England Ireland Find Havens
England Ireland Find Routes
Boat
Maintenance
Comfort
Operations
Safety
Other



NextPrevious

Lantic Bay

Tides and tools
Overview





Lantic Bay is a remote beach on the south coast of England located a mile and a quarter east of the entrance to Fowey. It provides an anchoring opportunity and a lovely beach to land on during very settled offshore conditions.

Lantic Bay is a remote beach on the south coast of England located a mile and a quarter east of the entrance to Fowey. It provides an anchoring opportunity and a lovely beach to land on during very settled offshore conditions.

The bay is wide open to the Atlantic and as such offers an exposed anchorage only in light northerly winds with the absence of swell. Dayling access is straightforward as there are no immediate outlying dangers.



Be the first
to comment
Keyfacts for Lantic Bay



Last modified
April 29th 2019

Summary

An exposed location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Marked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPleasant family beach in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tenderQuick and easy access from open waterScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
None listed



Position and approaches
Expand to new tab or fullscreen

Haven position

50° 19.599' N, 004° 36.241' W

This is in the east end of the bay on about the 2-meter contour.

What is the initial fix?

The following Lantic Bay Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
50° 19.245' N, 004° 36.498' W
This is just outside the centre of the bay on the 10-metre contour.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in southwestern England’s coastal overview from Start Point to Lizard Point Route location

  • Sound in from the center of the bay and anchor in the eastern end of the cove.


Not what you need?
Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Below are the ten nearest havens to Lantic Bay for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Fowey - 0.8 miles WNW
  2. Polkerris - 1.9 miles WNW
  3. Polperro Harbour - 2.1 miles E
  4. Par - 2.4 miles WNW
  5. Charlestown - 3.6 miles W
  6. Looe Harbour - 3.7 miles ENE
  7. Mevagissey - 4.7 miles WSW
  8. Portmellon - 4.9 miles WSW
  9. Gorran Haven - 5.4 miles SW
  10. Portscatho - 10.3 miles WSW
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Fowey - 0.8 miles WNW
  2. Polkerris - 1.9 miles WNW
  3. Polperro Harbour - 2.1 miles E
  4. Par - 2.4 miles WNW
  5. Charlestown - 3.6 miles W
  6. Looe Harbour - 3.7 miles ENE
  7. Mevagissey - 4.7 miles WSW
  8. Portmellon - 4.9 miles WSW
  9. Gorran Haven - 5.4 miles SW
  10. Portscatho - 10.3 miles WSW
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

Resources search



What's the story here?
Lantic Bay
Image: Michael Harpur


Lantic Bay lies a mile east of the entrance to Fowey and immediately west of Pencarrow Head. Set into a completely undeveloped coast, it is a ½ mile wide half-moon shaped bay of pale sand fringed with outcrops of rock. Only accessible from the South West Coast Path, Lantic Bay is designated as a Special Area of Conservation. It is owned and backed by National Trust land and comprises two beaches. Great Lantic, the main beach accessible by a steep decline from the footpath, and the smaller Little Lantic Beach that is tucked in under Pencarrow Head with a more westerly aspect. Both beaches feature beautiful stretches of clean sand.

An anchorage is available in the northeast corner of the bay during offshore winds in the absence of any swell.


How to get in?
The highly prominent Pencarrow Head
Image: Andrew


Convergance Point Use southwestern England’s coastal overview from Start Point to Lizard Point Route location for seaward approaches. The cliffy 80 meters high Pencarrow Head, that separate Lantic Bay on the west from Lantivet Bay on the east, makes a prominent seamark. It lies 1¾ miles east of the entrance to Fowey Harbour.

Western Approach The primary outlying danger for vessels approaching from the west is Cannis Rock that lies a ¼ mile south-eastward from the Gribbin Head beacon. Cannis dries to 4.3 metres and covers at three-quarters flood. It is marked by the 'Cannis Rk' south cardinal, Q(6)LF1.15s, moored a ⅓ of a mile southward. Keeping Dodman Point open to seaward of Gwineas is a sight line that passed east of the rock.


