Doolin Cave in County Clare celebrates its 10 year open to the Public
Doolin Cave in County Clare celebrates its 10th year open to the Public
Doolin Cave recently celebrated the 10th year of being open to the public. It is now one of Clare's Top Visitor Attractions, and is a wonderful experience. The story of Doolin Cave is one of determination, by those who first discovered it and of the Browne family, who overcame many obstacles to develop it.
Discovered in 1952 by two potholers from the Craven Potholing club in Yorkshire, it is home to Europe’s largest, free-hanging stalactite—measuring nearly 24 feet—which was once listed in the Guinness Book of Records as being the largest in the world. The cave was developed using strict environmental controls and eventually opened to the public in 2006. The visitor centre and car park opened in 2010 and since then, the number of visitors annually has increased from 12,000 to over 30,000 in 2015. Doolin Cave also has an on-site café and nature trail too.
Helen Browne, one of the owners of the cave, said of the achievement: “I’m delighted. It took a long time to get it open and I never thought we’d see 10, but it’s great that we have. I feel we’ve really achieved a lot.”
Owning a show cave is an unusual occupation to say the least and Helen revealed how they started out on this journey.
“We talked about it for a long, long time. We were running a restaurant in the village and we thought we’d like to take on something completely different. My husband, John, knew a lot about caving and the geology of the area so we decided to go for it. We haven’t looked back since. I think Doolin Cave is a good addition to the strong tourism offering in the area. We’re proud to be a stakeholder in Doolin Tourism and the Burren Ecotourism Network.”
Mayor of Clare, James Breen, congratulated all involved on the anniversary.
Doolin Cave is open to the public from March to December and more about its facilities can be found at www.doolincave.ie. You can book tickets online there or at the Ticket Shop on this website.