Author Topic: Porthleven-The Loe-Return  (Read 530 times)

SteamyTea

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Porthleven-The Loe-Return
« on: 20:26:31, 01/06/20 »

Almost Circular Route from Porthleven and Around The Loe, via Loe Bar
Distance: 9.6 miles
Duration: Walking 3 Hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Date: May 31st 2020


The Loe is the largest freshwater body in Cornwall and is managed by the National Trust.  It sits within Penrose Park between Helston and Porthleven.
There is a circular walk around The Loe that is six miles long, easy to do and usually the cafe is open.
For this walk I wanted to do ten miles (or close to it), so started in Porthleven (plenty of free parking as long as you avoid the car parks).


The Route







Porthleven is an odd place as it is privately owned and is the most southerly harbour on mainland UK.  It is famous for its storms and ‘the bulks’ coming loose and smashing up a few boats in the harbour, back in February 2014.  I got to meet and have a coffee with Mishal Husain, she is tiny and very pretty, and very, very clever and smart.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quhM4vxjXyM


Started walking at 9AM, a bit later than I intended, parked up alongside the outer harbour, not far from the Institute.  The Institute is often mistaken for a church, it isn’t, it is the town hall.





The day seemed calm but there was an Easterly breeze just around the corner.
Porthleven beach is famous for being on TV as the Vanishing Beach.  Sometimes it is all rock, other times all sand, and that can change within a day depending on the tide and wind.





From Porthleven it is a short walk along the road until the town ends and the South West Coast Path starts properly.  Generally the South coast side of the county is easier walking than the North coast side.  This is certainly true for this section.  It undulates but nothing that could be considered a serious climb.
After a mile or so the road ends in a parking area (also free) and there are some steps, on the left, to the cliff top.
There was a landslip a few years back and the SWCP has been moved inland a few metres, and improved.


SWCP looking back towards Porthleven.





It is another mile until one reaches the Loe Bar.  This is a natural sandbar that has created the largest lake in Cornwall.  During the Second World War, a particularly nasty storm damaged the bar almost enough to cause a breach.  It was quickly repaired and ongoing observations and maintenance works carries on to this day.  One day it will be breached and the lake will vanish, leaving the River Cober to flow directly into the Atlantic.





Now I have always disliked walking across sand, but that is the only way to cross Loe Bar.  Luckily it is not very far, less than half a mile, and apart from wintertime, has plenty of vegetation to make the walk easier.



Some sort of plant that grows on nothing but salty sand.


Once having crossed Loe Bar, there is a sandy path to the left that heads off around The Loe.  It is only sandy for a 150 metres and then turns into a normal, proper, mud track, thankfully dry and hard at the moment.





This is one of my favourite section of the walk as it is sheltered, quiet, usually dry, but can be flooded at times (there is a diversion path for such times).  On one side are high hedges and on the water side there are reeds and other water grasses.  All very pleasant.
Plenty of wild foxgloves to look at.





This part of the walk is about a mile long until there is a gangway across a marsh and small tributary stream.



The gangway was surrounded either side by cowslips, which I have never seen so tall before.


Once the stream is crossed, one is in the woods for a few hundred metres, passing a very nice holiday cottage where the track changes to a farm track, with a single tree marking the entrance to a bit of pasture land.



The farm track to the pasture.


There is a spectacular view across The Loe to Loe Bar and the Atlantic Ocean.





After following the edge of The Loe, there is an incline that leads up to a gate that is the entrance to the woods.
This part of the walk is completely wooded but with glimpses and small paths down to the waters edge.





This relatively short section loops around the lake, crosses a flat meadow and then joins a concrete road.





Usually one does not have to walk to far on this as there is a bridge across the River Cober.  This bridge was damaged during last winters rains and is currently closed.





This means that one has to carry on walking until the car park at Helston.





This working bridge leads onto a busy ‘dog walking’ field.  Tread carefully, there are dog eggs in many places.





Thankfully the next field is quieter and the Cober runs next to it.





On the right, at the end of the field is a water meadow with some lovely irises in them.





