Loe Bar and Loe Pool
A short walk from Helston, Loe Pool is the largest freshwater lake in Cornwall separated from the sea by a fascinating shingle bank known as Loe Bar.
The Loe is thought to be the remnants of an estuary which once reached to the outskirts of Helston around the Coronation Park area. It is believed that before Loe Bar was formed, Helston was once a port despatching cargoes of tin from the very early surface workings around the Wendron area.
The shingle Bar is constantly changing with strong currents and storms continuing to add material as it grows year on year, encroaching on the Pool behind.
The habitat is scheduled as an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and is unique in Cornwall with rare species of plants and insects. It is also an important overwintering site for nearly eighty species of birds and counts of up to 1,200 wildfowl have been made on the Pool.
Loe Pool is reputed to be the lake into which Sir Bedivere cast King Arthur’s sword, Excalibur in the famous legend – indeed the Pool is mentioned in Alfred Lord Tennyson’s recounting of King Arthur’s tale the ‘Idylls of the King’. A beautiful place at any time of day, perhaps you may be lucky enough to see the sword appear, or even witness the ghost ship which locals say sails up the Loe on the eve of the New Year.
Never swim or paddle too deeply in the sea at Loe Bar – the currents and wave action make it extremely dangerous.