Cannis Rock south cardinal with Gribbin Head and its daymark in the backdrop
Image: Graham Rabbits


Eastern Approach The primary outlying danger for vessels approaching from the east is the Udder Rock that lies 3 miles east of Fowey and a ½ mile off the eastern shore of Lantivet Bay. It uncovers to 0.6 metres at the lowest tides and is marked by the lit 'Udder Rk' south cardinal mark, VQ(6)+LF1.10s, moored in 20 metres about 400 metres south of the danger.

A line of bearing 283°T of a white mark on the west side of Lantic Bay, just open of Pencarrow Head, aligns the position of Udder Rock so anything higher clears the danger. There is also ample deep water to pass between the rock and the mainland and keeping Looe Island shut in by Nealand Point passes inshore of the rock.

Sound in and anchor off Little Lantic Beach
Image: Michael Harpur



Initial fix location From the initial fix sound in for a ¼ of a mile to the eastern end of the bay where Little Lantic Beach will be seen. The west end of Lantic cove is foul.

Yacht anchored off Little Lantic Beach
Image: Michael Harpur



Haven location Anchor according to draft and conditions off Little Lantic Beach. Land by tender on either beach. Those intending on striding out should take the tender to Great Lantic Beach for risk of a rising tide causing a cut-off on Little Lantic Beach.


Why visit here?
The term 'hidden gem of Cornwall' is a much-overused term but it is a very fitting description for Lantic Bay. For it has to be one of the most picturesque beaches on this strip of coast and on a fine day, one could easily be forgiven for feeling they have anchored in the Mediterranean rather than Cornwall. This lovely, remote and natural place is not, however, without a little touch of drama and two centuries ago it was the unlikely scene of some lawlessness that became known as the 'Lantic Hill Affair'.


Great Lantic Beach
Image: Michael Harpur


At the time the government was applying extraordinary taxes to goods in order to pay for England’s various military campaigns. These duties were not alone levied upon luxury imported goods that the wealthy would consume, such as brandy, gin and tea, but also and most critically during the Napoleonic wars on salt. Salt was essential for curing pilchards and it hit the local Cornish fishermen directly. Not only where they set back by the loss of overseas markets during the war but with salt taxed at forty times its value, the fishermen could at times not afford to preserve whatever fish they managed to catch or profit little from it.


The expansive beach presents an ideal landing area for a large cargo
Image: Michael Harpur


Crippling taxes like this led to widespread local opposition which in turn created an environment where smuggling became wholesale in Cornwall. It was in fact regarded by most Cornish folk as a legitimate activity where those involved were extolled liberty by calling themselves 'free traders'. Add to this the lucrative returns from handling contraband and collusion between the smugglers and onshore communities was widespread. It was all covert and close, the landowners allowed free passage, magistrates turned a blind eye, juries refused to convict, and even the revenue men themselves accepted tubs of brandy to turn a blind eye. The illicit trade of smuggling entirely engrained itself into Cornish culture and at the very least, gentle-folk would turn their backs on the business: seeing nothing, hearing nothing.


'Smugglers' as depicted by George Morland in 1793
Image: Public Domain


On a coastline where smuggling was rife, a remote secluded cove such as Lantic Bay provided a convenient hiding place for those seeking to perform activities under a cloak of privacy. The 'Lantic Hill Affair' or the 'The Battle of Lantic Bay' occurred in October 1835 when two Polruan revenue men patrolling the coast chanced to see a gang of a hundred smugglers unloading contraband on Great Lantic Beach. They quickly retreat to return with reinforcements but the smugglers, armed with large sticks, decided to fight it out. One revenue man was knocked unconscious during the melee but the revenue men preserved and managed to arrest five of the smugglers. A revenue cutter swopped in to mop up afterwards securing a massive hoard of 484 gallons of brandy.


