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Museum of English Rural Life

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Address: 6 Redlands Road | University of Reading, Reading RG1 5EX, England
Phone Number: +44 118 378 8660
Website
Today
14:00 - 16:30
Closed now
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Hours:
Tue - Fri 09:00 - 17:00
Sat - Sun 14:00 - 16:30
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 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)

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 79 reviews
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  • 42
    Excellent
  • 28
    Very good
  • 6
    Average
  • 0
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  • 2
    Terrible
Enjoyable visit

Heard about this on my local TV News and it sounded worth a visit. If you are of more mature years it will probably be more interesting (there is very few inter-active items... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 4 days ago
Tyzllmyne
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Gosport
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79 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 78: English reviews
Gosport
Level Contributor
90 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Heard about this on my local TV News and it sounded worth a visit. If you are of more mature years it will probably be more interesting (there is very few inter-active items). That said, it might be useful to show youngsters just how the farm work was done in the 1800s and see the sort of lives they led.

Helpful?
Thank Tyzllmyne
Washington, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
64 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

This museum is really well presented. It has a wide range of interesting exhibits, which are explained by information panels which link in to the social circumstances of the times. It also has a pleasant garden and a small cafe.

Helpful?
1 Thank FELICITY L
Andover, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
137 reviews
64 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Having seen this Museum advertised this was our main reason for coming to Reading for the day to see the three University Museums. We were not disappointed, it is easy to see where the 3 million pound revamp was spent, it really is a superb collection of early rural life artefacts including the largest collection of old farm wagons I... More 

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

Thank you very much for visiting the new museum and for taking the time to write such a lovely review. We are delighted that you felt it was worth your trip! It makes all the effort worthwhile! We are sorry that all the labels were not in place, and we are indeed preparing further keys to cases and exhibits which... More 

Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This is an unusual place, out of the way, but full of interesting exhibits. The University started its rural collection just after the Second World War, and was able to rescue a lot of rural material before the old crafts died out. It has just been extensively improved with a lottery grant.

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

Thank you for visiting the new museum and for taking the time to write a review. We are pleased that you found it interesting. More 

Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
64 reviews
63 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

There is limited Free Parking on site. About 15 cars. You must get a Free Badge from Reception to display in your Windscreen. Otherwise there is 2 hour parking in the Streets around the Museum but they are fought over by people attending the local Hospital. Saturday afternoons seems a good time to visit and park. Entrance is free.The Museum... More 

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

Thank you for visiting the new museum and for taking the time to write a review. Parking is always going to be an issue because of our location, but there's usually enough space for everyone, and we can provide permits for the University car park a short walk away if there are no spaces in our own carpark. We're only... More 

Mumbai, India
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 November 2016 via mobile

Went for an evening visit, to experience the rural lifestyle and the technology prevailing in those times (mainly 17 century-early 20th century). The place is recently renovated/restored and reopened after 2 years. It's a nice place for kids and youngsters to experience the way of living which was prelevant in earlier days, and to gauge how much our lives have... More 

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

Thank you for visiting and taking the time to review the museum. We're really pleased you enjoyed the new displays. More 

Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 October 2016

The newly refurbished MERL is now open but NOT on Mondays, we went last Monday and did a treasure hunt in the garden which was fine actually. A brand new shepherds in the garden which is fab and a new café area which was well needed. We have long been fans of this quirky little museum which is in walking... More 

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

Thanks for visiting and taking the time to write a review. I'm sorry that the galleries were closed but pleased you liked the garden and cafe area. We're closed every Monday, but now open longer hours at weekends. Hope you can come and see the new galleries soon! More 

Liphook, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
49 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 October 2016

Visited for the first time since the recent refurbishment. The new galleries are amazing. Interactive displays were wonderful and allowed us to try our hands at creating seasonal recipes or clay pigeon shooting. We are already planning a repeat visit.

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

Thanks for your glowing review! We are delighted you were impressed by the new displays and interactives and hope you will be back soon! More 

Reading
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 October 2016

Post lottery grant, MERL reopens today. It was brilliant before so hoping it will be even better now.

Helpful?
Thank fireflyReading
Cork, Ireland
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 September 2016 via mobile

Went here with my mom on a Sunday afternoon, nothing on the trip advisor app said it was closed down for refurbishment. Even signs at the place were unclear, saying it would open in 2016. It was a good 20 minute walk from the center of town so it was a bit of a waste of our time on a... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Aan-Sofie G
AlisonHilton, Public Relations Manager at Museum of English Rural Life, responded to this review

Hi, I am so sorry that you were disappointed to find the museum closed. We have been closed for almost two years for a major redevelopment project, but we're definitely not closed down! The Museum reopens on October 19th with brand new galleries. I apologise for the signage not being clearer on the notice board and will put that right... More 

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