Loe Bar viewed from the Lizard side of the beach. The water on the right is the Looe, Cornwall’s largest lake, the Bar is the flint shingle bank that separates the sea from the lake. Until the 13th Century the ocean was joined to Helston’s river Cobar and boats sailed up it to Helston harbour. Incidentally the nearest Flint source is 120 miles away! How did it get there?
The ‘Kennels’, man made channels in Helstons streets all run into the river Cobar, in the past locals used to have to breach the Bar by hand, often during storms, to prevent the town from flooding. It remains one of the most dangerous beaches in Britain, nobody ever swims here. The steep shingle banks, huge waves and very powerful currents have claimed numerous lives over the years. The walk from here to Porthleven is a must, take the long route via the lakes perimeter and lose yourself in the natural beauty of Cornwall.
The perspective is hard to capture in a photograph, but the sandbank is so steep that waves are often higher than they are long with the breaking wave actually falling back onto itself creating an almost waterfall look to the front of the wave.
Pure white foam spreads onto the shingle with each breaking wave, creating a brief moment of what looks like snow. Rather than drawing slowly back in to the ocean the foam hangs around for a few seconds before sinking into the fine shingle creating a ‘now you see it, now you don’t’ effect.