Biscuit Town 200: Group Visits to The MERL and Reading Museum

New for 2022 – explore Reading’s biscuit heritage

As Reading celebrates 200 years of biscuit history, Museums Partnership Reading is offering groups a chance to explore collections relating to Reading’s famous biscuit manufacturer at The MERL and Reading Museum, with the opportunity to create a full biscuit-themed day out.

You will be met by one of our Welcome Hosts who will give a brief introduction to Reading’s biscuit heritage and the Huntley and Palmers collections held at both museums. Your Host will stay with your group to answer questions and provide fascinating insights into the stories behind the displays.

Suggested itinerary

1pm – Visit The Museum of English Rural Life (The MERL)

Start your visit at the beautiful Victorian former home of the Palmer family which now houses The MERL. Your host will show you the new display of gems from the University of Reading’s Huntley & Palmers archive, including original packaging, artwork, advertising materials, photographs, recipes and papers relating to the company’s rich history. Find out more at Biscuit Town: 200 years of Huntley and Palmers in Reading, 10 May – 25 September 2022.

Follow the ‘Biscuit Crumb Walking Trail’ through Reading to discover more of the town’s biscuit heritage (30 minutes).

2:30pm – Visit the Huntley & Palmers Gallery at Reading Museum with your host. The gallery displays almost 300 decorative biscuit tins and includes the earliest surviving film of a British factory. You can also see a biscuit supplied to Captain Scott’s ill-fated Antarctic expedition, and the rude ‘Kate Greenaway’ biscuit tin that embarrassed the biscuit company in 1980!

  • Min. £80 per group or £45 if visiting one museum.
  • Timings are flexible and subject to availability
  • Recommended max no. per group 15
  • Booking is essential

To discuss booking a Biscuit Town 200 group visit to either or both museums, please contact Susanna Ivy at

Add to your visit

The following activities must be booked directly with the venues or individuals:

• Take Afternoon Tea at the nearby 5-star Roseate Hotel, complete with biscuits inspired by Reading’s rich biscuit heritage.

• Have your afternoon tea aboard a Thames River Cruise circular cruise on a glorious stretch of the Thames through Reading.

• Book your own walking tour of Reading with Blue Badge Guide Graham Horn (Tours2Order) or Terry’s Reading Walkabouts, with his special Biscuit Walkabout celebrating the 200th anniversary of Huntley & Palmers biscuits in Reading. Terry’s tour will end at The MERL, so why not combine a walk with a visit to the MERL exhibition? Contact Terry to enquire.

• Book a guided tour of Reading’s Abbey Ruins.

Museums Partnership Reading.