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Museum of English Rural Life

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: Redlands Rd | University of Reading, Reading RG1 5EX, England
Phone Number: +44 118 378 8660
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Sunday
Closed
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Hours:
Tue - Fri 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sat - Sun 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Description:

The Museum of English Rural Life at the University of Reading houses the...

The Museum of English Rural Life at the University of Reading houses the most comprehensive national collection of objects, books and archives relating to the history of food, farming and the countryside.

The museum galleries and garden are currently closed until early 2016 for a Heritage Lottery funded redevelopment project.

The gift shop, staircase hall and library and archives reading room are still open (Monday 10am to 5pm and Tuesday to Friday 9am to 5pm)

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 68 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 36
    Excellent
  • 25
    Very good
  • 6
    Average
  • 0
    Poor
  • 1
    Terrible
The farming museum

A gift shop full of farm animals and it is a shame that a lot of museum is closed for renovation but worth going to see the farming history.

4 of 5 starsReviewed 3 days ago
Ethan E
,
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
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68 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
611 reviews
314 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 197 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

A gift shop full of farm animals and it is a shame that a lot of museum is closed for renovation but worth going to see the farming history.

Helpful?
Thank Ethan E
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Really enjoyed our couple of hours walking round this place. Lots to see from bygone days, and interactive activity for kids to keep them amused.

Helpful?
Thank Ray P
Reading
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2015

This is the University of Reading's jewel in the crown, which unfortunately is closed at the moment undergoing refurbishment and additional exhibits using Lottery Funding awarded in 2015. But the range of exhibits and interest for adults and children is amazing.

Helpful?
Thank Diane A
reading
Level Contributor
25 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2015

Although the museum is closed for refurbishment at the moment (until early 2016), it houses an intriguing collection of farming and rural artifacts all set out in an atmospheric setting. Lots of activities for kiddiwinks so a great place for the family to spend a few hours. There is also an amazing reference library for anyone who wants to research... More 

Helpful?
Thank victoriammm
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2015

With items from local areas as well as further afield, and info on local trades and crafts. Highly interesting, AV displays. Recommended for all ages. They have activity sessions, and sometimes show work from from local craftspeople.

Helpful?
Thank Sarah-fishtree
tadley
Level Contributor
75 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2015

Gives a good overview of the development of rural life in the Reading and wider area. Well arranged and local events take place regularly

Helpful?
Thank hensmanhouse
Reading,Berks
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2015

This is an excellent place to spend an afternoon, or their Summer Fayre if you are around at the time. It is full of rural history and implements that young people on ly read about in books!!!! The staff are friendly and knowledgeable, take the free tour and learn more or amble around on your own. My 18 yr. old... More 

Helpful?
Thank Joseanne4
AlisonHilton, Public Relations Manager at Museum of English Rural Life, responded to this review

Hi, Thank you for taking the time to write a review. We're really pleased you and your grandson enjoyed your visit. As you may know, we're currently closed for a Heritage Lottery funded redevelopment project to make the displays even more engaging and relevant, so please come back and see the new museum when we reopen after Easter next year! More 

Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2015

A great place to go on wet and cold days Always something new to see and do nice people alway happy to help. Our three little ones love it. Sorry that it is closed for a while

Helpful?
Thank 04149TASandrag
AlisonHilton, Public Relations Manager at Museum of English Rural Life, responded to this review

Thank you for your review. We are glad that you enjoy visiting MERL. Hopefully when we reopen in 2016 you will find the new museum even more interesting! In the meantime, if your children are aged between 2 and 4, why not come along to our Toddler Time session on the first Friday of each month? More 

Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2014

Very good for a rainy day or a school lesson. Lots of objects to learn about. Full on information and nice souvenir shop. Will be returning there definitely when my little one grow up a bit. Small minus for not big enough parking. Some works toward enlarging property is starting soon. Entry is free!

Helpful?
Thank MagdaBW
AlisonHilton, Public Relations Manager at Museum of English Rural Life, responded to this review

Thank you for your review. We are glad you enjoyed your visit and delighted that you plan to return. Please note that the Museum is currently closed for redevelopment until early 2016, so hopefully you will visit again when we reopen. In the meantime, if you have a child aged between 2 and 4, why not come along to our... More 

Puebla, Mexico
Level Contributor
23 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2014

The Museum of English Rural Life is a very interesting place to visit in Reading. The exhibitions are presented nicely, and they give us a view of what the past was like. The museum has a wide array of objects displayed and all of them are interesting and beautiful.

Helpful?
1 Thank morgiliath
AlisonHilton, Public Relations Manager at Museum of English Rural Life, responded to this review

Thank you very much for your review. We're glad you enjoyed your visit. As you may know, the Museum of English Rural Life is currently closed for redevelopment until early 2016. Our Heritage Lottery funded project, Our Country Lives, will transform the museum, creating new galleries that are designed to deliver an even more engaging experience for our visitors by... More 

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