Penrose and the Loe Bar..

I mentioned the Loe Bar in my recent post, Porthleven and this is a follow-up to explain what the Loe Bar is all about.

The Loe or Loe Pool is the largest body of fresh water in Cornwall and hides what was once a valley formed by the estuary of the River Cober.  When sea levels rose during the Holocene period, the Loe Pool formed when the estuary became blocked by a the actions of the sea that created a bar of sand and shingle creating a natural dam, blocking the estuary.  At least that’s one theory as to the age and creation of the pool..

The drowned river valley, a geographical phenomenon known as a Ria, extends several miles out to sea.    The bank of sand that blocked the estuary leading to the formation of the Loe or Loe Pool is known as the Loe Bar. It is thought that Longshore Drift plays an important part in the maintenance of the Bar, with a strong current flowing to the south-east from Porthleven to Gunwalloe, depositing shingle along the Bar. The ebb flow is not a simple reverse flow and is not strong enough to remove all the deposits.  Yesterday, I had an appointment with my printer to view some proofs and with the Penrose Estate not very far away, it was the perfect opportunity to go and take a look.


70mm f/10 1/200 sec. ISO-100

The Penrose Estate and the Loe Pool are beautiful and I have Laura to thank, one of the National Trust rangers at the Penrose Estate, and Countryside Mobility South West, for making it possible for me to see it.  Countryside Mobility South West are a National Lottery funded charity, working to make the countryside more accessible to disabled people.  One way they do this is to provide Tramper mobility scooters to organisations willing to join the scheme.  They also have specially adapted boats on several lakes around the county that allow for a wheelchair to be wheeled aboard.

The tramper scooters are the mobility scooter equivalent of an off-road 4×4 and are able to handle pretty much whatever you throw at them in terms of rough and steep terrain.  This makes it possible for disabled people like myself to gain access to places our wheelchairs wouldn’t allow use to get to normally.

With an eye-watering top of 4 miles per hour I set off for the Loe Bar.  The trail was rough and fairly steep in places but I suspect my wheelchair would have handled the trail but with it being so rough, I think it would have drained my battery fairly quickly and the worry of running out of juice is not one you want when you’re out to enjoy a beautiful spring afternoon in a very beautiful place.  I had no such worry with the tramper.

The Loe Pool is long and thin as you would expect from a flooded valley, and as you follow its banks you’re treated to some beautiful views.  I could smell the sea however and I was itching to get to the Loe Bar.  This is what I saw when I got there..


52mm f/14 1/160 sec. ISO-100

Cornwall produces tons of daffodils for distribution around the country and for export and at this time of year and particularly in this part of Cornwall, you see many fields of daffodils just waiting to be picked, just like in the pictures below..

Loe Bar frw
24mm f/11 1/200 sec. ISO-100

1AT_0749 frw

24mm f/13 1/250 sec. ISO-100

With the Easter holidays starting this week, is was nice to see people out enjoying the fine weather.  These boys on their bikes were racing ahead of mum and dad, dawdling behind..


24mm f/11 1/250 sec. ISO-100

On occasion, to prevent flooding in up river Helston, the bar has been breached, a practice known locally as ‘cutting’, to allow much more of the fresh water to flow out to sea.  The bar has always naturally resealed itself.

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47 responses

  1. Lovely images Adrian and an excellent, informative post. I bet the daffodil fields are breathtaking when seen up close.

    April 9, 2014 at 6:07 pm

  2. What a beautiful spot. Terrific images Adrian.

    April 9, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    • Thank you Edith. It’s a place I’ve wanted to visit for some time but didn’t think I’d be able to simply because it was too far from anywhere I could park. I had heard about Countryside Mobility scheme so I called the Estate on the off chance and got through to Laura who was so helpful. Hopefully the scheme will spread.

      April 9, 2014 at 7:59 pm

  3. spartacus2030

    I’d like to get a 4×4 but I’m afraid I’ll tip over. Stunning images! The one with the silhouette tree looks like a painting!

    April 9, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    • Thank you very much. I din’t feel unsafe at any point. These trampers can cope with quite steep terrain without tipping.

      April 9, 2014 at 7:54 pm

  4. Yvonne Theze

    Hi Adrian,

    Some really nice pictures. X

    Sent from my iPad


    April 9, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    • Thanks Mum! :-)

      April 9, 2014 at 7:48 pm

  5. Those scooters look pretty good. And, of course, the place looks pretty good.

    April 9, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    • The Scooters are excellent Emilio. They’re very expensive to buy and you’d need a large van to transport one hence the scheme is brilliant. I hope a lot more places join and provide and start providing these trampers. There is only one issue with them really. A lot of the coast path is inaccessible, despite these trampers being able to cope with the terrain, simply because there are so many gates that don’t allow scooters or wheelchairs to pass through. I believe the National Trust is working on that one.

      April 9, 2014 at 7:52 pm

  6. You are great with great landscapes, Chillbrook.

    April 9, 2014 at 7:24 pm

  7. Gorgeous photos from a very special landscape!

    April 9, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    • Thank you very much Hans. Yes it really is very special indeed.

