The Museum of English Rural Life, Reading

4.7
#2 of 7 in Museums in Reading
History Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
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The Museum of English Rural Life reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
167 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • We were looking for a fun educational activity for a Sunday afternoon. It was myself and my daughter who enjoys tractors. The museum is HUGE and we were surprised at how much there was to see. The...  more »
  • I visited with my father who remembered rural England in the 1940s and 50s and loved seeing all these things. We liked the displays - not too much information and interactive.  more »
Google
  • 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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