The Roald Dahl Museum and a treasure trail

I loved reading Roald Dahl’s books as a child. Matilda was my favourite, although The BFG is a close second. Jessica and Sophie are still a little young for them but my twin sister’s two daughters both love them. They were very excited when I suggested that we visit the Roald Dahl museum in Great Missenden during their recent stay with us.

 

A illustration of a monkey with a sign saying "The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre"

Whilst planning our day out, I had also discovered that there was a treasure trail in Great Missenden. As the weather was perfect for exploring, we decided to include this in our day out. We downloaded our trail from the Treasure Trails website for £7.99 but there are also free leaflets for self-guided walks available from the museum.

 

Great Missenden library which was the inspiration for the village library in Matilda

 

The Red Pump Garage which inspired the filling station in Danny, the Champion of the World

As we walked from the car park to the museum, we passed “Matilda’s library” (the village library which was the inspiration for the one mentioned in ‘Matilda’) and “Danny’s garage” (the petrol pumps which inspired the filling station in ‘Danny, the Champion of the World’). Outside the entrance to the museum was one of the gates from the entrance to Willy Wonka’s factory itself. These are replicas of the ones used in the Tim Burton film.

 

Roald Dahl Museum and a Treasure Trail - Little Hearts, Big Love

 

The Boy and Solo galleries

The first two rooms – the “Boy” gallery and “Solo” gallery were all about Roald Dahl’s life.  There were interesting facts about his books and how the stories evolved. For example, there were originally 15 naughty children in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory because he had enjoyed writing about them so much!

 

Jessica trying on a straw hat in the 'Boy' gallery

 

The height chart in the “Solo” gallery was interesting. I had never realised quite how tall Roald Dahl was (6ft 6in if you were wondering). We all enjoyed seeing how we measured up height-wise to the various characters in the books. My twin was the same height as Miss Honey, I was as tall as Mrs Silver and Jessica was about the same height as Farmer Bunce.

 

Roald Dahl’s writing hut had been reconstructed in the middle of the “Solo” gallery. The interior is set up just as he had left it for the final time before he died. I found the items on the writing table particularly interesting. They included a ball of silver foil weighing 311g made from Dairy Milk wrappers and the femur ball joint from his hip replacement. Apparently the surgeon said it was the biggest he’d ever seen. There was also a jar of shavings from his spine after he had back surgery to ease the pain from his wartime injuries.

 

The inside of Roald Dahl's writing hut with his writing chair set up in the centre

 

The Story Centre and George’s Crafty Kitchen

In the Story Centre, we were able to try Roald Dahl’s writing chair out for ourselves. The big armchair with its green baize-covered writing board, propped up with a roll of corrugated cardboard was incredibly comfortable.

 

Me sitting in a replica of Roald Dahl's writing chair

 

The Story Centre was our favourite part of the museum. There were so many things for the children to do – from using magnetic words to try to create stories or new words, to building characters using cut out pictures of different facial features. Jessica made a beeline for the box of dressing up clothes. There were also several story sacks filled with items related to various books.

 

Story sacks hanging up at the Roald Dahl museum

 

Jessica and Ebony trying on clothes in the dress-up box

 

At the back of the Story Centre was George’s Crafty Kitchen. This is a big creative area with paper, crayons, glue, tissue paper, poms poms and pipecleaners. All four girls had a wonderful time creating pictures. Even Sophie could enjoy sitting down and scribbling away with the crayons while Jessica loved gluing and sticking.

 

My twin sister and the four girls sitting down and getting creative in George's Crafty Kitchen

Sophie scribbling with a crayon in George's Crafty Kitchen

Jessica doing some gluing and sticking in George's Crafty Kitchen

 

Exploring Great Missenden with a Treasure Trail

With the various masterpieces tucked away inside the buggy, it was time to head off on our treasure trail. We’ve done these a few times and they are a wonderful way of exploring an area.

 

My sister and niece walking past some cottages

This treasure trail linked in beautifully to our trip to the museum. It took us to the Church of St Peter and St Paul, where Roald Dahl is buried. We found two of the solutions to the clues around his grave. One was on the nearby circular bench with the names of his children carved into it and the other on his gravestone itself.

