So a return trip to Storyhouse Chester, a fabulous theatre, cinema, library, restaurant and arts centre all rolled into one (with a great name). It is based within the old Odeon Cinema right in the middle of historic Chester, close to the Town Hall and Cathedral.
Storyhouse opened in May 2017 so as you would expect has excellent access and facilities. Storyhouse also has free daily activities for families, and a huge variety of events and performances in the cinema and theatre.
We parked on Frodsham Street which is a large car park in the centre of Chester solely for blue badge holders, and has 4 hours free parking. It’s about a 10 minute slow but level walk; but there are much closer places to park which are very easy to find (see the website Access tab for clear directions).
As we strolled up to Storyhouse we unexpectedly came across some rather large visitors, who were due to go on the Midsummer March around Chester that afternoon!
Entrance into Storyhouse is via a wide and completely smooth ramp or short flight of steps, and there are automatic doors with a low-set button. Amazingly Emily pressed it once and went straight in, we would usually be stood there for a while as she organised the crowds and allocated herself the role of front of house….
You enter straight into a very wide and spacious central lobby with all the different areas of Storyhouse clearly marked. The lift is directly in front of you and toilet facilities to the left. And yes they have Changing Places Facilities!
We went into the Children’s Library as there was a free crafts activity in The Den, and Emily really enjoyed making a Roman helmet. The staff are very friendly and hands-on and help the children (and non-artistic parents like me) with the activity.
My little Roman soldier then enjoyed having a browse around the library, and choosing books we already have at home which is her speciality. I was impressed to spot some books incorporating large print and braille.
On the opposite side of the lobby is the main library, which has the genius addition of the restaurant ‘The Kitchen’ located in and around the bookshelves; a dream come true for a bookworm like me (not possible when visiting with a littlie, straight to the interactive screen instead). There is also a dressing up box and extra activities in the restaurant.
Storyhouse is a brilliant place to visit with children as there are always activities and events going on (often free), all the information is on the website and you can book online. There is a great Access guide, and you can also join the Access Register to make future bookings easier. They also host relaxed and accessible performances, and have excellent facilities for visitors with a wide range of disabilities.
(Try and go child-free sometime if you can escape, and enjoy a coffee, cake, a browse aaaaaand relax).
Don’t be put off by Storyhouse being right in the middle of a cobbled city, the parking is very close by and you can get there via a nice smooth pavement! Chester is a beautiful city and if you are heading down for a summer holiday or winter mini-break, make sure you pop into Storyhouse for a coffee and to find out more!