Arch House Bed and Breakfast Activities and Events
Marble Arch Caves
The Marble Arch Caves are a series of natural limestone caves located near the village of Florencecourt in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. They run under Cuilcagh mountain.
History of exploration
The caves were first explored by Édouard-Alfred Martel in 1895, using candles and magnesium flares for light. In 1935, with superior equipment, a group of English cavers from the Yorkshire Ramblers Club explored further and discovered more chambers.
Covering a small section of the system, the Marble Arch Caves tour is a popular tourist attraction due to the cave's accessibility and grandeur. The show caves were opened to the public in 1985 following work to make them more accessible the previous year. Tourists can partake in a seventy-five minute tour of the show caves, during which they travel through the first part of the caves in a specially designed boat floating on the subterranean Cladagh River, before walking through the rest of the chambers.
Florencecourt House and Gardens
Florence Court is a large 18th century house and estate located 8 miles south-west of Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. It is set in the foothills of Cuilcagh Mountain. The nearby village is distinguished by the one-word name Florencecourt. It is owned and managed by the National Trust and is the sister property of nearby Castle Coole. The other National Trust property in County Fermanagh is the Crom Estate.
Florence Court was the family home of the Cole family, who were known as the Earls of Enniskillen, after the nearby county town. The National Trust acquired Florence Court in 1953, shortly before a devastating fire destroyed the upper floors of the house. Extensive restoration efforts have since returned Florence Court to much of its former glory, although some rooms on the upper floors remain closed. The house is best known for its exquisite rococo decoration and fine Irish furniture. Many original items of furniture, previously sold, have been re-acquired and returned.
The estate includes a walled garden with displays of both temperate and semi-tropical plants, a working water-powered sawmill, an ice house, and a natural spring well. The Larganess River flows through the estate. Pasture lands and forestry occupy much of the estate. It is a prime source of Irish yew wood.
Florence Court Forest Park and Cuilcagh Mountain
Cuilcagh is the highest mountain in the Breifne area and the 165th highest on the island of Ireland. The summit lies on the border between County Fermanagh (in Northern Ireland) and County Cavan (in the Republic of Ireland), and is the highest point in both counties. Water from the southern slope flows underground until it emerges some miles away in the Shannon Pot, the traditional source of the River Shannon.
Florence Court Forest Park is situated on the north east shoulder of Cuilcagh mountain the forest covers an area of 12 square kilometres. Killykeeghen Nature Reserve, Cladagh Glen Nature Reserve and the Hanging Rock Nature Reserve are all in the surrounding area.