And Gunnera.





After crossing this boggy area via another bridge, the main drag to Penrose House is tarmac, busy with dog walkers, children, pushchairs, cyclists and every annoyance there is.  But thankfully it is not too long and as I was in need of a coffee, I deviated back down to the lake and set up for a drew.



Been carrying this all morning.


Then I sat down for half an hour or so by the waters edge.



Had been carrying my chair as well.


I purposely carried all this kit as I knew that the cafe at Penrose House was closed.





This did not stop the path being busy as it leads directly to the beach.





I had decided to cut up across the hills to the top of the cliffs, but saw some people I knew and started chatting (I met six sets of people I knew from when I lived down that way), missed my track and took the wrong one.  This was a dead end and is the line on the route map that deviates off.
No bother really as I had never been up there before, and now I know it goes nowhere.  Good place to camp though.


After less than a mile, one is back where the SWCP crosses, this area is well signposted and one cannot get lost, like I did earlier.








Soon one is back on the SWCP heading towards Porthleven.
With views of Porthleven, Penzance, Newlyn and Mousehole.





Rather than follow the same road back to my car, I deviated off to the right as I fancied a Mermaid or two.





All in all, this is a good walk and if I had not stopped to chat to people and have coffee, I would have probably done, the just under ten miles, in around 3 hours.
« Last Edit: 20:34:26, 01/06/20 by SteamyTea »
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GinAndPlatonic

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Re: Porthleven-The Loe-Return
« Reply #1 on: 20:31:39, 01/06/20 »
That looks a cracking walk . Spectacular views from, and of , the coastline . A nifty chair . :)

SteamyTea

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Re: Porthleven-The Loe-Return
« Reply #2 on: 21:49:33, 01/06/20 »
A nifty chair
And one I am going to make lighter by a couple of hundred grams.
Yesterday was the first test with some carbon fibre sections replacing the aluminium ones.
The one hing I hate about walking is somewhere decent to sit down.
It is great to sit with a well supported back and stretch ones legs out.
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Mel

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Re: Porthleven-The Loe-Return
« Reply #3 on: 22:25:03, 01/06/20 »
We need to resurrect the Brew With A View topic  O0


My grandad used to see lots of mermaids when he was out on the trawlers (think the rum might have had something to do with it mindst).


I still wanna swim in that sea...


Lovely pics and write up  :)



“I'm tired of people bein' ugly to each other. It feels like pieces of glass in my head.” - John Coffey, The Green Mile

SteamyTea

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Re: Porthleven-The Loe-Return
« Reply #4 on: 22:39:22, 01/06/20 »
We need to resurrect the Brew With A View topic  O0


My grandad used to see lots of mermaids when he was out on the trawlers (think the rum might have had something to do with it mindst).


I still wanna swim in that sea...


Lovely pics and write up  :)
Thank you.

I would not recommend swimming off Loe Bar, some 21 year old did it a while back, friend of mine found the body, rather bashed up against the rocks a day or two later.

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vghikers

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Re: Porthleven-The Loe-Return
« Reply #5 on: 07:35:33, 02/06/20 »
That's a fine walk with a variety of scenery and interest, great pics  O0
I agree about walking on sand, the sections of coast and beach we've walked are very hit-and-miss in that regard but sand is the worst. Pebbles are the worst too.  :)


richardh1905

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Re: Porthleven-The Loe-Return
« Reply #6 on: 08:28:51, 02/06/20 »
Lovely photos - Loe Bar is an interesting feature.


Your spiky plant is Sea Holly - my wife has managed to germinate to seedlings, now planted out in the garden. Nice to see it growing wild.

SteamyTea

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Re: Porthleven-The Loe-Return
« Reply #7 on: 08:42:04, 02/06/20 »
Lovely photos - Loe Bar is an interesting feature.


