Castletown, Omagh, County Tyrone, BT78 5QY, Northern Ireland.
Tel: +44 (028 82) 243292. Outdoor museum which tells the story of emigration from Ulster to America in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. „
The Ulster American Folk park has to be one of the underrated tourist attractions of Northern Ireland. First of all, it's an outdoor museum - just to clear up any misconceptions. Secondly, while out of the way a little, it is an ideal stopover for half a day on your way to/from Tyrone/Fermanagh.
Admission, at £6.65 for adults, and £3.85 for children or concessions, is decent value by Northern Irish standards.
Before you even enter the folk park itself, there is an extensive and very impressively presented museum wing off to the side of the main lobby. It is possible to spend 30 minutes or so long in this area, although on observation it seems that not many people do.
Once out in the folk park, you will feel as if you are actually back in older times. And that's because there is nothing to suggest it is anything less than genuine. Better still - it actually is. Some of the buildings are in their original position while others have been moved brick by brick.
These includes a school, church, farm, old houses, and old shops. Inside each is an actor dressed up in traditional clothes, often telling stories, demonstrating their trade, or making food by the fire. This isn't cheesy as you might expect.
Half of the park (what i've just described) is said to be Ireland, and the rest is America. In other words, like many immigrants, you start your journey in Ireland and later on move to America, thereby seeing the lifestyle differences in each. This is done very cleverly by entering the "port", at the end of the last main street in Ireland. Inside is a ship, which you can board and look around, and out the other side is "America".
It's all done very well, and visibly demonstrates the massive changes that people would have gone through in moving their whole lives. It also gives a glimpse into living conditions on board the ship that would take them, as well as what they could expect out the other end.
Overall I think this park is very well done. It is not a theme park, like in America, but more so, it is a cultural, historical outdoor museum of sorts. Other than a similar one at cultra, near Belfast, there aren't any other examples of a place like this anywhere in Northern Ireland. Very highly recommended indeed.
Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh, Northern Ireland (Folk Park)
I first went to the folk park around ten years ago and I loved it! I live just around one hour away from it (Cookstown). When I went it was one saturday and I went with me, My Mother, Father and Sister! When I first went i was thinking this is going to be an awful day out, Why would I want to go and see how old people went to america? Then when I got there it was one of the best days I was out with my family. It was soo interesting too! It starts off where the the boy was born at the house. Then it goes on to the boat (Coffin Ships). Then it when you have finished walking through the boat you are in America and it shows you his American house! It was a reasionable priced, fun and interesting day out with the family! You can also go to the Ulster American Folk Park at halloween and it is one of the most scariest halloweens you will have. But it is good fun for all of the family and even if you and your friends are going over to the Folk Park it is a fun too. I would recommend anyone who wants a good day out to goto the Ulster American Folk Park!
A great day out for all. The Ulster American Folk park is situated 3 ½ miles from Omagh town and the opening times from April to September are Monday to Saturday 10.30 to 4.30 and closes at 6.00 on Sundays and Public Holidays the price for a family is £10.00 . The wed site address is www.folkpark.com , e-mail's firstname.lastname@example.org. There is also many special events on all over the summer months check the wed site for details. The museum celebrate the emigration to North America of over 2 Million people of Ireland over the last 200 years. An event that has truly shaped modern history especially modern Irish history. The Park is divided in to 3 parts the first is Ireland before the people left for America and going though the real houses that the people live in you can get to see why , with lovely informative talks by museum attendants dressed in the clothes of the time. The park is great for people with difficulty walking or young children as everything is quite close together. The second part is the ships quay from where the people departed, this also included a life size replica of a ship from that time that transport them to America. Be prepared as a adult to be shocked by the conditions that the people had to live in ( the kids will love it to run around in LOL) and find out why they were called " Coffin ships". The third part is the arrival in America with houses, shops, bars etc. all with the products of the time then you go around some of the typical houses of that era in America. Even in the hard time of the past you will see that a little money will go a long way to make life easier for you and your family, maybe even more that today. If you come away with anything from this museum / park you will be thankful that you live in the 21 Century at less for health and material things . Were the people happier then I couldn't say , but maybe after a visit you will be able to tell me. History at it'