 

Ebony and Jessica looking at Roald Dahl's grave

The trail is marked as being suitable for buggies. However, we did have to leave ours next to the church in order to find the clue in the old graveyard. The village itself is very pretty. We had perfect weather for exploring – beautiful sunshine and a lovely warm day.

 

My sister and the four girls walking down Great Missenden High Street

 

All in all, a fantabulous day out.  If you’re a fan of Roald Dahl, then the museum and village are well worth a visit.

 

Visiting the museum

Entrance to the museum costs £6.60 for adults and £4.40 for children (5-18). Admission for under 5s is free. We paid £21 for a family ticket (two adults and up to three children). Visitors to the museum receive a wristband to enable them to come and go during the day. We didn’t return to the museum after our trail, but we could have done if we’d wanted to.

 

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

One Man and His Sprog

46 thoughts on “The Roald Dahl Museum and a treasure trail

    1. Thanks Stacey – it was a lovely day out and a surprising amount to keep the little ones entertained too.

    1. I love the treasure trails – have started looking to see if there is one in the area when we visit somewhere new 🙂

  1. Oh I want to visit that museum now. My son love the twits, though he hadn’t read any other of Roahld dahls books yet, so we probably ought to wait a while before going.
    Looks like you all had a wonderful day.

    1. I think definitely worth waiting until they have read a few books so they’ll enjoy it more – it was a fab day out though even for the little ones 🙂

  2. Oh my this looks absolutely wonderful, we are big Roald Dahl fans in our house, Matilda is my favourite too and who doesn’t love the wonderful world of Willy Wonka! I am going to have to put this on our list of places to visit. #countrykids

  3. Oh wow! I have got to go! I mean I have got to take Boo here. I love Roald Dahl, Matilda is probably my favourite too. I can’t wait until Boo is old enough to enjoy all of his books =)
    Looks like you had a great time and I love the photo of you in the chair!!

  4. How lovely for the cousins to get together and what a fun place to visit. What child doesn’t love a spot of Roald Dahl? Looks like a lovely day too for your treasure hunt and what a pretty town. Thank you for linking up with me on Country Kids

  5. This is such a thorough review and anyone reading it gets a seat sense of the museum and what it has to offer
    We love the museum too, and the different story activities that they do. They sometimes do book readings too in the rooms upstairs-a lovely museum for children of all ages
    Xx

    1. Thanks Tracey – love the sound of the book readings, will have to try and go again when they are doing one x

  6. I don’t know why, but I’ve always a bit lukewarm about Roald Dahl, although some of his adult shorts are breathtaking and you can’t actually *dislike* the BFG or Charlie, can you?

    But we are getting into the zone for Dahl enjoyment with my son and what with me reading them aloud and the reserach into Dahl’s life we had to do for homework recently, I am really warming up to him. And that museum looks GREAT.

    Definitely on the list now.

    1. I think even if you’re not a big fan of Roald Dahl, you’d still find the museum quite interesting there is so much to do – hope you enjoy it if you do go 🙂

  7. I would love to go there! The BFG was on of my favourite books as a little girl, and Crevette has just finished reading Matilda. He was so into it that he could read for an hour without looking up, bless him! x

    1. So glad Crevette enjoyed Matilda – it is such a wonderful book. Am sure Crevette would really enjoy the Roald Dahl museum – we had such a fab day out 🙂

  8. This museum is near me, so looking forward to taking my boy when he is big enough. My favourite is The Witches!
    Kat #CountryKids

  9. looks like you had a great day out, I’m a big fan of Roald Dahl books as well can’t wait to share them with my girls my fav was always Fantastic Mr Fox. Thanks so much for linking up to #kidscorner xxx

    1. Thank you – Fantastic Mr Fox is a great book. Lovely to link up to #kidscorner, thank you for hosting 🙂

  10. I went there a few years ago with my nephew and I don’t know who loved it more, me or him! It is so amazing to see everything Dahl related in one place. I had so much fun there and would definitely go back! #kidscorner

    1. It’s such an amazing place – am sure your girls would love it. Lovely to link up to #KidsCorner 🙂

  11. Looks like a great day out, I love Roald Dahl! And I need one of those writing chairs for blogging, how awesome. #kidscorner

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