Dating back to the 6th century, Reading is a town full of rich history – and it’s lucky enough to have five museums telling its story.
Housed in Reading Town Hall, an impressive Victorian building, Reading Museum has a broad historical remit spanning Victorian paintings, Roman relics and the UK’s only copy of the famous Bayeux Tapestry. Part of Reading since 1883, the museum is free to visitors and opens from Tuesday to Saturday 10am–4pm with an on-site café and shop which sells a range of gifts.
Located on Reading University’s Whiteknights Campus a few miles from the town centre, the Ure Museum is one of the best collections of Greek history in the UK. Opened in 1922, the museum has an important collection of incredibly rare Greek ceramics and terracottas, as well as metal and stone artefacts from the Roman and Egyptian periods. It’s also one of the few places where you can see what a mummified cat’s head looks like if that’s something you’ve ever wondered?
Next door to the Ure Museum is the Cole Museum of Zoology. Part of the School of Biological Sciences, it’s home to over 4,000 specimens, with around 350–400 on display at any one time. You can currently see a five-metre reticulated python skeleton, an elephant skeleton and a fossil of the largest spider ever found.
Re-opened in 2016, The Museum of English Rural Life covers everything you’ve ever wanted to know about farming and how it’s changed over the centuries. Spanning farming techniques and animal welfare, the two-storey museum is a fascinating archive of more than 25,000 items dating from 1750 onwards including farm machinery, hand tools, livestock paintings, tractors and more. There’s also a popular café and outdoor garden, perfect for when the sun is shining.
Located in Woodley, a suburb of Reading, the Museum of Berkshire Aviation is home to a range of aircraft including the mind-boggling Fairey Jet Gyrodyne, a futuristic mash-up of a helicopter and aeroplane that looks like something out of the Jetsons.
To improve and personalise your visit we use first and third party marketing and analytical cookies. By using this site you agree to this. You can withdraw your consent at any time. See our Cookie notice for information on how to block or disable cookies.
Cookies, pixel tags and similar technologies we use
First and third party cookies and similar technologies are used on this site to provide a personalised online experience, commercial messages tailored to your interests, advertising based on your browsing habits and for measurement purposes to improve our site, services and interest based content and adverts. By using our site, you agree to cookies and such technologies being used and the sharing of your data with our trusted affiliates and partners. You can find out more and withdraw your consent at any time.
See our Cookie Notice for full information including how to block or disable them. To accept cookies, click I consent.