban areas, particularly for smaller, less busy walkways. For instance, “The footpath alongside the park leads to the shops.”
  3. Pathway: While “pathway” can refer to any type of path, it is occasionally used to describe the pedestrian walkway in urban areas. An example might be, “Take the pathway on the right to reach the museum.”

Informal Ways to Say Sidewalk in British

If you’re in a casual or informal context, you might prefer these more colloquial terms to say “sidewalk” in British English:

  1. Pavement: Yes, the same word we mentioned earlier can also be used informally. In fact, “pavement” is widely understood and accepted across the UK, regardless of formality. For example, “I was walking down the pavement when I noticed a new cafĂ©.”
  2. Walkway: “Walkway” is a popular term used in many English-speaking countries. While it may not be as commonly used in British English, it can still be heard in informal conversations. You could say, “Let’s meet near the walkway next to the market.”
  3. Sidepath: This is a less common term, but it might be used regionally in some parts of the UK. For instance, “Watch out for cyclists on the sidepath.”

Regional Variations

While British English generally uses the terms mentioned above, regional variations do exist. Here are a few examples of how people refer to a sidewalk in different parts of the UK:


In Scotland, the common word for “sidewalk” is “pavement” just like in England. However, you might also hear “footway” or “footpath” being used interchangeably.


In Wales, “pavement” is commonly used, but some areas may also refer to it as a “pavement slab” or simply a “pave.”

Northern Ireland:

“Pavement” is predominantly used in Northern Ireland, but “footpath” can also be heard in some areas.

Tips: When in doubt about how to refer to a sidewalk in British English, using “pavement” is usually your safest option, regardless of the region or formality. It’s always helpful to learn and adapt to the local terminology for better communication.

Remember, British English is a diverse dialect with varied regional accents and vocabularies. While this guide provides a solid foundation, it’s worth noting that language is constantly evolving, and local preferences can change over time. Embrace the opportunity to immerse yourself in the British culture and language during your time there!

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