Attractions, Reviews

Story Museum, Oxford – Guest Post: Little Sea Bear

On the 31st March, Dad and I visited the oxford literary festival. We usually go every year but have missed out for the last two years, which was a shame. I always see it as a birthday treat because it is usually the week of my birthday or the week before / after it. Our talk this year was later than the previous ones and didn’t start until 6pm. Still, we headed to Oxford early because… Bookshops!!! 

While walking around Oxford, dad told me that he had heard they had a story museum and asked if I’d like to go. I’m a writer, like Sophie here, so I said yes. I am glad we went. The place is multi-story but it is accessible, with a lift. We took the more classic walk for a little more mature readers and headed in the direction that they told us to go in. 

Area One – the Portal & the Whispering Wood

The first area is just before the story tour. We was greeted by a lovely woman who pointed to a stack of wands, “choose one,” she said. She made sure we was aware that the one we chose was bound to us for the duration of our visit in this area. Despite the bad press, I cannot erase what was majority of my childhood, so naturally the first thing that came to mind was: “The wand chooses the wizard, Mr Potter”.

A little side note for Harry Potter fans, there is a lot of Harry Potter Merchandise in the Museum Shop. They also have a Harry potter common room that you can go and sit in which is mentioned on their virtual tour.

Anyway, I picked a light blue, my favourite colour. Dad picked green. We were given headphones that were activated when our wands hit the  gong three times. We were then greeted by … I think it was Hester the Rabbit, who walked us through a forest of stories that the trees told. I am pretty sure some of them were Ents… One definitely could have been Treebeard.

Area 2 – Creative Room

After the forest of stories, the next room was definitely aimed at a younger audience but I made the most of it. I drew on the walls in the designated room. Wrote a story in the story room. And played with the radio thing that contacts aliens… I couldn’t work it so no aliens contacted me, ah well. The only designated spot I didn’t go into in this room was the dress-up as an animal room because… well, all the costumes were only fit for the little ones, but that was fine. 

Area 3 – Enchanted Library

We moved to the next room and oh the effort this museum has gone to is astonishing. I don’t want to really give any spoilers for those that would love to visit so I am trying to explain this the best I can without giving too much away. I think the best I can do is liken it to InkHeart. If you are not familiar with Inkheart, the story is about a girl whose father, when reading aloud, is able to bring the story to life. Physically. So imagine that kind of scene. Books. Physically alive. And you are able to walk through them. 

Each book I walked through, I knew and have read, apart from the last one: The Art of Being Normal, and Horrid Henry, although I did watch that as a childIf you are wondering whether all the book walk throughs are modern, no. It is a timeline starting from 1865. If you know what classic book was published then, you’ll know which book you’ll walk through first. I do want to make clear though, when I say walk through, it is only one scene / illustration from the book or something that will represent the book and not a massive journey / tour of each book. You’ll probably spend 2-5 minutes in each book section but it was still interesting and the guide’s information on the books was great… 

Ok, maybe one little spoiler: I hope next time I go I’ll have mastered pooh sticks…

Facilities

Each area was accessible. It doesn’t cost a fortune and the tour didn’t last long. As it was short, I am not sure what the facilities are like but they do have an accessible cafe and according to the website the disabled toilet includes a heist and a shower as well as a bench.

~ Guest Review: Shannon, Blogger at Little Sea Bear

 

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