The charming Buckinghamshire village of Great Missenden was for a long time the home of author Roald Dahl, most famous for his children’s books. Now it’s home to a the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, dedicated to celebrating his life and work and inspiring the creativity of new generations of children.
I take young Tilly to introduce her to the world of Dahl for the first time, plus we’ve a golden ticket giveaway with a family ticket to the museum up for grabs.
Having read reviews of the museum on Trip Advisor, it seems some visitors are confused about what the museum is about, so lets clear things up. It’s called the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre so if you’re expecting a museum about the great man’s life and work with storymaking and storytelling activities then you’ll not be disappointed. It isn’t, however, a theme park. With that cleared up, let’s get into the museum.
The museum is modest in size, the plan below showing what’s on offer but each room has loads going on. Now it’s fair to say that fans of Dahl’s work and life will get the most from the museum. Children aged six or older who love the books and adults who remember the books or are intrigued about Dahl from recent TV documentaries will be in for a treat. It was always going to be interesting to see how my three year old daughter got on, having not yet read any of the books, although it’s my plan to introduce her in the run up to school next year. Fortunately the guide to the museum includes ideas for the under 5s.
This room tells introduces Roald Dahl starting with his childhood and looks at the people, places and events in his life that would inspire the characters in his books. I found it tricky to keep Tilly engaged in this room as there’s a lot of reading and historical documents but she did love the Wonka chocolate doors.
Things get a good deal more interactive as we move into the Solo gallery, looking at Dahl’s adult life from his wartime experience to his writing.
Tilly took an immediate liking to the replica aircraft cockpit and then examined the writing hut door which is separated from the hut’s perfectly preserved interior. I rather liked the height chart, which in addition to comparing your height to Dahl, also allows children to see how they stack up next to favourite characters. Tilly was delighted to be the exact height of the Pelly!
The Story Centre
Tilly had no trouble getting stuck into activities in the Story Centre, either. Older children are very much encouraged to develop their own story ideas and there’s plenty in the way of inspiration from established writers. There are activity bags for many of Dahl’s most popular stories, such as a wig and toy mouse, which proved popular with Tilly.
The story centre leads on to a craft room, which has lots of hands of activities such as colouring and decorating pictures.
Any visit is completed with a visit to Cafe Twit, which has incredibly friendly staff and plenty of family friendly food options as you’d expect. For those with more energy, the museum also provides guides to walks both in Great Missenden village and the surrounding countryside with links to Roald Dahl. The playground near the car parks is also good for helping children let off steam.
Win tickets to the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre
I’ve teamed up with the museum’s sister charity, the Roald Dahl Marvellous Children’s Charity, to give away a family ticket to the museum for upto 2 adults and 3 children, worth £21.
You can enter in several ways such as visiting the charity’s Facebook page or following them on Twitter. The Rafflecopter widget below will show you all the details.