Your spiky plant is Sea Holly - my wife has managed to germinate to seedlings, now planted out in the garden. Nice to see it growing wild.
My new camera should be delivered today, fed up with using the mobile as it is just a bit too fiddly to get a half decent shot.  New one is waterproof as well, so can stick it in rockpools.
I assumed it was some sort of sea holly, I tried to grow some at home, but it never took.  I have a simple gardening philosophy.  I plant something, if it grows and flourishes, I am happy, if it fails, I don't plant the same thing in the same spot.
I also plant most of my vegetable waste, just to see what happens.  Think I got some potatoes growing, they were planted as peelings.
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Ridge

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Re: Porthleven-The Loe-Return
« Reply #8 on: 08:56:16, 02/06/20 »
Nice pics. I don't know down there at ll, very interesting.

SteamyTea

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Re: Porthleven-The Loe-Return
« Reply #9 on: 09:11:09, 02/06/20 »
Nice pics. I don't know down there at ll, very interesting.
The pictures are perpetuation the myth that it is always sunny, it isn't.  One of the wettest places in the UK.
If you like slumming it a bit, Cornwall is a good place for a camping holiday (not this summer obviously), and there is always wild camping, not heard of people being told off for it.  There was a guy camping on the approach to Penzance for months before he got moved on (actually he was housed by the council as he was a case that fell between the cracks).
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Jac

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Re: Porthleven-The Loe-Return
« Reply #10 on: 09:34:15, 02/06/20 »
Our ramblers group was due to spend a few days at the Penrose bunkhouse next month :( Sadly, NT has closed bunkhouses til 30 sept.
NT do like their signs - but why Kms, what's wrong with good old British, sorry, Cornish miles which always seem much longer.
So many paths, so little time

SteamyTea

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Re: Porthleven-The Loe-Return
« Reply #11 on: 09:41:29, 02/06/20 »
Our ramblers group was due to spend a few days at the Penrose bunkhouse next month :( Sadly, NT has closed bunkhouses til 30 sept.
NT do like their signs - but why Kms, what's wrong with good old British, sorry, Cornish miles which always seem much longer.
Personally I prefer kms, but do have a habit of mixing units, miles for the large distances, metres for the short ones.
Having grown up being educated in all three units, imperial, metric and then SI, I really wish we would just stick to SI, it is so much easier to deal with.
And we don't get silly things like Troy ounces, fluid ounces, nautical miles, furlongs, bushels and nets, barrels of oil equivalent etc.
Just simple kg, meter, second, can describe most things with those three.
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barewirewalker

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Re: Porthleven-The Loe-Return
« Reply #12 on: 09:59:39, 02/06/20 »
Interesting read and great photos. We have had some very good walks in Cornwall, but not in that area, so great to see the terrain. I always think that a walk is improved, when you take time to stop and talk. Chance encounters can some time reveal a lot about an area and be far more interesting than information boards.
When I did a walk leaders appraisal a few years ago they were all for converting me to metric, but I was born and brought up into the farming of the mid 1900's, and could best relate to yard, miles and acres. As they wanted guides to relate stuff of interest, as I could gauge distance and area in imperial this always brought about some conflict of expression, together with some other points of view, I didn't make the grade as a walk leader.
 
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GinAndPlatonic

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Re: Porthleven-The Loe-Return
« Reply #13 on: 15:07:10, 02/06/20 »
And one I am going to make lighter by a couple of hundred grams.
Yesterday was the first test with some carbon fibre sections replacing the aluminium ones.
The one hing I hate about walking is somewhere decent to sit down.
It is great to sit with a well supported back and stretch ones legs out.

How did the carbon poles work out for you .?

I would agree with you about a good place to sit. I went through a long spell on local walks last year  , where it seemed I could not find  a decent place to sit because of all the rain & wet ground , so I bought a three legged fold up stool . Everywhere I go now I see fantastic natural seats , such as logs and grassy banks .  :o

SteamyTea

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Re: Porthleven-The Loe-Return
« Reply #14 on: 17:32:51, 02/06/20 »
How did the carbon poles work out for you .?
only changed two sections, out of eight, as a test. They perform just the same, but I think I worked out that I would save 200g at least.
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