The pathway from the road descending into the northeast corner of the beach
Image: Michael Harpur



The five apprehended smugglers summarily appeared in a Bodmin court charged with handling prohibited goods and carrying dangerous weapons. An astute defence solicitor claimed that the whole episode was a complete mistake and that all five men were simply out walking the coastal path. That, when they were set upon by the revenue men, they were completely surprised and only exhibiting rational resistance to being restrained in such an undignified fashion. Furthermore, the alleged weapons that were used to beat one of the customs men unconscious, where nothing but common-or-garden sticks that all Cornish man carried whilst out walking. To the revenue men’s horror the Bodmin jury, which were, of course, all Cornish, completely agreed. The five arrested 'innocent coastal walkers' were duly acquitted.


Care is required when swimming as the bay is subject to rips
Image: Michael Harpur


But that was not going to be the end of it from the revenue side. To make sure the bay was never used again a watch-house was built in 1835 to overlook Lantic and Lantivet bays and a permanent detachment of officers stationed in the building. They cast a watchful eye over the bay until the bottom entirely fell out of smuggling when in 1841. The then Prime Minister Robert Peel, having re-introduced income tax to raise funds, eliminated tariffs on more than 600 products taking the profit out of it.


Lantic Bay is one of the most stunning beaches in Cornwall
Image: Michael Harpur



Today Lantic Bay is a very quiet and untroubled place that is owned and looked after by the National Trust. Few venture to this remote place and there is nothing of the summer hoards that descend upon most all of the Cornwall's other beaches. With spartan roads to the location and a long walk from the car park, finished off by a punishing final descent to the beach, it never gets too busy. On a fine summer’s afternoon, there will be little more than a couple of boats from Fowey or Polperro anchored offshore and just a handful of families enjoying the beach. So you will enjoy it uncrowded and those that do come are amply rewarded.


Lantic Bay as seen Pencarrow Head
Image: Michael Harpur


The cove, sheltered by high verdant cliffs with a lovely wide horseshoe of pale sand, studded with outcrops of rock, is pure joy. It is particularly lovely at low water when a long stretch of sand is exposed that is lapped by clear, clean, turquoise water. It is also worth ascending to the coastal path and walking out over the spine of Pencarrow Head. From here the giant amphitheatre that is Lantic Bay unfolds before you, the sweep of Lantivet Bay eastward and on a clear day, it is possible to see from Devon's Bolt Head in the east to the Lizard in the west from its heights.


Lantivet Bay as seen from Pencarrow Head
Image: Michael Harpur


Those intending on swimming should be aware that the beach shelves steeply and it is known for its occasional rip currents. Safety equipment is located at the back of the beach but there is no lifeguard cover. As such, swimming is best advised on an incoming tide and great care should be taken with young children. Snorkelling is possible with care.


Yachts anchored in Lantic Bay as seen from Pencarrow Head
Image: Michael Harpur


From a sailing point of view, the south facing bay that is wide open to the Atlantic, and all it can throw in, appears an unlikely place to stop. It is certainly not a place that one would expect an overnight stay. But with a shoreline that shelves quite steeply and Fowey close at hand, it makes an ideal day anchorage. With an auspicious sunny calm weather window, the sweeping crescent of light coloured sand with high green cliffs and crystal clear waters is a chance to anchor in an exotic place. A place to watch the shadow of the hull on the sandy bottom below and the perfect location to let children loose for a beach day and the retreat back to Fowey in the late afternoon.


What facilities are available?
There are no facilities at Lantic Bay. The is a National Trust Car Park located, 200m west of Triggabrowne Farm (PL23 1NP), has the only toilets available. It requires a ½ mile, 850 metres walk from the beach.


With thanks to:
eOceanic


Expand to new tab or fullscreen
Please zoom out to see the 'initial fix' for this location.
The above plots are not precise and indicative only.




