Dunmore Cave: History, facts, and visit info

With its intriguing history and geological formation, Dunmore Cave in County Kilkenny is one of the most impressive formations in the country.

Dunmore Cave: History, facts, and visit info.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Dunmore Cave’s rich history goes back 7,000 years, and a visit here is a must if you want to experience one of the country’s natural wonders.

Found in County Kilkenny, there are a few things to note when visiting these awe-inspiring caves. Our handy guide outlines history, facts, and visitor information.

Ireland Before You Die’s top tips for visiting Dunmore Cave:

  • Visitors to the cave are advised to wear comfortable non-slip footwear as the cave is slippery and accessed by 700 steps. You must also be in good physical condition.
  • It is worth noting that the cave is unsuitable for those with health issues, claustrophobia, or those who use a wheelchair.
  • Admission fees to enter the cave are as follows: Adult €5.00, Group/Senior €4.00, and Child/Student €3.00. Family tickets cost €13.00.
  • There is a maximum of three children per adult for health and safety reasons.
  • The cave is closed for essential maintenance, so it is strongly advised to watch for the reopening date, which will be updated on their website.
  • Getting here is easy since it is just 10 km (6.2 mi) from the city of Kilkenny, and free onsite parking is available.
  • Access is by guided tour only, and you should allow one to two hours for your visit.

Interesting facts about Dunmore Cave:

  • The cave was first mentioned in the 9th century collection of Irish Triads and contains one of Ireland’s finest calcite cave formations.
  • The area’s history goes back 350 million years, and there is an onsite visitor centre to learn more about this incredible region.
  • The cave was pivotal in the Viking era and was a hiding place for Viking raiders during a 10th-century massacre.
  • The cave comprises several distinct chambers, with the largest and most impressive main compartment composed of towering columns.
  • Dunmore Cave is well known for its unique geological formations, including stunning stalactites and stalagmites, shaped over thousands of years by the slow dripping of mineral-rich water.

What’s nearby

Food: The Lime Tree Café and Restaurant, Café La Coco and Low Lane are great for speciality coffee, snacks, and brunch. For delicious meals, try Zuni Restaurant (Irish) and award-winning Ristorante Rinuccini (Italian).

Drinks: Kyteler’s Inn and Matt the Millers Bar and Restaurant are two of the best pubs in Kilkenny.

Other Attractions: Kilkenny Castle is a pivotal landmark of the city. You can take a guided tour, walk the stunning gardens, and learn about medieval history.

Additionally, the Smithwick’s Experience explores the world of Irish brewing and includes a tasting session of their best beers. Mount Juliet Estate is great for a round of golf, afternoon tea, or a stroll in the grounds.

Your questions answered about Dunmore Cave

Can I visit Dunmore Cave without a guided tour?

No, access to the cave is with a tour only.

Is Dunmore Cave wheelchair accessible?

Unfortunately, the cave features 700 steps and is not wheelchair accessible.

What facilities are onsite at Dunmore Cave?

There are toilets, a café, and parking located at the cave.

Contact and more info

Address: Castlecomer Road, Inchabride, Kilkenny, Ireland

Phone: +353567767726

Email: [email protected]

Website: https://heritageireland.ie/visit/places-to-visit/dunmore-cave/

Opening times

March–mid-June: 9:30 am–5 pm daily

Mid-June–mid-September: 9:30 am–6 pm daily

Mid-September–end of October: 9:30 am–5 pm daily

November–March: 10 am–5 pm, Saturdays, Sundays, and Bank Holidays

NOTE: Dunmore Cave is currently closed for maintenance work.

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