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“A very good museum and the decline of the Ulster work ethic”

Ulster American Folk Park
Ranked #1 of 23 things to do in Omagh
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Experience the adventure that takes you from the thatched cottages of Ulster, on board a full scale emigrant sailing ship, to the log cabins of the American Frontier. Immerse yourself in three centuries of Irish emigration at the museum that brings it to life. Meet costumed characters on your way with traditional crafts to show, tales to tell and food to share.
Reviewed November 3, 2013

This is a very well thought through exhibit and attraction. It is well worth going to. It has an excellent library on family history with helpful well-informed staff. The cafe food is not too imaginative and has nothing to do with the exhibit but is cheerfully and enthuisiastically presented.

The problem I had was being told, from the moment I got there, when it was closing and being left in no doubt that the staff saw their principal function as shutting the place up ahead of that time. I was there near the end of the day and the last three buildings on the route around were locked up half and hour before closing. This is a real shame and reflects very badly on the staff and volunteers who run the place. I would not make as much of this if it was not unrelenting. Not one employee I met failed to remind me of when I had to be off the grounds. It clashed with the context of hard-working Ulstermen on the frontier and in the province. Many guests there that day remarked on it, trying to maintain good humour when important exhibits were shut through pure lazyness and lack of respect.

The buildings are really interesting, all original and give a real sense of authenticity. The lay-out, particularly the transition from old world to new, is original and powerfully evokes the emigrant experience. There is a great deal to cover and the thematic separation of the rooms achieves this very well, without becoming disjointed which could easily happen. It really is a museum that justifies all of the taxpayer money that must have gone into making it a reality. My father and ourselves enjoyed the exhibits immensely and my children found it compelling. It is worth a trip out to western Ulster and definitely a highlight if you are in the area.

I believe that, in general (so not a specific criticism) that staff/volunteers dressed up in historical garb actually add little to the experience with the few memorised words of introduction and the bizarre personal theories that they often embellish their historical patter with. As this was not an exception at the Ulster Folk Park, in my view, I would prefer if the volunteers and staff were restricted to working in the gift shop. Given their view on their terms of employment, and this is a national museum of Northern Ireland, it would be kinder to the visitors. I'd prefer to just be locked in and have my escape over the wall without hearing the whining, too common in our times, about rights without obligations.

1  Thank CF y Flia F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 29, 2013

We visited the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh, Ireland on October 20, 2013. We were driving from Derry in Northern Ireland to Kingscourt in the Republic and this was a good leg stretch.

Very Interesting concept, as they walked you through an indoor museum with very historical items. Then you go outside and tour over 42 buildings. They are all numbered in historical order. The first few buildings showed how the Irish in the lower class, middle class & landowner lived. They had schools, churches, Post Office, banks and several retail stores. Some of the houses had employees dressed in period clothing telling you how life was before the potato famine.

Then you enter a full scale emigrant sailing ship with a "Captain" telling how dangerous the travel was to America. Then the log cabin houses of the Irish when they made it to America.

We were told that house #9 was the only original house, but the other houses were taken apart and rebuilt on this site. House #9 had a sample of brown bread the day we were there. And #25 W.G. O'Doherty Grocer store was selling candy by the 1/4 pound.

We were blown away with the whole concept and were so glad we stopped. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to listen to all the costumed characters - their stories are so interesting!

Entrance fees ( in British Pounds): Adult 7.50
Child 5-17 4.50
Senior/student 5.00
1 Adult + 3 children 15.50
2 Adult + 3 Children 21.00
child under age 4 FREE

We really enjoyed this attraction - I actually uploaded 49 photos - there was so much to see and learn. We had a very nice lunch at the attached cafe. There was also a cute gift shop with very reasonable prices.

1  Thank magic_carpets
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 2013

If you're in the Omagh area of County Tyrone and would like to spend a pleasant day in a picturesque setting, the Ulster American Folk Park fits the bill. The park is a well-maintained and well-executed presentation of the story of Irish immigration to America, told by the amiable folks who meet you at the restored or re-created Irish homes of varying degrees of prosperity along the trail. To my mind, however, the story told of the progression of the Irish to their new lives in America is a rather sanitized one, leaving out the experiences of a large segment of Irish emigrants for whom the journey was far more harrowing than that depicted here. With that being said, there are books offered in the attached gift shop (very nice, by the way) that DO offer a variety of historical perspectives so, ultimately, the visitor can draw their own conclusions. Use your visit to the Ulster American Folk Park as the catalyst for further discussion and reflection on the lives of the millions of individuals who have made up the Irish diaspora.

Thank Janet H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 18, 2013

My husband and I came to Omagh to trace his heritage, so this seemed like a "must do". I have to say the park was larger and more impressive than I expected and very well done. The Irish village is authentic, like you are actually there in those times and by the time we "arrived in America" we could almost relate to the peoples who made the journey! The museum exhibits were also excellent in depicting the hardship that the emigrants endured. This park is definitely worth a visit, especially if your family was among the many who emigrated to America!

Thank yogiglo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2013

- and what an honour to take part in it. Well, that is exactly how you will feel when you visit this presentation of a history brought to life. Can you imagine the fear, the hope and expectations of the future in an unkown land? Go with them, with the promise of a new life. Think of the families left behind so sensitively portrayed at every turn. Such is the portrait you will share in.
The N.I. scenery changes after jouneying over the Atlantic to the " New World". Log cabins, farmsteads, homesteads and a future of hard work and possible reward.
This Folk Park contains the very best of inovation. Indeed, after visiting the world famous Plimouth Plantation in New England, your own historical interpretation here is second to none. There can only be the highest praise for all who contributed in building this place, presenting it,and keeping alive the story of Ulster America.

Thank Jim l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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