Lantic Bay, Cornwall, England
Image: eOceanic thanks Nilfanion via CC ASA 4.0


The prominent Pencarrow Head
Image: eOceanic thanks Nilfanion via CC ASA 4.0


Lantic Bay as seen from the northeast
Image: eOceanic thanks Nilfanion via CC ASA 4.0


Great Lantic Beach
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur


Boat moored off Little Lantic Beach
Image: eOceanic thanks Michael Harpur


On a fine day there is usually a boat or two from Fowey or Polperro under
Pencarrow Head

Image: Michael Harpur
About Lantic Bay

The term 'hidden gem of Cornwall' is a much-overused term but it is a very fitting description for Lantic Bay. For it has to be one of the most picturesque beaches on this strip of coast and on a fine day, one could easily be forgiven for feeling they have anchored in the Mediterranean rather than Cornwall. This lovely, remote and natural place is not, however, without a little touch of drama and two centuries ago it was the unlikely scene of some lawlessness that became known as the 'Lantic Hill Affair'.


Great Lantic Beach
Image: Michael Harpur


At the time the government was applying extraordinary taxes to goods in order to pay for England’s various military campaigns. These duties were not alone levied upon luxury imported goods that the wealthy would consume, such as brandy, gin and tea, but also and most critically during the Napoleonic wars on salt. Salt was essential for curing pilchards and it hit the local Cornish fishermen directly. Not only where they set back by the loss of overseas markets during the war but with salt taxed at forty times its value, the fishermen could at times not afford to preserve whatever fish they managed to catch or profit little from it.


The expansive beach presents an ideal landing area for a large cargo
Image: Michael Harpur


Crippling taxes like this led to widespread local opposition which in turn created an environment where smuggling became wholesale in Cornwall. It was in fact regarded by most Cornish folk as a legitimate activity where those involved were extolled liberty by calling themselves 'free traders'. Add to this the lucrative returns from handling contraband and collusion between the smugglers and onshore communities was widespread. It was all covert and close, the landowners allowed free passage, magistrates turned a blind eye, juries refused to convict, and even the revenue men themselves accepted tubs of brandy to turn a blind eye. The illicit trade of smuggling entirely engrained itself into Cornish culture and at the very least, gentle-folk would turn their backs on the business: seeing nothing, hearing nothing.


'Smugglers' as depicted by George Morland in 1793
Image: Public Domain


On a coastline where smuggling was rife, a remote secluded cove such as Lantic Bay provided a convenient hiding place for those seeking to perform activities under a cloak of privacy. The 'Lantic Hill Affair' or the 'The Battle of Lantic Bay' occurred in October 1835 when two Polruan revenue men patrolling the coast chanced to see a gang of a hundred smugglers unloading contraband on Great Lantic Beach. They quickly retreat to return with reinforcements but the smugglers, armed with large sticks, decided to fight it out. One revenue man was knocked unconscious during the melee but the revenue men preserved and managed to arrest five of the smugglers. A revenue cutter swopped in to mop up afterwards securing a massive hoard of 484 gallons of brandy.


The pathway from the road descending into the northeast corner of the beach
Image: Michael Harpur



The five apprehended smugglers summarily appeared in a Bodmin court charged with handling prohibited goods and carrying dangerous weapons. An astute defence solicitor claimed that the whole episode was a complete mistake and that all five men were simply out walking the coastal path. That, when they were set upon by the revenue men, they were completely surprised and only exhibiting rational resistance to being restrained in such an undignified fashion. Furthermore, the alleged weapons that were used to beat one of the customs men unconscious, where nothing but common-or-garden sticks that all Cornish man carried whilst out walking. To the revenue men’s horror the Bodmin jury, which were, of course, all Cornish, completely agreed. The five arrested 'innocent coastal walkers' were duly acquitted.


Care is required when swimming as the bay is subject to rips
Image: Michael Harpur


But that was not going to be the end of it from the revenue side. To make sure the bay was never used again a watch-house was built in 1835 to overlook Lantic and Lantivet bays and a permanent detachment of officers stationed in the building. They cast a watchful eye over the bay until the bottom entirely fell out of smuggling when in 1841. The then Prime Minister Robert Peel, having re-introduced income tax to raise funds, eliminated tariffs on more than 600 products taking the profit out of it.


