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Museum of English Rural Life

Redlands Rd | University of Reading, Reading RG1 5EX, England
0118 378 8660
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Ranked #3 of 38 attractions in Reading
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: History Museums
52 visitor photos
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51 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Reading
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
22 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2014

There is a heck of a lot packed into this fairly small museum just half a mile from Reading town centre. Logically laid out there are tools, machines and information about rural living in yesteryear. To make sure you get the full benefit I can recommend one of the volunteer guide's tour. Helpfully no entrance charge - we were there... More

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Washington, DC
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2014

This smallish but modern museum is centrally located on the University of Reading campus. It covers the history of English agriculture with displays of tools, plows, wagons and many informative videos. If you have any interest in farming it's worth an hour of your time. While there is no food service some munchies are available in the gift shop.

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Reading, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
29 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2014

Last Saturday 31st May I visited the Annual 'Summer Fayre'. This is the highlight of the year - lots to do for Children and support from the University teaching everyone about making Cheese, Bread and Yeast with lots of hands-on practical experiments. The atmosphere is great with several Morris Dance Groups, Real Ale Tent and Pig Roast, and other entertainments.... More

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Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

The museum is so much more than a collection of old buildings they are crammed full of local history and the bits and pieces of a long forgotten way of life. With so many facets and trades to that way of life form light industry to farming and agriculture. The special event days are a little more expensive than the... More

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Cheltenham, United Kingdom
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3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2014

My 4 and 2 yr old love coming here, there's lots to do round the museum with dressing up clothes, and lots of hands on activities as well as a game to spot the rats, and toddler/ preschool suitable toys with a big carpet to play on at the front of the museum so you can lengthen a trip by... More

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AlisonHilton, Public Relations Manager at Museum of English Rural Life, responded to this review

Thank you for taking the time to write a review for MERL! We are delighted that you enjoy visiting the Museum with your young children! If you haven't discovered it already, we also run regular Friday morning Toddler Time sessions during Reading Borough term time - songs on the carpet followed by a craft activity inspired by our collections! Hope... More

Birchington, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2014

This is a gem of a place and more people should visit. We had the tour from a friendly informative volunteer and saw parts of the collection not normally open to the public.

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Reading, England, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2014

Unless you have a strong interest in the the development of tractors and such it is a little dull. For a one-off visit it is OK if you have 20-40 minutes spare as one can dash around and see all the machines. The upstairs is not really worth seeing unless you particularly like looking at rusted scythes and other random... More

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Newbury, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
121 reviews 121 reviews
36 attraction reviews
82 helpful votes 82 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2014

This is a very well laid out museum with plenty of information about the exhibits. I visited with a friend who was a carpenter so it was particularly pertinent for him. There were a number of woodworking tools that he had not come across, most of which were explained either in a nearby video or write-up. There were so many... More

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Reading, England, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2014

The exhibits are interesting for kids - and the special events they run are great. All it needs is a decent café!

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Reading, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
29 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2014

I used to work on a Farm and so this type of Museum appeals to me. Reading University has a supreme reputation around the world for advice on all Farming subjects. But this museum feels somewhat cold. Its not bad, - clean, nice toilets, warm, helpful staff but I feel there's something missing. The video on Barrel Making is interesting... More

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AlisonHilton, Public Relations Manager at Museum of English Rural Life, responded to this review

Thank you for visiting MERL. Your comments are very interesting and helpful, and we understand and agree with some of your concerns. Although as a University Museum, with collections which include extensive archives, books and photographs, we are very different from other open air museums, we are keen to make sure that our displays are attractive and interesting to a... More

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