Accessibility

Physical Accessibility

  • The Museum is fully wheelchair-accessible with:
    • a step-free entrance with automatic door
    • step-free access to the Archive and Library Reading Room
    • lifts for all stairs
  • We have two bays reserved for disabled parking in front of the Museum, and three available in the adjoining Acacias Road
  • An adult-sized wheelchair is available for free loan during your visit
  • Portable seating for use in the galleries
  • Two fully accessible toilets

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Sensory Accessibility

  • Assistance available for those with hearing impairments at our talks and events
  • Assistance dogs welcome
  • Large-print guides for our permanent displays are available on request. Please ask reception staff.
  • We are working on making audio guides available soon

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Visitors with autism

Early Birds at The MERL

Early birds is a quieter hour which provides an atmosphere in which to explore the museum, sensitive to the needs of visitors with autistic spectrum or other communication and sensory conditions. The session takes place every first Sunday of the month from 10 – 11am, during our usual opening hours. Siblings, families, carers and friends are welcome.

We have prepared various downloadable resources which will help prepare you for your visit to the MERL:

  • The MERL Sensory Map shows you what you can expect, how bright areas of the museum are, where there are loud sounds and what opportunities there are to interact with exhibitions.
  • The MERL Social Story walks you through every area of the Museum, what each area is for and the kind of activities you can take part in.

Take our survey

The MERL is committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for those with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and their families. We are actively trying to improve our accessibility in this area, and welcome any feedback on our resources and quiet opening hours on this survey:

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The MERL Google Streetview tour

The tour below is made up of a series of 360° photographs that take you around the Museum and our garden. Start the tour by clicking here or using the window below, and then navigate around the Museum by clicking around or using the arrow keys on your keyboard. It is best viewed on desktop.

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The Museum of English Rural Life is accessible to a wide range of visitors and we always strive to meet the access needs of everyone who visits us. If you have a specific need which you would like to ask us about, please contact us.