Experience The Marble Arch Caves: The Longest Known Cave System In Northern Ireland

A very hidden gem

Marble Arch caves ireland
Photo via Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark

I looooooove a good hidden gem. Thankfully, Ireland’s home to plenty of them. Like the Marble Arch Caves in County Fermanagh.

The Marble Arch Caves are a series of natural limestone caves found near the village of Florencecourt.

A visit here is one of the best things to do in Northern Ireland. In the guide below, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about visiting!

Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark
Photo via Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark

The Marble Arch Caves lay undisturbed for thousands of years, until…

It wasn’t until 1895 when two explorers disturbed the silence of the caves and the first beam of light pierced the darkness.

The two adventurers were French cave explorer Edouard Alfred Martel and a Dublin born scientist named Lyster Jameson.

The two explorers ventured into the cave on Martel’s canvas canoe, the way illuminated by candlelight.

Fast forward 100+ years and the Marble Arch Caves now boast European Geopark status, Global Geopark status and a UNESCO endorsement.

marble arch caves fermanagh

Stuck for time? Hit play below!

 

Marble Arch Caves Tickets and Tour

Those that nip along to the caves will experience a natural underworld of;

  • Rivers
  • Waterfalls
  • Winding passages
  • Lofty chambers

The tour takes visitors on a short walk down through the Marble Arch National Nature Reserve, before taking a short 10-minute underground boat journey and then a 1.5km walk through the showcave.

the marble arch caves
Photo via tourism NI

Expect stalactites, spectacular walkways, huge caverns, a subterranean river and lots more.

The tours, which are conducted by lively and informative guides, take visitors colossal variety of cave formations.

Here’s how the folks at Marble Arch Caves describe it:

‘Stalactites glisten above steamways and chambers, while fragile mineral veils and cascades of creamy calcite coat walls and create shimmering terraces.  Spectacular walkways allow easy access while powerful lighting reveals the stunning beauty and grandeur of the caves.  Electrically powered boats glide through the huge caverns carrying visitors along a subterranean river.’

The tour goes on for 75 minutes and is suitable for people of any age and of average fitness.

Note: There’s a 1.5km guided walk with 154 steps to climb at the end.

Related Read: Check out our guide to the best things to do in Fermanagh.

marble arch cave ireland

Things to note if you want to visit the Marble Arch Caves

  • Advance Booking is recommended at peak times
  • Booking at least 2 days in advance in July and August is recommended
  • Booking can be made by telephoning +44 (0) 28 6632 1815
  • Cave tours may not be available after heavy rain – contact us prior to departure.

marble arch cave cavan

Marble Arch Caves Opening Times 2019

  • January  February 2019 – Closed
  • March 15th to June – 10:00am – 4.00pm
  • July to August – 9.00am – 6:00pm every day
  • September – 10:00am – 4.00pm every day
  • October to December – 10:30am – 3:00pm every day
  • Bank Holidays in NI – 9:00am – 6:00pm

The Marble Arch Caves Prices

  • Adult £11.00
  • Child £7.50
  • Under 5’s go free
  • Family Ticket £29.50 ( 2 adults and 3 Children)
  • Family Ticket £26.00 ( 2 adults and 2 Children)
  • Senior Concession (60+) £7.50
  • Student Concession £7.50

The Marble Arch Caves Game of Thrones link

game of thrones filming locations

A couple of months ago I recieved 10 emails in a day asking about caves in Fermanagh that were being used as a location for a Game of Thrones prequel.

One of the emails was from a Canadian journalist looking for info on the caves.

After chatting to him, I asked him to fire on a link to the piece they were writing.

It turns out that you’ll be seeing the Marble Arch Caves added to the above map of Game of Thrones Filming locations in Northern Ireland very soon.

Filming for the GOT prequel took place in the summer of 2019.

Frequently Asked Questions

We published this guide a while back.

Since then, we’ve had a tonne of emails about the caves.

I’ve put the most frequently asked questions into the section below.

What’s the best way to get from Belfast to marble arch caves

Belfast is a 2-hour drive from the Marble Arch Caves. The easiest way to find the caves is by using Google Maps. You can take the M1 from the city as far as the Woodlough Road. You’ll then need to use the A4 road, which will take you to Maguiresbridge. From here, you’re 30 minutes away. 

Have you visited the Marble Arch Caves? Were they worth checking out? Let me know in the comments below!

Howaya! Thanks for visiting the Irish road trip! This site exists to inspire and guide you on an Irish adventure that’ll give birth to a lifetime of memories (sounds very arsey altogether, I know!) You'll find everything from things to do in Ireland to where to stay in Ireland (unique and unusual places) if you have a nosey around!

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