Visit us

Visit Us

The Museum is now fully open, following a major redevelopment, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Free Admission

The Museum of English Rural Life

University of Reading

Redlands Road



Plan my visit


A new perspective on our fascinating countryside!

Visit us to get up close and personal with fascinating objects telling the rich and personal stories of rural England. Our collection can help support the curriculum and develop a variety of skills, so come to us to cover a range of subjects and experience cross-curricular opportunities.

Self-guided museum visits

Explore the museum your own way with a free self-guided visit. On arrival, a member of staff will greet you, show you your allocated storage, the Museum's facilities and your lunch space (if requested).

Advance booking is essential for all group visits over the size of 10. To avoid disappointment we recommend booking as far ahead as you can. If you are planning to bring a school group to the MERL, we advise you to make a pre-visit to explore our galleries, so that you can structure your visit and make the most from your group's time in the Museum.

For booking enquiries, advice on planning your time with us, supporting resources and details of teacher-pupil ratios, please email  

Curriculum Links in the galleries

Our galleries offer schools cross-curricular learning links supporting a range of KS1-4 subjects including:

  • History Citizenship
  • Art and Design
  • Geography
  • Science

Optional extras (bookable)

Add on one of the following special extras to your visit*:

  • Object handling session
  • Indoor or outdoor picnic space
  • Refreshments or lunch
  • Shop goody bags for a budget of your choice

*subject to availability

The MERL Teachers Panel

Our Teachers Panel offers a chance for teachers to share their views and shape our learning programmes. It is a forum for primary, secondary, SEN teachers and trainee teachers. With exclusive opportunities to engage with our object, archive and library collections, as a member of our panel you will help steer and shape the MERL learning programmes. Twilight meetings will take place on a quarterly basis and free refreshments will be provided.

The next panel meeting will take place on Wednesday 31st May 2017. Please contact Phillippa Heath on for details.


Resources (Coming soon)

We are currently working on a range of resources to enhance your visit and facilitate your visit preparation.