Education & Schools
Bring your school to Aillwee Cave!
Aillwee Cave is located in the heart of the Burren in Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare. Our expert guides introduce our young visitors to the science and wonder of the dramatic underworld of this amazing landscape . The cave tour itself covers 1/3 of a mile or 1/2 km ensuring that learning is combined with exercise. Aillwee is one of the most ancient caves in the Burren and perhaps in Ireland. The earliest history of the cave is preserved in its roof. In the roof of Mud Hall are numerous twisting tunnels cut into the rock. These channels (anastomoses) were formed in a bedding plane above a layer of mud in the limestone by a small underground stream. Over the millennia one of these tiny channels became enlarged into an almost circular tube filled with fast moving water, the remains of this half tube are to be seen throughout the full length of the cave indicated the route of the major fast flowing water course, gradually the underground stream cut itself in a deep trench in the rock perhaps 20-30m deep. The ice and snow all vanished over the years, the stream ceased to flow and gradually the cave walls kin the canyonlike trench began to decay. Great blocks fell from the walls and mud was washed in, infilling the creating a floor. Stalactites and stalagmites started to form and the cave began to look as we see it today.
Paths and lighting have been installed throughout, making the visit suitable for all ages.
Topics covered on the tour are:
- How caves form in limestone
- The discovery and exploration of Aillwee Cave
- How stalagmites, stalactites & flowstone are formed
- Preservation of the natural cave environment
- Zoology –animals and plant life of the cave
- Continental drift and the formation of limestone
- Geology of the cave
We endeavour to ensure your school will benefit from a visit to Aillwee Cave. Your visit should be informative and treated like a practical lesson. Exercise sheets and our information booklets are available on request.
To book your school tour and for admission rates and lunch menu options contact Aillwee Cave at +353 657077036 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org