Museum of English Rural Life
Please note: The Museum of English Rural Life galleries and garden are closed until early 2016 for work on "Our Country Lives" HLF-funded redevelopment. The gift shop and reading room remain open as usual. For updates on progress of work on the project, visit blogs.reading.ac.uk/merl. The museum houses a national collection of agricultural, domestic and crafts exhibits, including wagons, tools and a wide range of other equipment used in the English countryside over the last 150 years. Special facilities are available for school parties. The museum also contains extensive documentary and photographic archives, which can be studied by appointment. There is a regular programme of events and activities, please see website for details.
Facilities – at a glance
- Parking onsite
- Fully accessible
- Facilities: Parking, induction loop
- Accessible toilets
- Open all year
- Opening Times: Open all year, Tue-Fri, 9-5, Sat & Sun 2-4.30. Closed Mons, BHs, Xmas-New Year & during university holidays
Also in the Area
About The area
Berkshire essentially consists of two distinct parts. The western half is predominantly rural, with the Lambourn Downs spilling down to the River Lambourn and the Berkshire Downs to the majestic Thames. The eastern half of Berkshire may be more urban but here, too, there is the opportunity to get out and savour open spaces. Windsor Great Park and Maidenhead Thicket are prime examples. Threading their way through the county are two of the South’s prettiest rivers – the Lambourn and the Pang. Beyond the tranquil tow paths of the Kennet and Avon Canal, Greenham Common’s famous airbase has been transformed to delight walkers of all ages.
Reading and Newbury are the county’s major towns, and the River Kennet flows through them both. Reading is a vibrant, multicultural centre with great shopping and plenty of history. Oscar Wilde was incarcerated in Reading prison in the late 19th century, and wrote The Ballad of Reading Gaol about his experience. Newbury is probably best known for its race course, which opened in 1905, although the first recorded racing at Newbury was a century before that. Famous people born in the county include Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Winlset and Ricky Gervais.
Places to Stay
Close to Reading town centre and right on top of the nearest motorway, our Premier Inn Reading Gateway, M4/J11 hotel is ideal for short breaks in Berkshire. The Oracle shopping centre is a must-visit for bargain-hunters, while the Dinton Pastures...
Restaurants and Pubs
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