Lantic Bay is one of the most stunning beaches in Cornwall
Image: Michael Harpur



Today Lantic Bay is a very quiet and untroubled place that is owned and looked after by the National Trust. Few venture to this remote place and there is nothing of the summer hoards that descend upon most all of the Cornwall's other beaches. With spartan roads to the location and a long walk from the car park, finished off by a punishing final descent to the beach, it never gets too busy. On a fine summer’s afternoon, there will be little more than a couple of boats from Fowey or Polperro anchored offshore and just a handful of families enjoying the beach. So you will enjoy it uncrowded and those that do come are amply rewarded.


Lantic Bay as seen Pencarrow Head
Image: Michael Harpur


The cove, sheltered by high verdant cliffs with a lovely wide horseshoe of pale sand, studded with outcrops of rock, is pure joy. It is particularly lovely at low water when a long stretch of sand is exposed that is lapped by clear, clean, turquoise water. It is also worth ascending to the coastal path and walking out over the spine of Pencarrow Head. From here the giant amphitheatre that is Lantic Bay unfolds before you, the sweep of Lantivet Bay eastward and on a clear day, it is possible to see from Devon's Bolt Head in the east to the Lizard in the west from its heights.


Lantivet Bay as seen from Pencarrow Head
Image: Michael Harpur


Those intending on swimming should be aware that the beach shelves steeply and it is known for its occasional rip currents. Safety equipment is located at the back of the beach but there is no lifeguard cover. As such, swimming is best advised on an incoming tide and great care should be taken with young children. Snorkelling is possible with care.


Yachts anchored in Lantic Bay as seen from Pencarrow Head
Image: Michael Harpur


From a sailing point of view, the south facing bay that is wide open to the Atlantic, and all it can throw in, appears an unlikely place to stop. It is certainly not a place that one would expect an overnight stay. But with a shoreline that shelves quite steeply and Fowey close at hand, it makes an ideal day anchorage. With an auspicious sunny calm weather window, the sweeping crescent of light coloured sand with high green cliffs and crystal clear waters is a chance to anchor in an exotic place. A place to watch the shadow of the hull on the sandy bottom below and the perfect location to let children loose for a beach day and the retreat back to Fowey in the late afternoon.

Other options in this area


Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Alternatively here are the ten nearest havens available in picture view:
Coastal clockwise:
Fowey - 0.8 miles WNW
Polkerris - 1.9 miles WNW
Par - 2.4 miles WNW
Charlestown - 3.6 miles W
Mevagissey - 4.7 miles WSW
Coastal anti-clockwise:
Polperro Harbour - 2.1 miles E
Looe Harbour - 3.7 miles ENE
River Tamar & Tributaries - 10.4 miles E
Plymouth Harbour - 11.3 miles E
River Yealm - 13.1 miles E

Navigational pictures


These additional images feature in the 'How to get in' section of our detailed view for Lantic Bay.

































A photograph is worth a thousand words. We are always looking for bright sunny photographs that show this haven and its identifiable features at its best. If you have some images that we could use please upload them here. All we need to know is how you would like to be credited for your work and a brief description of the image if it is not readily apparent. If you would like us to add a hyperlink from the image that goes back to your site please include the desired link and we will be delighted to that for you.


Add your review or comment:

Please log in to leave a review of this haven.



Please note eOceanic makes no guarantee of the validity of this information, we have not visited this haven and do not have first-hand experience to qualify the data. Although the contributors are vetted by peer review as practised authorities, they are in no way, whatsoever, responsible for the accuracy of their contributions. It is essential that you thoroughly check the accuracy and suitability for your vessel of any waypoints offered in any context plus the precision of your GPS. Any data provided on this page is entirely used at your own risk and you must read our legal page if you view data on this site. Free to use sea charts courtesy of Navionics.