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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 #7 of 41 Attractions in Reading
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: History Museums
52 visitor photos
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54 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Reading, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
51 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 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.

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Reading, England, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 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
93 reviews 93 reviews
49 attraction reviews
75 helpful votes 75 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

Reading
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
27 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 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

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Washington, Dc
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
12 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 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
39 reviews 39 reviews
39 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 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
Reviewer
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
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 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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