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So much for “downing tools”. Even on holiday the winged writery annoyance that sits upon my left shoulder wouldn’t shut up, I have a notebook full of potential now… and toddler scribbles.

If you are ever in Newcastle and you have just the slightest affection for books, take your children, your nephew, hell borrow the neighbour’s second cousin if you have to! Go to Seven Stories.Talk about Tardis effect!

It’s not an amusement arcade, nor is it a theme park, food mall, face painting, balloon juggling emporium. It’s MORE than that.

Seven Stories is an imagination. You walk into a book, no – many books, pulled together from many eras. And like any book you get from it what you put into it.

Seven Stories Book Shop.

Even the book shop was tantalising.

http://www.sevenstories.org.uk/

So you could spend forever in the attic pretending to be a Gruffalo that ran away with the circus, or aiding your 8 year old to dress up to look something like a grunge fairy trying to bewitch a crocodile. Find a little more time to indulge in the magic of Enid Blyton, sip tea like a queen in their cafe. Refueled, you could spend three further hours sticking cotton wool to yoghurt pots, making Noddy’s forgotten steam powered sun roof car…while preventing your toddler from attempting to sellotape herself to the table top.

Or you can whizz through all seven floors in the space of half an hour. I wouldn’t recommend it though.

Now, I never was a fan of Enid Blyton, not once, but their current exhibition captured the magic of an imagination that ran on and on, and this in turn inspired plenty of play and curiosity from my children. We then headed into Viking territory a floor or two above. Cressida Cowell’s Guide to Training a Dragon did not tame either of my dragonesses…far from it. This map like floor brought more of their sword fighting, dragon roaring selves out to play. It took me ages to get my kids out of the Viking boat – and to stop them trying to hack my husband in half with pretend (not supplied on site) swords. The axes however were supplied. Let’s not talk about how my husband took to impersonating a Viking..at all.

Me, I was torn between reading the stories behind the stories and engaging in the infectious fun that oozes out of the very walls of the place. Apparently I make a very good Viking but I’ve never made much of the glitter princess themes.

So if you do go. Keep in mind you have to let the inner child out to play and that you’ll only get what you put into Seven Stories. Books need you to read them to make the characters come alive. Seven Stories needs you to explore it to make it become a living breathing mind blowing day out that the kids still talk about two weeks later.

And one that will reconnect you to your writery dreams too…maybe.

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