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.

 

 

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46 Comments

  1. May 1, 2015 / 11:07 pm

    Looks like a lovely day for Roald Dahl fans. My girls are too young at the moment too, but think they would really enjoy this. #countrykids

    • Louise
      Author
      May 5, 2015 / 8:57 pm

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

  2. May 1, 2015 / 11:46 pm

    Great price and there’s a lot more there to do than I expected. Looks like an interesting place

    • Louise
      Author
      May 5, 2015 / 8:57 pm

      It certainly was – we had a fab time 🙂

  3. May 1, 2015 / 11:56 pm

    I’d love to visit the museum, and I know the boys would too. I love the idea of the treasure trails, not something we’ve done before, but such a good idea. #countrykids

    • Louise
      Author
      May 5, 2015 / 8:58 pm

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

  4. May 2, 2015 / 5:34 am

    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.

    • Louise
      Author
      May 5, 2015 / 8:58 pm

      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 🙂

  5. May 2, 2015 / 7:22 am

    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

    • Louise
      Author
      May 5, 2015 / 8:59 pm

      Would definitely recommend it – it was a fab day out 🙂

  6. May 2, 2015 / 7:49 am

    This does look good, we’ve been thinking about paying here a visit for a while. Will definitely make time for it now.

    • Louise
      Author
      May 5, 2015 / 9:00 pm

      It was a great day out – would definitely recommend 🙂

  7. May 2, 2015 / 8:04 am

    I can’t wait until my daughter is old enough to introduce her to Roald Dahl. This looks like an amazing day out – and love the Treasure Trails too. #countrykids

    • Louise
      Author
      May 5, 2015 / 9:00 pm

      It was a fab day out and the treasure trails are great fun 🙂

    • Louise
      Author
      May 5, 2015 / 9:01 pm

      My pleasure – glad your son is enjoying Roald Dahl books – they are such great books 🙂

  8. May 2, 2015 / 10:09 am

    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!!

    • Louise
      Author
      May 5, 2015 / 9:03 pm

      Lol, am sure you and Boo will love it, especially when she is a little older! 🙂

  9. May 2, 2015 / 11:21 am

    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

    • Louise
      Author
      May 5, 2015 / 9:03 pm

      Thanks Fiona, we had such a fab day. Lovely to link up to #CountryKids again 🙂

  10. May 2, 2015 / 11:26 am

    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

    • Louise
      Author
      May 5, 2015 / 9:04 pm

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

  11. May 2, 2015 / 2:18 pm

    We still haven’t read The BFG yet — will have to get to that next!
    ~Lee

    • Louise
      Author
      May 5, 2015 / 9:05 pm

      It’s a great book – would definitely recommend 🙂

    • Louise
      Author
      May 5, 2015 / 9:06 pm

      Glad you found it helpful 🙂

  12. May 2, 2015 / 7:09 pm

    Ooh Joe would love this Lousie, he is such a huge Roald Dhal fan, he would be in his element x

    • Louise
      Author
      May 5, 2015 / 9:06 pm

      It is an amazing place to visit – especially if you are a big Roald Dahl fan 🙂

  13. May 2, 2015 / 10:41 pm

    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.

    • Louise
      Author
      May 5, 2015 / 9:29 pm

      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 🙂

  14. Mel
    May 3, 2015 / 12:23 am

    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

    • Louise
      Author
      May 5, 2015 / 9:42 pm

      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 🙂

  15. Katrina Chambers
    May 3, 2015 / 11:30 am

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

    • Louise
      Author
      May 5, 2015 / 9:47 pm

      Oh I love The Witches too – definitely one of my favourites 🙂

  16. May 4, 2015 / 7:47 am

    I have long loved Roald Dahl, too, and have just started introducing Boo to the delights of his work, too. We must go there one day, it looks fab x

    • Louise
      Author
      May 5, 2015 / 10:22 pm

      It was an amazing day out. Hope Boo is enjoying her first taste of Roald Dahl books 🙂

  17. May 6, 2015 / 6:50 am

    Fabulous review. I love your tip about the treasure trails too, off to look at those properly now! #kidscorner

    • Louise
      Author
      May 6, 2015 / 8:55 pm

      Thank you – love the treasure trails as a way of exploring new places 🙂

  18. May 6, 2015 / 8:54 am

    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

    • Louise
      Author
      May 6, 2015 / 8:55 pm

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

  19. May 6, 2015 / 9:22 am

    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

    • Louise
      Author
      May 6, 2015 / 8:56 pm

      I felt like that with my nieces – we all enjoyed it so much! 🙂

  20. May 6, 2015 / 7:35 pm

    Such a thorough review, I really want to go now. My girls would love the story centre too! Thank you so much for sharing in #KidsCorner x

    • Louise
      Author
      May 6, 2015 / 9:00 pm

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

  21. May 8, 2015 / 7:01 am

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

    • Louise
      Author
      May 12, 2015 / 7:31 pm

      Thank you – I’d love one of those chairs too! 🙂

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