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Loe Pool

OS Grid ref:- SW6424

Loe PoolLoe Pool lies a mile and a half to the south of the characterful fishing village of Porthleven

The pool is situated behind the sand and shingle spit of Loe Bar, which was once a tidal estuary. the pool, now a freshwater lake and the largest natural lake in the county of Cornwall, has no apparent outlet to the sea.

Loe Pool is one of the two sites that Cornish legend claim states be the home of the enigmatic Lady of the Lake of Arthurian legend, where Sir Bedevere cast King Arthur's famous sword Excalibur following Arthur's death after the fateful battle of Camlann. The other candidate is Dozmary Pool on bleak and brooding Bodmin Moor. It is believed that Alfred, Lord Tennyson had Loe Pool in mind when he wrote the haunting lines of his epic poem Le Morte d'Arthur (The Death of Arthur), in which he describes the scene as "On one side lay the ocean and on one lay a great water".

Loe Bar is recognised as a site of outstanding historical, geomorphical and conservation interest. The date of its formation is not known, Cornish legend curiously relates that the spectre of Jan Tregeagle deposited a bag of sand across the mouth of the River Cober. The Victorians believed that the river was blocked in the thirteenth century. In fact Loe Bar was formed much earlier, during the last Ice Age, when the ice began to melt, sea levels rose forcing large deposits of eroded materials back towards the land. Other factors are known to be involved in its formation, including longshore drift and winter storms.

A network of paths take the walker through the mixture of rich farmland and woodland comprising the Penrose Estate which surrounds the pool, which is home to an abundance of wildlife, including otters, pochard, cormornts, widgeon, teal, coot, mallard, shoveler and tufted duck. Loe Pool is owned by the National Trust and is described by them as "One of Cornwall's glorious surprises."

The nearby village of Gunwalloe has a sandy beach and an interesting church dating back to Medieval times.

A walk around Loe Pool from Porthleven

Distance 7 miles

*From Porthleven follow the South West Coastal Path Coastal along the clifftops in a southeast direction for around one and a half miles until arriving at the sand and shingle spit of Loe Bar.

*Proceed along the western shore of Loe Pool until entering a coombe which forms part of the Penrose Estate.

*Continue along the footpath, passing a bird hide, to croos the wooden boardwalk which traverses Loe Marsh. Turn right, proceeding down the lane passing open fields to rejoin the lakeside.

*Remain on the path which skirts the lake to arrive at Carminowe Creek passing the old site of Carminowe Mill.

*On returning to Loe Bar retrace your steps alkong the Coastal Path to return to Porthleven.

The Landscape of Cornwall

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