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The Ulster Folk and Transport Museum is a must see attraction if you are visiting County Down or Belfast City. This excellent museum, just 11 kilometres east from Belfast at the village of Cultra, consists of 30 typical buildings from past centuries, each carefully restored and furnished to give a faithful impression of times past. The rebuilt village includes farmhouses and mills, complete with animals and staff dressed in period costume to maintain the air of historical realism. Various ancient skills, such as thatching and ploughing, are demonstrated for visitors during the summer season.
Across the road from the village, the transport galleries contain examples of all forms of transport utilised in the area over hundreds of years. Horse-drawn carts, bicycles planes and trams are all exhibited, as well as a De Lorean sports car. Established by an Act of Parliament in 1958, the Ulster Folk Museum was set up to illustrate the way of life and the traditions of the people of the north of Ireland. This was primarily in response to the speed at which the countryside and people’s way of life was changing and the need to preserve and record a heritage in danger of disappearing.
The Cultra site, formerly the estate of Sir Robert Kennedy, was acquired in 1961 and the museum first opened to visitors in 1964. With the opening in 1993 and 1996 of the award winning Rail and Road Galleries the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum became firmly established as a Museum of international importance.
Today, the Museum, part of National Museums Northern Ireland, has been voted Irish Museum of the Year and ranks among Ireland’s most