Accessible Tourism Review: Ulster Folk and Transport Museum

The Ulster Folk and Transport Museum is a tourist attraction which is located in Holywood, Northern Ireland, and which comprises of two separate museums — the Ulster Folk and Ulster Transport museum — and has been much loved attractions since they first opened in the 1960s.

The Folk museum is home to a rich collection of heritage buildings and objects — many of which touch on farming — and offers a place to think about how we are still adapting to change — and of how we might find inspiration from generations before. The Transport Museum, meanwhile, is more centred towards Engineering.

I went to the Ulster Folk museum back in August while my Canadian relative, Vicky, was visiting me from Canada, and in this blog, I’m going to review how accessible it is for disabled people to go to.

Oh, and I’d just like to point out that I was able to drive myself the entire way around it in my electric wheelchair which I can drive with my chin, so it’s possible to do if you’re in an electric or manual chair.

Although they have improved as far as accessibility is concerned from what they were like in the past, the Ulster Folk museum can still be counted as a mixed blessing, which is accessible in parts but still not accessible in others.

Most of the grounds are flat, so they should be easy for wheelchair dependent users to navigate round, but there are also parts that have cobblestones, which might make it more difficult for certain visitors.

But another mixed blessing is the amount of hills that are around the place, which again, might be more accessible for some people to get around — especially if you’re an electric wheelchair user — but which might also be difficult to get up if you’re using a manual wheelchair.

I was able to get over the cobblestones easily in my electric wheelchair, but I will admit that it took a lot of determination, so it‘ is something you should’s worth being aware of that, especially if you’re someone who uses a manual wheelchair more often, or are someone pushing around a buggy.

And likewise with the hills, I was also able to enjoy going up a few hills while I was there, but it was only because I was in my electric wheelchair. They were easy to navigate up and down, but if you are a physically disabled person who is interested in mountain / hill climbing, you can of course do it, but it might be easier to do with an electric wheelchair or scooter, than it would be if you are in a manual wheelchair.

Something else that is a bit of a mixed blessing, however, is that some of the buildings are slightly easier to get into than others, but some of them are historical designs, so you can understand why that is. But you can still get in to some of them, although this depends on what size of wheelchair you actually have, so some will find it more accessible than others.

But other than all of these points, everywhere else is accessible. Once you walk out a wee bit, you should find it easy enough to get round all other places, and you’ll also be greeted with quite a few farm animals, who you can enjoy looking at and talking to as well.

The last thing I’d like to mention as well, however, is that — similar to the shop layout at Hillsborough castle — all of the more breakable products in the shops are kept at a good height, with everything else which is not breakable being slightly further down.

So overall, I think the Ulster Folk and Transport museum has improved with their accessibility compared to everything they offered in the past, but they could still be doing better.

Accessibility features which the Ulster Folk and Transport museum offers are:

  • A flat main entrance, and mostly accessible buuldings
  • Automatic doors with a push pad function to open in shop
  • Assistance dogs welcome
  • Wheelchairs / mobility scooters available to borrow and can be prebooked
  • Changing Places available

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