Sites Of Interest

Marble Arch Caves

Marble Arch Caves Photo1The Marble Arch Caves are a series of natural, limestone caves located near the village of Florencecourt in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. They run under the Cuilcagh mountains. The caves were first explored by Édouard-Alfred Martel in 1895, using candles and magnesium flares for light. In 1935, with superior equipment, an English group of cavers called the Yorkshire Ramblers explored further and discovered more chambers.

 

The Marble Arch Caves are a popular tourist attraction due to their accessibility and grandeur. The caves were opened to the public in 1985 following work to make them more accessible the previous year. Tourists can partake in a seventy-five minute long tour of the show caves during which they travel through the first part of the caves in a specially designed boat floating on the subterranaen Cladagh River, before walking through the rest of the chambers.

 

The caves and the nearby Cuilcagh Mountain Park became a part of the UNESCO Geoparks scheme in 2004 under the name Marble Arch Caves European Geopark ; this allocation was due in part to the existence of the caves themselves and also the rare blanket bog which covers a vast area of the mountains.


The cutting of turf has led to damage in the area. Extensive drainage in parts of the bog has damaged the bog's ability to retain water, resulting in flooding and abnormally high water levels in the caves downstream. This has impeded tourist activity in the past. As a protective measure, people have been employed to protect the land around the caves to ensure no further damage ensues.

Another problem is that human interference can cause the limestone to be damaged and erode away. In a particular case in 1984, a group of vandals broke into the showcaves before they were opened to the public and threw stones at any of the formations that could be seen around the entrance. Many small stalactites were snapped off at their bases while the tip of the largest stalactite (over 2 metres in length) within the showcaves was broken off. This tip fell onto a sandbank on the cave floor where it was retrieved the next day by a workman. It was then sent to the Ulster Museum in Belfast where a calcite resin was specially produced and subsequently used to stick the tip back onto its original position. This formation can be seen at the end of the tour of the showcaves.

 

Opening Times

Month From To
Mid March - June 10:00 16:30*
July - August 10:00 17:00*
September 10:00 16:30*

 

*Starting time for last tour. Caves are open daily throughout the season.

 

Note: The caves may close for safety reasons following heavy rain so we suggest you telephone before setting out during bad weather.

Admission Charges 2008

Admission Type

Price (£)

Notes

Adult Admission

£8.00

-

Youth Admission

£5.00

Youth is under 18 years

Student / Senior Citizen Admission

£5.25

Valid Student ID cards are acceptable to avail of student rate

Adult Group rate

£7.50 (per adult)

Ten people constitutes a group

Youth Group rate

£4.50 (per child)

Ten children constitutes a group
Student / Senior Group rate £4.75 (per person) Ten people constitutes a group
Family

£18.00 (per family)

A family comprises of 2 adults and up to 3 children

Note: Children Under 5 years old are admitted free of charge but must be allocated a ticket at the reception desk.

 

Contact Details

Marble Arch Caves European Geopark
Marlbank
Florencecourt
County Fermanagh
BT92 1EW
Tel UK: (028) 6634 8855/ ROI:048 66348855/Other:00442866348855
Fax: (028) 6634 8928
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

Marble Arch Caves Photo3