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Museum of English Rural Life

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Address: Redlands Rd | University of Reading, Reading RG1 5EX, England
Phone Number: +44 118 378 8660
Website
Today
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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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 61 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 33
    Excellent
  • 21
    Very good
  • 6
    Average
  • 0
    Poor
  • 1
    Terrible
Always something new to do

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

4 of 5 starsReviewed January 6, 2015
04149TASandrag
,
Reading, United Kingdom
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61 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Reading, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 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

Was this review helpful? Yes
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
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
6 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 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!

Was this review helpful? Yes
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
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
4 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 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.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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 

Berkshire, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
126 reviews 126 reviews
25 attraction reviews
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2014

A Sunday afternoon visit to MERL was a brilliant way to give my father an afternoon out. He loved the exhibits and the film show slots were extremely interesting. He is of an age that some of the exhibits were commonplace when he was younger.I

Was this review helpful? Yes
Reading
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
6 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2014

We visited the museum during the summer before the renovations so it will be even better when completed. As you walk round you really get the feel for how people lived and worked in the country, lots of machinery, photo's to enhance the experience, we will definitely go back next year.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Reading, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
11 attraction reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2014

This was a great museum, and we really enjoyed our visit. But there isn't much point telling you about it, as the museum has now closed for redevelopment. According to their website, it will reopen in early 2016. Given the length of closure, it will presumably be quite different when it reopens.

Was this review helpful? Yes
AlisonHilton, Public Relations Manager at Museum of English Rural Life, responded to this review

Thank you for your review! The museum is indeed currently closed for a Heritage Lottery funded redevelopment. The project will transform the way the collections are interpreted and displayed to make them more relevant to today's visitors. The length of the closure is down to the scale of the project. It takes several weeks to dismantle the current displays and... More 

Reading, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2014

Visited this place and really amazed to very nice place on city center There are various places inside where one can take pictures by wearing various costumes which was great Love to visit again as its just in the way towards Reading Station

Was this review helpful? Yes
Reading, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
112 reviews 112 reviews
78 attraction reviews
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2014

If you like agricultural history you will love this hidden gem. Never seems to be very busy - so you can wander at your leisure. Young Grandchildren get very "intense and competitive" looking for all the (stuffed) rats that they need to find.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Reading, England, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2014

Lot of gamesgames full of surprises. To visit in a!! Kind of weather.Art and crafts session during school holidays.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Bracknell, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
50 attraction reviews
91 helpful votes 91 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2014

Came here with a friend thinking this museum would be full of interesting antiques from long ago, thinking there would be a great collection of old furniture, came as a shock, only filled with old TOOLS, CARTS and boring old bits of junk. Glad I didn't waste my money looking at what i would call JUNK and stuff that really... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
AlisonHilton, Public Relations Manager at Museum of English Rural Life, responded to this review

Dear Melissa, We are very sorry that you did not enjoy your visit to MERL. We are not sure why you would have been particularly expecting to find antique furniture, as I am not aware that we publicise our collections as featuring furniture. However, I am very sorry that you did not see the value of the agricultural tools, wagons... More 

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