I visited Seven Stories with my daughter and small grandchildren. Seven Stories is a national centre for children’s books but this fascinating venue is for adults too and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the experience even though we arrived late in the day and didn’t have time to enjoy all the exhibitions.
Seven Stories is housed in a spacious modern building, located in the Ouseburn valley area of Newcastle Upon Tyne which is close to the city centre.
There is a 57 space car park beside the centre at Foundry Lane, other car parking is available on Lime street and beneath nearby Byker Bridge. Disabled Car parking is beside the centre on Lime Street.
Level access through automatic doors takes visitors into the spacious Reception area, cafe and bookshop.
The cafe and bookshop are free entry but admission charges apply for the rest of this seven level building. Other than babies there are charges for all ages ranging from toddler to Senior Citizen, with various plans such as adult with toddler adult with child, family ticket and so on. There are concessions for disabled people and Carers of disabled people are admitted free. My daughter had an annual family pass which seemed to be good value for money, meaning she could bring the family as many times as she wished for a year.
Seven Stories holds collections of all kinds of material relating to children’s story books. It’s exhibitions which change regularly are designed to facilitate children taking an active part in learning a story. Each exhibition is on a different floor and is in a very spacious setting. Seating throughout is plentiful throughout.
We headed to the lift to level three to take us to The Bear Exhibition. Here my grandchildren followed the bears footprints and stepped into the bears cave containing a bears bedroom, inspired by the book “Can’t you sleep little bear’ by Martin Waddell and Barbara Firth. Then in illustration of the story “The Bear under the Stairs’ by Helen Cooper, they followed the bears footprints to the cupboard under the stairs to find when they opened the door, the cupboard lit up and they found a bear. The large exhibition room was filled with all types of bears, large bears,tiny bears, scary bears, talking bears, teddy bears, panda bears, polar bears. There was every type of book relating to bears, classics like Rupert the Bear, Winnie the Pooh, and lots of new story books. There was a , dressing up box so children could dress up as bears. There was artwork and manuscripts to see too.
On another floor we visited Story Station which again was housed in a large spacious room, lined with seating. The centre of the room held a large wooden railway set which my twin toddler grandsons loved. There were books everywhere for children to read, soft cushions to sit on. Large sensory boxed full of props, dressing up clothes and puppets which delighted my granddaughter.
Time didn’t allow us to see the other exhibitions (we had arrived just an hour and a half before closing time), but we were very impressed with what we did see. We also missed Story Time where the Story Catcher tells a tale, however, my daughter told me Story time is held regularly throughout the day and is lively and interactive
The cafe near to the entrance has menu’s for adults and children. The bookshop we browsed before leaving, it range of books was extensive, colourful and interesting..
This centre is fully disabled accessible, it has wheelchair accessible lifts to all floors. Disabled W.C. Hearing loop system, sensory backpacks, large print, ear defenders, plenty of seating throughout, assistance dogs welcome. Concessions for disabled people. Disabled car parking (although spaces appear to be limited) It also holds quiet time, every first Saturday between 9am and 10am for children with autistic spectrum conditions. Seven stories participated in Disabled Access days March 10-12 2017 to illustrate it welcomes all
Opening and closing times are 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday. Sundays and bank holidays it closes at 4pm.
I look forward to returning to this venue.
Seven Stories is situated not far from the city centre of Newcastle upon Tyne where attractions such as art galleries, theatres, cinemas, restaurants, shopping and museums can be found.