Lower Leas Coastal Park, Lower Sandgate Rd, Folkestone
|Classification:||Cave Replica Grotto|
|Guided tours:||self guided|
|Address:||Zigzag Path, The Leas, Folkestone, Kent CT20 2EB, England|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1800s||first path to the beach constructed.|
|1921||Zigzag Path build by hundreds of local war veterans.|
The Zig Zag Path or Zig Zag Walk in Folkestone is a fantastic scenic walk with artificial caves between the Leas Cliff Hall and the Leas Bandstand. Actually there are various trails between the town and the beach below. The Zig Zag Path, as the name suggests winds down to the beach in serpentines. To make it more scenic, artificial grottoes were sculpted out of a material known as Pulhamite. This is a mix of sand, cement, and rubble. Other features along the path are steps, seats, plant pockets, low walls, tunnels, arches, and caves.
The path was originally built in the 1800s to ferry bath chairs between The Leas and the beach. After World War I a major economic recession hit Great Britain and many soldiers returned from the battlefield faced unemployment. The British government attempted to deal with this problem by developing a number of public work schemes across the country. One such project was the construction of the Zigzag Path.
We listed caves, tunnels and grottoes, and actually those are not the same. Tunnels were dug through the rock as a means to get from one point to another by avoiding building a path on the surface, or in this case along the cliff. Grottoes are shallow caverns wth some kind of decoration, more an artwork than an actual cavern. Caves are obviously the wrong term, because caves are natural voids, but in this case the term is used in the historical meaning as a synonym of a cavern.