Over ground, the Burren is one of Europe’s most compelling landscapes. Underground it’s equally impressive as time spent exploring Doolin Cave in County Clare reveals.
Discovered in 1952 the cave descends over 70m and is home to one of Ireland’s natural marvels the Great Stalactite. Measuring over 23 feet long the Great Stalactite lives up to its name as one of the longest free hanging stalactites in the world.
Back in the daylight, you can also take time out to enjoy the 1km Farmland Nature Trail which offers a looped walk around the cave’s surroundings and an opportunity to get a better sense of the area’s indigenous flora and fauna. In particular look out for rare breeds of cattle, pygmy goats, soay and jacob sheep, ducks and chickens.
There's also an opportunity to relax in their onsite café, 'Wild at the Cave', which offers seasonal salads, artisanal sandwiches, baked goods, smiles and much more. Working with the best local and Irish suppliers, such as Anam Coffee, Guru Tea, St. Tola’s Goats Cheese & Hazelwood Bakery, 'Wild at the Cave' creates an exciting place to indulge in tasty local produce.
Doolin Cave visitor centre has been designed to blend sympathetically with the environment and be reclaimed by the natural surroundings over time. From here, you can also take away a reminder of your time spent in Doolin Cave, a piece of pottery made by artist Caireann Browne from the abundant glacial clay found deep within the cave, which is on sale in the gift shop.
Doolin Cave is open daily March to November 10am to 5pm, with tours on the hour. Visit their website for winter opening times.
- The Great Stalactite, at 7.3m long, is one of the longest free-hanging stalactites in the world.
- See Minnie and Vinnie the Pygmy goats.
- Go 200 feet below the earth's surface.
If you don't like going underground, there is a lovely nature trail at Doolin Cave planted with native Irish trees and hedgerows, perfect for a leisurely stroll.
'Concerts at the Cave' is a series of Irish traditional music concerts held in the café at the caves during July and August.