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There is a great scene in Father Ted where Ted and Dougal meet Victor Meldrew or the actor who plays Vicrtor Meldrew from One Foot in the Grave at these caves. Ted thinks it would be great to go up to him and use his catch phrase "I dont believe it" but the consequences are not what he expected. The final straw for poor old Victor Meldrew is when he hears his catch phrase echoing around the walls of the Ailwee Caves !
Discovered by a local man Jack Connors our walking his dog about 30 years ago the caves are now a great way to spend a few hours seeing the underside of the Burren. As caves go they are small and the ones at Michelstown in Ireland are much bigger. Caves like Nerja in Spain are enormous by comparison. However they give a good understanding of how caves are formed and have some nice structures.
Worh a visit on a wet afternoon....especially if it has been raining for a few days when the underground rivers are at their strongest....and lets face it in Ireland that is pretty much any time of the summer !!!!
When you enter the Ailwee Cave you really do feel as if you have just stepped into the side of a hill. From a distance, you can’t even see the cave. It’s located in the Burren so there are limestone rock slabs everywhere, and it’s a little bizarre because you’ll see the cars parked at the entrance but don’t actually see the cave until you are practically right on top of it. The cave itself is millions of years old and was once home to prehistoric bears. (You can see some bear bones as you’re walking through it.) You go through 1.3 km of the cave, although more of it is being opened all the time. It does get a little narrow at times so if you get claustrophobic it might not be the best place to visit. The cave has a nice guest shop and a place to buy snacks so if you want to stay put while the rest of your party goes spelunking you can hang out.
- National/State Park
- Hiking and Walking
Aillwee Cave, Bear Haven
There are thousands of caves in the Burren, and this is the only one open to the public. You'll go inside the cave as a group with a guide, who gives you the history of the cave and points out the slippery spots and holes, etc. to avoid. This place was first known as Bear Haven. You can still see what's left of the hibernation pits used by brown bear there. The tour was about 40min. long.
During the tour, an Australian guy in our group said, "We have a much bigger cave in Australia!", our guide quickly responded, "But, this one is much older!". Of course, we have caves which are bigger and older in Japan, but I decided not to disappoint the boys. :)
And, of course, at the end of the tour, you'll walk into the gift shop. There is a nice little cafe inside the building, too.
See Brown Bear Bones
The Cave was discovered in 1944 by a guy names Jack McGann and he caves first tour was in 1976 . It's a cool place to see and costs 10 Euro Inside there is a gift shop and the tour wanders through narrow passages with some cool stalagmite deposits . I had to endure the 30 minute tour with 3 of the winiest children I came across on the trip all they did was complain the whole time so I really didn't hear all of what our guide said sigh"
Ailwee cave in the Burren is carved out of limestone and was formed by melt waters long ago. It was discovered 1944 by a farmer and now is much comerzialized. There’s a sovenir and craft shop, a restaurant and a farm shop where cheese is made daily.
You can only visit the cave with a guided tour that takes about 35 minutes. The cave is not that spectacular as you’ll see only few and little dripstones. But instead, there are some small waterfalls, which are interesting as well! And you’ll come across some little depressions that were the winter sleep “beds” of bears, and there are also some bones of bears. However, I more liked Mitchelstown Cave and Dunmore Cave!
Above the cave is a mountain trail where you can climb over the typical Burren limestone pavements and which offers nice views. I recommend you do this, it’s interesting!
Admission: Adults 8,50 Euro, children 4,50 Euro. Parking is 2 Euro.
If you have the Heritage Island Explorer, you’ll get a discount for the cave (2 for an admission of 1).
Open daily from 10:00 to 18:00.
A farmer found these caves in the 1940s when his dog ran into one of the entrances. He kept quiet for around 30 years (amazing for an irishman!!) before he told anyone about what he found! Since then the cave has been made accessible for the public.
You get an amusing guided tour through the cave, see bones of bears that used to live there more than 1000 years ago, stalagmites and stalagtites and everything gets explained very well and light effects are really nice!
BURREN BIRDS OF PREY & AILLWEE CAVE
Lovely stop while driving around Co. Clare.
We enjoyed the show with the birds (falcons, eagles, voltures)
- Theme Park Trips
- Mountain Climbing
County Clare Travel Guide
Explore the World
- Boca Chica Key
- Dankotuwa Hotels
- Praia da Rocha
- Steptoe Butte State Park
- Hobart Hotels
- Simpang Empat Hotels
- Vaduz Hotels