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“Excellent find in Reading”

Museum of English Rural Life
Ranked #14 of 86 things to do in Reading
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: 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 closed until 19th October 2016 for a Heritage Lottery funded redevelopment project. The staircase hall displays, and library and archives reading room are still open (Monday 10am to 5pm and Tuesday to Friday 9am to 5pm)
Reviewed March 20, 2012

Really good museum, lots of farm vehicles and tools. My boys really liked it. They do a good playgroup thing for kids as well.

Thank markfeet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (102)
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94 - 98 of 102 reviews

Reviewed February 1, 2012

Worth a visit for an hour or 2, so long as you are interested in agricultural and rural history (ploughs, rakes, yokes, milk churns, hay making etc.). Enjoyable and well presented for a "University" collection.

Thank rilasata
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 18, 2012

Small local "farming" related museum. They have lovely gardens and several events during the year.

Thank Jax47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 4, 2011

This is a small but packed full museum that holds interest of adults and children alike. Virtually free entrance (£2 for three of us). There are activities to interest children in the vast range of tools and equipment used in the countryside over many years. These range from wagons that remind us of Constable paintings to small tools that are the precursors to tools we use today. There are videos, cartoons, dressing up opportunities and all sorts to maintain interest and explain to children and adults that can be switched on by the visitors. It is amazing to see how much "technology" there was in the countryside before the invention of the petrol engine! Children can see moving models and when you have done with the machinery and tools then move outside to the garden and see some old varieties of apple trees and useful plants/herbs. Next door is a very acceptable cafe which has a license and serves simple meals and sandwiches at reasonable prices e.g. when we went fish fingers and chips from the children's menu was £1.95. Very clean with good access for those with mobility problems. Can't recommend it enough - the staff (probably volunteers) were a delight and very helpful. Its next to Royal Berks Hospital where there is a multi story car park - but that may be expensive and road parking is very limited. I write as one who finds just "looking at stuff" a bit boring but this was a great day out with a six year old when the weather wasn't too reliable and we all said it was a ten out of ten day.

The website doesn't do it justice but more info can be found there.

1  Thank JeTaimeSurrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2010

My wife and I gave this museum a try during our holidays. We both enjoyed the exhibits and interactive displays very much. It was a nice lay back couple of hours browsing among things that stimulate plenty of reflection of the past. The only problem I had was that it was so good at demonstrating a vision of real life as it used to be, that it left me feeling a little cold and alienated from real life in the present day. So we went on to put that right with a real ale pub lunch at the bell in Aldworth afterward and this soon put things right.

2  Thank ntnog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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