Day Trip Review: The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre

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Key facts

  • Museum dedicated to the life and works of Roald Dahl – with a focus on fun and activities.
  • Based in Great Missenden, the town Dahl lived in for 36 years until his death in 1990
  • Travel time from Marlow: 30 minutes in the car
  • Age range: aimed at 6 to 12 year olds (as per the website)
  • Cost: £6.60 for adults, £4.40 for children (5-18) and concessions, £21 for a family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children), under 5s free

What to expect

The museum features three galleries – the first is packed with facts on Dahl’s childhood, and the second is built around his original Writing Hut, which was moved here from its original location in his garden. Great care was taken to redisplay the contents of the hut exactly as Roald Dahl had left them. All the displays are really well presented, in an entertaining way – and it was great to see examples of original letters and manuscripts.

The first two galleries include interactive, fun stuff for children – but the third section, The Story Centre,  takes it up a level! The Centre has numerous activities based on reading, crafts, dressing up – everything to inspire creative young minds!   We visited with children of various ages, including some younger than the specified 6-12 age group. These younger ones still had a fun time dressing up, decorating their own Oompa Loompa, and of course pressing buttons on everything! 

Crafty fun with Whangdoodles and Oompa Loompas!

Due to the smaller size of the museum, you can certainly manage to read and engage with all the various displays and exhibits – you will certainly get more from the visit if you do so. Obviously an interest in, or at least knowledge of Roald Dahl’s books will vastly add to your enjoyment!

In the museum you can pick up leaflets with a couple of suggested local walks – helping to explore the area with a focus on sights which inspired Dahl’s writing. For example, the old petrol pumps (from Danny, the Champion of the World), or the woodland said to be the inspiration for Fantastic Mr Fox.

Food and Drink

Whizzpopper hot chocolate roald dahlCafe Twit is onsite, and also open to people not visiting the museum.  It is small with quite limited seating – but we nabbed a table with no problem.  You could instead choose to sit in the outside courtyard, and it is worth noting there is an extra room off the courtyard which acts as “overflow cafe seating”

The menu included a range of sandwiches, paninis and jacket spuds etc, and prices were not extortionate at all – e.g. £3.50 for a very decent tuna melt panini.  Probably the stars of the show are the cakes – which really are lickswishy and delumptious, and of course the “Whizzpopper” hot chocolate, just look at the photo… LOOK AT THE PHOTO!!!

If this doesn’t tickle your fancy, you can take your own food to eat at benches in the courtyard, and there are some indoor tables too.

Gift Shop

roald dahl chocolateYes, of course there is a gift shop! It’s hard to imagine somewhere with the same variety and quantity of books by, or about, Roald Dahl – so fans will be very happy on that count.  Of course, it is also refreshing to visit a gift shop where children are asking to take home a book rather than some old tat! One of ours grabbed a book, and sat on the floor to start reading it – we didn’t get told off, but we probably should have been 🙂 Among the non-book items for sale were branded tote bags, and some quite fancy Rococo chocolate. 

Travel Tips

Being located on the High Street, there is no parking on site – but there is a public car park on Link Road (ie paying – but free on Sundays/Banks holidays), which is just round the corner and about 5 minutes walk.

Further Info and links

81 to 83 High Street, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, HP16 0AL
01494 892192

Article author: Paul Merchant

About the author: Founded in its original version back in 2000 - yes the internet DID exist back then. Brought up in Marlow, went to school here, now has children at the same schools. Quite clearly loves all things Marlow - hence spending over 2 decades doing this!

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