The Ulster Museum
The Ulster Museum reopened in October 2009 following a £17.2m worth of work, and it was money well spent. Since then it has won several awards, including one for its excellent education programme.
Located in Belfast’s excellent Botanic Gardens, the Ulster Museum houses an eclectic collection covering not just Ulster History. There are excellent collections covering topics as diverse as World Cultures, Fossils, Botany and Photography as well as a good Art section.
A permanent exhibition on World Cultures is especially interesting, with many rare and fascinating objects from from the Americas, Oceania, Africa and Asia. Also well worth a look is the exhibition on the Industrial History of Northern Ireland, especially the fascinating story of the Linen Industry for which the city is famous.
The Natural History section is the base of the Habitas Programme, designed to deliver information and life-long education about the natural world.
Supporting this are imaginative exhibitions of selected items from the combined collection of Northern Ireland museums, which comprises over half a million minerals, rocks, fossils, plants and animals.
This was always a wonderful and very exciting museum for kids, with regular events, trails and quizzes and plenty of the sort of exhibits that kids love.
A new introduction is a series of discover centres – Discover Art, Discover History and Discover Nature – where children are not just introduced to the larger collections but have a chance to handle some unusual and fascinating items from the collections.
Visiting the Ulster Museum
The museum is open all year (except Bank Holidays) from 10am to 5pm Tuesday-Sunday. Entrance is free.
The Girona restaurant serves meals and snacks all day and is popular not just with museum visitors but with those working and living in the area.
Allow at least two hours for a visit, there really is a lot to see!