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“Future Propsects look Good.”

Museum of English Rural Life
Ranked #15 of 89 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 2 June 2014

Last Saturday 31st May I visited the Annual 'Summer Fayre'. This is the highlight of the year - lots to do for Children and support from the University teaching everyone about making Cheese, Bread and Yeast with lots of hands-on practical experiments. The atmosphere is great with several Morris Dance Groups, Real Ale Tent and Pig Roast, and other entertainments. Lots of local organisations have stalls as well, - for example old-fashioned Printing and wooden spoon making. I have been critical of the Museum in the past as being a bit boring for a second visit but the staff were keen to show me lots of exciting plans for the future. Try and make a note in your Diary to be here this time next year, - because it really is a 10/10 day. (I think the admission charge for each adult was £2.50, children free) Also lots of free parking in an area difficult to park in because of the local Hospital across the road.

Thank TonyPearce
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (104)
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57 - 61 of 104 reviews

Reviewed 28 May 2014

The museum is so much more than a collection of old buildings they are crammed full of local history and the bits and pieces of a long forgotten way of life. With so many facets and trades to that way of life form light industry to farming and agriculture. The special event days are a little more expensive than the standard entrance fee but it is well worth the extra investment. There is no pre-determined route to the park and there are a number of interesting areas to view.

Thank MemSecES
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2014

My 4 and 2 yr old love coming here, there's lots to do round the museum with dressing up clothes, and lots of hands on activities as well as a game to spot the rats, and toddler/ preschool suitable toys with a big carpet to play on at the front of the museum so you can lengthen a trip by alternating play with the museum. There's also a lovely garden with garden games if the weather is good. They also hold great make and take activities in school holidays

Thank emily_jane2379
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AlisonHilton, Public Relations Manager at Museum of English Rural Life, responded to this reviewResponded 7 April 2014

Thank you for taking the time to write a review for MERL! We are delighted that you enjoy visiting the Museum with your young children! If you haven't discovered it already, we also run regular Friday morning Toddler Time sessions during Reading Borough term time - songs on the carpet followed by a craft activity inspired by our collections! Hope to see you again soon!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2014

This is a gem of a place and more people should visit. We had the tour from a friendly informative volunteer and saw parts of the collection not normally open to the public.

Thank Nigel C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 March 2014

Unless you have a strong interest in the the development of tractors and such it is a little dull. For a one-off visit it is OK if you have 20-40 minutes spare as one can dash around and see all the machines. The upstairs is not really worth seeing unless you particularly like looking at rusted scythes and other random bits of metal and wood. Specific events can be worth going to if they are of specific interest.

Thank Daniel M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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