“ Seven Stories 30 Lime Street / Newcastle upon Tyne / NE1 2PQ / Tel: 0845 271 0777 / Fax: 0191 276 4302. „
Seven Stories opened in August 2005 and is a centre for children's literature. It is situated in the Ouseburn Valley, very close to the centre of Newcastle upon Tyne, and the quayside. There are seven storeys in the renovated Victorian mill, and this is where I thought the name had originated but apparently not- it's taken from the theory that there are only seven basic plots in literature. It is the first museum in the Uk completely dedicated to British children's books, and because I work in schools and have children, it's a place I have visited on many occasions.
The museum is situated right next to the river (old mill!) and along the road there is plenty of on road parking which is free- always a bonus.
The different levels are clearly sign posted on the walls and accessed via a lift or stairs (usually winding). Interestingly, visitors access the museum on Level 3. When we enter the museum there is the pay desk and to the side the extensive book shop, selling a range of books and literature based gifts. If you want only to visit the book shop then admission is free, although once inside the book shop you could find yourself spending a lot of money because the gifts are often unusual and not the cheapest.
The toilets are on Level 2 and are clearly sign posted as girls and boys, with pictures (I think) from the "I want My Potty" book, and if they are not, then they are very similar. Plenty of toilets, always clean although this being a place aimed at children I think some low level toilets and hand basins would have been helpful. Even the paper towel dispenser is high which is not handy when you have a class of children in the place, all wanting to dry hands at the same time. Also on Level 2 is a café overlooking the river with tables and chairs dotted around and it always feels the kind of place where you could sit down watch the world go by and read the Sunday papers. That said, although it sells a range of snacks and drinks I am not sure that a lot of the food would especially appeal to all children and it is very expensive. Only food bought in the café can be eaten here although if the weather is nice visitors can have a rather nice picnic on the village green or on the banks of the river.
Level 1 is the Creation Station where many of the art and craft exhibitions are held and there are also creative activities when there is no "special" event. Storeys 4 and 5 have exhibitions of original artwork and literature from authors such as Jacqueline Wilson, Quentin Blake and Terry Jones. Level 6 is the Story Lab where children can discover what is collected in the museum and how the exhibits are cared for.
Depending on the reason for your visit you can either just wander round or are directed to a specific level. On one of our visits we went to see a show by the author of Horrible Science and had to trek to a large room at the top (Level 7). This is called Artisi's attic, and on our visit was set in the round with wooden seats, low ceiling and beams which really set the mood and allowed the children to be fully involved. I was also recently in this top area for a conference where they had more uncomfortable seats but the whole place is still very cosy and not intimidating.
There is plenty of public transport with the nearest Metro being manors.
Monday- Saturday: 10am-5pm
Sunday: 10am- 4pm
Address: Lime Street, Ouseburn Valley. NE1 2PQ
The whole place is light and airy and I love the layout of it. There are plenty of different authors and exhibitions and it really is worth having an annual pass- £20 an adult, so if you live close then 3 visits just about covers it. I have had a quick look through the summer events and already we have booked for gruffalo week and a session illustrating a story with Julia Donaldson, as well as summer story parties for under 5s (ideal for grandson!). Also in the summer Jacqueline Wilson is making an appearance and there is a Blood thirsty banquet for over 18s. In fact, if you look through the events there is something for all ages right through the year.
It's a really great place to relax and unwind and just generally spend a pleasant afternoon. With ever changing craft and dressing up activities, and a great book shop, I would recommend this place as well worth a visit.
Thanks for reading
Seven Stories Centre for Children's Books (Newcastle)
30 Lime Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne, 0845 271 0777
There is already an informative review of this place on here so I won't repeat what has already been well said. What I will say though is that I took my friends small children (aged 4 and 6 respectively) here a couple of weeks ago and it was the first time that I had experienced it.
It was a fantastic, cheap and fun day out. the weather was miserable so we were looking for something indoors. It can also be difficult to find something that it enjoyed by children of different ages and this place was a fantastic choice. Both kids loved it and were happily enthralled for a good couple of hours. Not only that, but of course, it is educational too!
There are usually different things on at different times so it would be worth looking online or ringing them to see what is available.
If you have children and are looking for something cheap and fun to do (with educational benefits too!) then I highly recommend this place, it is definitely worth going along. Have fun!
Seven Stories is a not so well known place for a day out for kids in Newcastle. It is located in something of an obscure location- before you get to Byker coming out of Newcastle, which makes it not the easiest of places to get to. However it is well worth the effort to visit here more than once because they do some great things here.
Seven Stories is all to do with children's books, and they frequently have exhibitions about books and more frequently run all sorts of activities which are applicable for a wide range of ages. For example mask making is an activity which they often offer for younger kids.
They are able to get quite a few authors here to talk about their books as activities for older kids and I have heard that these can be very valuable experiences. As an example, this week they are doing a fairytales week with activities concerning this.
Their website is very good, and there are nt activities all the time so it is worth checking online to see what is going on there and if there is, pay it a visit.