Going underground at Marble Arch

Tour group admiring scallops at the notch above Guinness Pool, Marble Arch Cave.  Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark.
Tour group admiring scallops at the notch above Guinness Pool, Marble Arch Cave. Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark.

Where can you find some streaky bacon, cauliflower, a porridge pot and a giant mushroom?

Not in some of Enniskillen’s finest eateries - but at the renowned Marble Arch Caves.

The Thatch at the Marble Arch Caves.

The Thatch at the Marble Arch Caves.

This sensational geological phenomenon is a must for anyone on a trip to the west of Ireland.

Just a 30 minute drive from Cavan, the Marble Arch Caves involve a bumpy drive up a mountain road but the sights you’ll see on arrival make it worth the while.

“11 a.m. is a perfect time to visit,” our tour guide Adam told us.

“And you’ve got me to yourselves.”

And indeed we were lucky as Adam made the tour of the caves all that more personal than had been been in a group of ten or more.

He seemed to have a story to match each different rock formation.

We particularly liked the one about the frog singing - and the rock formations that looked like the Simpsons.

But my favourite rock formation was probably the guardian angel which the construction crew named while creating phase two of the caves

The tour takes about 70 minutes but if you’re like us, it will seem like the time just flies by.

If you expect this place just to be like any other cave, prepare to be surprised.

You might not find any marble in the actual caves but what you will see are a plentiful supply of limestone features including stalactites, stalagmites, and columns.

But the highlight of the whole tour has to be the boat trip.

It’s a little dark down by where you board but the boat trip just adds that little touch of magic to the tour.

We took our two year old on the tour - and it’s accessible for people of all ages but it is quite tiring so make sure you wear sensible shoes.

And be prepared for the 150 steps back up to land at the end.

The tours can be very busy so you’d be well advised to book in advance.

The tickets are great value (£20 per family).

And if you’re a little thirsty at the end you can have a cup of coffee in the little cafe.

For more information log on to http://www.marblearchcavesgeopark.com