      April 9, 2014 at 8:20 pm

  8. Delightful shots of a gorgeous spot! That second image could have been taken of the coast just north of San Francisco… :)

    April 9, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    • Thank you Gunta. You’ve said before how closely the coastline of Cornwall resembles your Pacific Coast in places. Even down to the weather in Oregon. I will have to drive the Pacific Coast Highway one of these days and check it out for myself. Now there’s an ambition worth working towards. :-)

      April 9, 2014 at 8:23 pm

      • I think you’ll totally enjoy it! Most of it a lot less crowded than your coast, too! :D

        April 9, 2014 at 8:24 pm

      • Now that especially is very attractive. Not having to get up at the crack of dawn to find that perfect solitude, the solitude when I’m at my most creative and in touch with my environment. It’s very selfish but when I’m taking pictures, I do like it all to myself.. ;-)

        April 9, 2014 at 8:29 pm

  9. Simply marvelous! Beautiful photos.

    April 9, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    • Thank you very much Isabel. I really do appreciate your visits and your comments.

      April 9, 2014 at 9:55 pm

  10. Some less common images of Cornwall Adrian, but still very beautiful.

    April 9, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    • Thank you Dave. The beauty of Cornwall is its diverse coastline from rocky rugged cliffs and secluded coves on the north coast to the long sandy beaches of the south. I’m working my way round, never a dull moment, apart from the weather of course, but it’s been good so far this spring. A welcome break after such a wet and wild winter.

      April 9, 2014 at 10:09 pm

  11. Such a lovely place, with that swell of land rising up gently. It’s gratifying that it was made accessible with the tramper. What’s the structure in the 3rd photo? Do you know?

    April 9, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    • It is beautiful Lynn. The structure in the 3rd photo is some kind of sluice, there was water rushing through it, the River Cober is still running through the lake and needs somewhere to go if it’s not going to flood the entire area. If you look at the area on Google Earth, you can see a pattern on the ocean that suggests where the empties into the sea. :-)

      April 10, 2014 at 7:46 am

      • I took a look – I see what you’re saying – didn’t realize you were kind of at the end of the world there, out on the tip. So nice!

        April 11, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      • We are out on the edge Lynn. It really feels like that too.. a bit of a back water, disconnected from the rest of the country. In some ways a good thing but not always.. I often look out to sea and think nothing but ocean between here and North America.. :-)

        April 11, 2014 at 9:50 pm

  12. I see I forgot to mention the obvious – your photos are perfection!

    April 9, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    • Aww, thank you Lynn. :-)

      April 10, 2014 at 7:47 am

  13. beautiful :)

    April 10, 2014 at 5:24 am

    • Thank you very much!

      April 10, 2014 at 7:42 am

  14. A really beautiful place, Adrian. Your photos are so lovely. What a joy it must have been for you to be able to get there and take these pics. :)

    April 10, 2014 at 9:11 am

    • It was Sylvia, thank you. I hope many more places will join this scheme and offer tramper scooters to visitors.

      April 10, 2014 at 12:19 pm

  15. poppytump

    What a lot we have to thank the National Trust for ChillB ;-)
    Quite different this area by the looks of it …a much softer landscape rolling down seawards and the light almost caribbean fine sand …
    What a great day out you had …. I’m glad it was ‘4 miles per hour tops’ … maybe if we get the chance to visit I’ll be able to keep up with you for a change Lol ;-)
    Lovely lovely Spring pictures !

    April 10, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    • Thank you so much Poppy. It’s certainly a place I would love to visit again. Perhaps Penrose in the Morning, Praa Sands or Prussia Cove or even Marazion in the afternoon. What a nice day that would be. :-)x

      April 10, 2014 at 7:00 pm

  16. Beautiful photos

    April 10, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    • Thank you very much indeed Lou! :-)

      April 10, 2014 at 8:51 pm

  17. Joyful and pastoral group of photographs.

    April 11, 2014 at 11:59 am

    • Thank you John. It was a joyful sort of an afternoon. :-)

      April 11, 2014 at 5:15 pm

  18. Interesting post about a beautiful spot – thank you!

    April 12, 2014 at 8:43 am

    • Thank you very much Noeline! :-)

      April 13, 2014 at 8:01 am

  19. Beautiful images, Adrian….I do love your walled fields over there…and the yellow of the daffodils just makes the visual treat all the better.

    April 13, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    • Thank you very much Scott.

      April 13, 2014 at 2:22 pm

  20. Such a beautiful landscape…a wonderful share, thank you Adrian.

    April 15, 2014 at 12:55 am

    • I’m definitely going to be returning. Thank you Randall.

      April 15, 2014 at 7:36 am

  21. That is some glorious landscape! Beautiful images, Adrian.

    April 15, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    • It is such a unique place Karen, the sand bank making this natural dam creating a lake that would flood the nearby town if there wasn’t drainage for the flow of the river (the rusty bridge like structure in one of the pictures) makes it that way. Very different lanscape to the rest of cornwall with this long sand/pebble beach. Most Cornish beaches are in coves, even the bigger beaches. It was a fun place to visit and I’ll definitely be back.

      April 15, 2014 at 5:30 pm

  22. Informative post and what a lovely place to photograph!

    April 17, 2014 at 7:28 am

    • Thank you Huma, it is a wonderful place to visit with a camera!

      April 17, 2014 at 11:28 am

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