We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Want the lowest hotel prices? You're in the right place. We check 200+ sites for you.

Museum of English Rural Life

Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
Address: 6 Redlands Road | University of Reading, Reading RG1 5EX, England
Phone Number:
+44 118 378 8660
Website
Today
09:00 - 17:00
Open now
See all hours
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)

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 83 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 44
    Excellent
  • 30
    Very good
  • 6
    Average
  • 0
    Poor
  • 2
    Terrible
They have added a coffee bar now and redone the whole museum. .

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... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 29 October 2016
amandamwalsh
,
Reading, United Kingdom
Add Photo Write a Review

83 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
Showing 82: English reviews
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 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
55 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 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 27 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 

Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 June 2016 via mobile

I have lived in Reading for years without visiting the museum so decided to go finally. It's a lovely place, surprisingly big but with fantastically interesting exhibits. Great for a wet day outing.

Helpful?
Thank debrasoper
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1,444 reviews
779 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 365 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 February 2016

A gift shop full of farm animals and it is a shame that a lot of museum is closed for renovation but worth going to see the farming history.

Helpful?
Thank Ethan E
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 January 2016

Really enjoyed our couple of hours walking round this place. Lots to see from bygone days, and interactive activity for kids to keep them amused.

Helpful?
Thank Ray P
Reading
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 December 2015

This is the University of Reading's jewel in the crown, which unfortunately is closed at the moment undergoing refurbishment and additional exhibits using Lottery Funding awarded in 2015. But the range of exhibits and interest for adults and children is amazing.

Helpful?
Thank Diane A
reading
Level Contributor
27 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 October 2015

Although the museum is closed for refurbishment at the moment (until early 2016), it houses an intriguing collection of farming and rural artifacts all set out in an atmospheric setting. Lots of activities for kiddiwinks so a great place for the family to spend a few hours. There is also an amazing reference library for anyone who wants to research... More 

Helpful?
Thank victoriammm
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 August 2015

With items from local areas as well as further afield, and info on local trades and crafts. Highly interesting, AV displays. Recommended for all ages. They have activity sessions, and sometimes show work from from local craftspeople.

Helpful?
Thank Sarah-fishtree

Travellers who viewed Museum of English Rural Life also viewed

 

Been to Museum of English Rural Life? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Museum of English Rural Life and other visitors
2 questions
Ask a question
Questions? Get answers from Museum of English Rural Life staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?