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Themed sessions for neurodivergent visitors of all ages
October 24 @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

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October 24
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
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The Museum of English Rural Life
The Museum of English Rural Life, Redlands Road
Reading, Berkshire RG1 5EX United Kingdom
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Free sessions developed with Autism Berkshire

“This was our first (museum) event and to be honest I felt quite emotional. I was touched by such a supportive environment and welcoming faces. Thank you!”

This year, Reading Museum and The Museum of English Rural Life launched Museums, My Way, a new series of sessions for neurodivergent visitors of all ages.

These free sessions, developed with Autism Berkshire, provide a safe environment to explore the museums at times when they are usually closed to the public or are less busy. There are facilitated activities on themes inspired by the museums’ collections, and a quiet break-out space. Siblings, families, carers and friends are all welcome.  This session takes place during Diwali and we will be focussing on the theme of ‘Light’ and will include:

  • reduced volume of gallery interactive sounds 
  • sensory backpacks and ear defenders 
  • break out spaces 
  • themed facilitated hands-on activity 
  • themed gallery trail

All activities are optional and you can visit at any point within the event times.


Please note that the museum’s car park can fill up quickly at busy times. If The MERL car park is full, you can use a special parking permit, valid throughout half term, to park in the University car parks on Acacia Road adjacent to the museum, or White Gates car park found at the second left off Crown Place, a short walk from the museum. (Please note the permit is not valid in the private car park on Crown Place)

You can collect a permit from reception at the museum or download the permit here and print at home.

If you do not display a permit, you may be issued with a penalty. We apologise for any inconvenience, but this solution means we can continue to offer free parking in the nearby University car parks. If you have any questions, please call 0118 378 8660 or email merlevents@reading.ac.uk

We would always encourage you to use alternative means of transport where possible. See our Getting Here page for details.

Museums, My Way is part of The MERL and Reading Museum’s Arts Council funded programme, Museums Partnership Reading.

Learn about The MERL’s focus for 2022
CARE: highlighting how we take care of rural heritage, the countryside’s future, and each other

circular logo with the word 'care' written below a representation of a decorative polehead

Museums Partnership Reading.