Museums in Reading

Reading has three museums close to the town centre. Admission to all is free.

Reading Town Hall Reading Museum is the largest of the three and is located in the Town Hall. It’s fairly easy to find from any town centre car park. Just follow the signposts. It’s quite easy to while away a whole afternoon studying the natural history area, Britain’s own copy of the Bayeaux Tapestry, Victorian classroom and Huntley and Palmer section but the area we always enjoy most is dedicated to Silchester, a Roman town. Children can make their own mosaics, dress up in togas and view all sorts of exciting archaeological finds.


Museum of English Rural Life is located near The Royal Berkshire Hospital. It has a free car park, which even during special events, seems to have plenty of space. The museum itself is very small and if there are no special events then you might like to combine it with one of the other museums or a visit to Reading town centre (which can definitely kill a few hours!). However, the school holiday events are well worth a visit.

The smallest of Reading’s museums is located at Blake’s Lock. Riverside Museum has to be one of the smallest museums in the country. It is certainly the smallest I’ve ever seen! Situated in two buildings by the riverside, the turbine building houses turbine machinery and the Screen House houses a gypsy caravan. Easily combines with a trip to Toys R Us!

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