The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre opened in 2005 to celebrate the life of the great children's author. An old coaching inn and yard have been transformed into a series of galleries.
The Boy and Solo galleries tell the story of Dahl's life and work through film, objects, and lively interactive displays. The Story Centre houses a replica of Dahl's famous Writing Hut and visitors can sit in his chair.
Roald Dahl Museum Review
I first visited with my four-year-old daughter who only knew of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Fantastic Mr Fox but as she loved both I thought this would make a fun day trip from London.
The train trip was quick and simple and it's only a 5-minute walk from the station. Great Missenden is a small village and you can pick up a free map at the museum for a 'Roald Dahl Village Trail' and discover locations of significance to him in the village.
There are always tickets available on the door and the tickets are on sale in the well-stocked shop which has loads of items I would have liked to buy as presents for the future from t-shirts and aprons, to books and toys.
You are given a wristband so you can leave the museum and go exploring around the village at any time during your visit, and all children are given a 'My Story Ideas Book' and pencil so they can make notes while they go around the museum as, we were informed, this is how Roald Dahl liked to prepare his stories.
The museum itself is only two galleries: the Boy Gallery and Solo Gallery. The Boy Gallery is about his childhood and has walls that look like chocolate and smell like chocolate! The Solo Gallery has more about his life plus activities such as stampers and videos to enjoy.
The Story Centre has loads of stuff to do including making a movie; cutting, sticking and coloring ideas; story sacks; and the piece de resistance: a reproduction of Roald Dahl's Writing Hut.
He didn't write at a desk as this was too uncomfortable following a wartime injury so he chose a comfortable armchair, cut a hole in the back to ease the pressure on his back, and made a 'desk' to put on his lap covered in green billiard cloth. You can sit on his chair and imagine the wonderful story writing that came from there.
When you're ready for lunch or snacks, the wonderfully-named Cafe Twit is at the front of the building. The name is taken from the book The Twits, and there is ample seating in the museum's courtyard with some extra indoor tables too. Everything is freshly prepared and it is very child-friendly with plenty of Roald Dahl story references. Delights include a Whizzpopper which consists of foamy hot chocolate with raspberry coulis, topped with Maltesers and marshmallows. Yum yum!
The Roald Dahl Museum and Story centre is aimed at 6 to 12-year-olds but I could easily see how the age range could be wider than that as my 4-year-old and I had a lovely day. The Story Centre is a great 'rainy day' attraction and when the sun shines the walk around the village felt like a world away from the hustle and bustle of London making this a recommended and enjoyable day trip from London.
Road Dahl Museum Visitor Information
The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre
81-83 High Street
Telephone: 01494 892192
How to get there:
Great Missenden is a village in the heart of the Buckinghamshire countryside, situated about 20 miles northwest of London.
Trains run from London Marylebone and there are two trains per hour. The journey takes 40 minutes and it is a very easy walk from the station to the Museum. (Turn right, then right again and you're on the High Street. It's 2 minutes down on your left.)
Tuesday to Friday: 10am to 5pm
Saturday and Sunday: 11am to 5pm
Tickets: Tickets are always available at the door but it can be good to book in advance. Check the website for the current ticket price.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary services for review purposes. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.