The Museum of English Rural Life Reviews
This museum is not in the center of town, but worth the walk or drive to it. They have an amazing collection of farm wagons from across England and the differences between wagons is intriguing. Most w... more »
We'd been meaning to visit for ages and finally got around to it. I have to say it thoroughly exceeded my expectations. Clean, modern presentation, masses of items to see covering all aspects of rural... more »
I’ve been wanting to visit the MERL for over a year now after it found fame with its Absolute Unit and today I finally got the chance. The museum is one of the best small museums I think I’ve ever been to. And it’s free! A slick modern design and great interpretation of the objects creates a perfect way of working through the rooms learning about all aspects of country life across different counties and different centuries. The staff were incredibly friendly and knowledgeable and there there’s plenty of games and fun facts to keep the kids (and big kids) entertained. Overall it’s a fine way to spend an afternoon and if you’re a UoR student or Reading resident then get yourself down there. The only thing that I could pick out as a possible improvement would be a chance to round things off with what the experiences and issues affecting rural life are like in the 21st century. From the climate crisis to building on green belt land there’s a of topics which I think the MERL could have a valuable voice on. (Finally if you’re looking for the Absolute Unit and the Chicken in Trousers they’re located in the first main room on the changing seasons of the countryside in one of the drawers).
Super pleasantly surprised. The unit is in the drawers. Try find the all mice. One is in an exhaust pipe.
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