UFTM houses several incredible collections – the current incarnation of UFTM is the merging of what was known as the Belfast Transport Museum and the Ulster Folk Museum. Despite a common moniker, the two are still somewhat separate – but very much worth a visit.
Your first stop should be the “Folk” village. This outdoor museum has over 50 authentic and incredible exhibits including Ballycultra town and rural farm buildings that will show you exactly what working turn-of-the-century agricultural life was like in Northern Ireland. These fully restored folk galleries will even let you try your hand at common tasks and activities – where else could you experience firsthand the crafts, trades, costumes and traditions of the early 20th century? It’s as close as you’ll get to a time machine!
The other half of the museum takes you inside to see the history of Transport, Northern Ireland style. See everything from early bicycle prototypes to photographs of the Titanic (originally built in nearby Belfast – but as the locals like to say, the ship was just fine when she left port, thank you very much) – you’ll find all manner of exhibits concerning land, sea and air travel. But the real highlight for kids here will be the train cars. They are free to climb and explore the cars at whim. They’ll think they’ve died and gone to the Isle of Sodor.