The breadcrumbs component helps users to understand where they are within a website’s structure and move between levels.

WCAG 2.2

New WCAG 2.2 criteria affects this component

To use ‘Breadcrumbs’ and meet the new Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2 criteria, make sure that users can successfully:

See the full list of components and patterns affected by WCAG 2.2.

When to use this component

Use the breadcrumbs component when you need to help users understand and move between the multiple levels of a website.

When not to use this component

Do not use the breadcrumbs component on websites with a flat structure, or to show progress through a linear journey or transaction.

If you’re using other navigational elements on the page, such as a sidebar, consider whether your users need the additional support of breadcrumbs.

How it works

Always place breadcrumbs at the top of a page, before the <main> element. Placing them here means that the ‘Skip to main content’ link allows the user to skip all navigation links, including breadcrumbs.

The breadcrumbs should start with your ‘home’ page and end with the parent section of the current page.

WCAG 2.2

Make sure no other interactive elements are too close to the breadcrumbs. This is to make sure users can easily interact with the breadcrumbs. This relates to WCAG 2.2 success criterion 2.5.8 Target Size (minimum).

There are 2 ways to use the breadcrumbs component. You can use HTML or, if you are using Nunjucks or the GOV.UK Prototype Kit, you can use the Nunjucks macro.

Collapsing breadcrumbs on mobile devices

If you have long breadcrumbs you can configure the component to only show the first and last items on mobile devices.

To do this, add a govuk-breadcrumbs--collapse-on-mobile class to the outer <div> element of the component HTML. Or if you’re using Nunjucks, add collapseOnMobile: true to the Nunjucks macro as shown in this example.

Use the govuk-breadcrumbs--inverse modifier class to show white links and arrows on dark backgrounds – for example, in headers, custom components, and patterns with darker backgrounds.

Make sure all users can see the breadcrumbs – the background colour must have a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 with white.

<div class="govuk-breadcrumbs govuk-breadcrumbs--inverse">
  <ol class="govuk-breadcrumbs__list">
    <li class="govuk-breadcrumbs__list-item">
      <a class="govuk-breadcrumbs__link" href="#">Home</a>
    <li class="govuk-breadcrumbs__list-item">
      <a class="govuk-breadcrumbs__link" href="#">Passports, travel and living abroad</a>
    <li class="govuk-breadcrumbs__list-item">
      <a class="govuk-breadcrumbs__link" href="#">Travel abroad</a>
Nunjucks macro options

Use options to customise the appearance, content and behaviour of a component when using a macro, for example, changing the text.

Some options are required for the macro to work; these are marked as “Required” in the option description.

If you’re using Nunjucks macros in production with “html” options, or ones ending with “html”, you must sanitise the HTML to protect against cross-site scripting exploits.

Primary options
Name Type Description
items array Required. The items within breadcrumbs. See items.
classes string Classes to add to the breadcrumbs container.
collapseOnMobile boolean When true, the breadcrumbs will collapse to the first and last item only on tablet breakpoint and below.
attributes object HTML attributes (for example data attributes) to add to the breadcrumbs container.
Options for items array objects
Name Type Description
text string Required. If html is set, this is not required. Text to use within the breadcrumbs item. If html is provided, the text option will be ignored.
html string Required. If text is set, this is not required. HTML to use within the breadcrumbs item. If html is provided, the text option will be ignored.
href string Link for the breadcrumbs item. If not specified, breadcrumbs item is a normal list item.
attributes object HTML attributes (for example data attributes) to add to the individual crumb.
{% from "govuk/components/breadcrumbs/macro.njk" import govukBreadcrumbs %}

{{ govukBreadcrumbs({
  classes: "govuk-breadcrumbs--inverse",
  items: [
      text: "Home",
      href: "#"
      text: "Passports, travel and living abroad",
      href: "#"
      text: "Travel abroad",
      href: "#"
}) }}

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