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


Sensory Accessibility

  • Assistance available for those with hearing impairments at our talks and events
  • Assistance dogs welcome
  • We do not currently offer large-type booklets of our gallery interpretation or audio guides, but we are working to make these available soon


Visitors with autism

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 plans for future quiet opening hours on this survey:



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.

Changes in the galleries
Please note that from 16th October 2018 until 13th January 2019, there will be some changes in the galleries because of a contemporary art exhibition. If you’ve visited before, you’ll find a few things a bit different.  The spaces affected are Shaping the Land (the first gallery) which will have a large, orange, metal structure placed over the wagon; the Town and Country gallery where some objects on pedestals have been added; Forces for Change, where the wagon has been replaced with a large metal cage, and Our Country Lives, which now houses the wagon from the Forces for Change gallery. We will update our Social Story to reflect these temporary changes as soon as we can. For more information, read our blog. If you would like to talk to anyone about how the exhibition may impact your visit, please email


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.


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.