Roald Dahl Museum
The Roald Dahl Museum
For all kids and wannabe kids out there, this is a must-see. Enter the chocolatey doors of the Roald Dahl Museum for a memorable excursion into the mind of the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, and other modern children's classics.

Roald Dahl

Prolific children's author Roald Dahl lived in the Buckinghamshire village of Great Missenden for 36 years. He moved here in 1954 with his first wife, film actress Patricia Neal. It was here in Great Missenden that he wrote his children's classics, using a specially constructed Writing Hut in his garden. He also used Great Missenden village as the setting for many of his stories.

After his death on 1990, his second wife Felicity purchased a historic coaching inn and yard on the High Street. Over the course of 9 years, the complex of buildings was converted into a museum which is now home to a huge archive of Dahl's manuscripts, correspondence, and his voluminous 'Ideas Book' where he would jot down creative concepts for new books.

The museum's focus is aimed squarely at children, especially 6-12 year olds. There are 3 interactive galleries to explore. The Boy Gallery looks at Dahl's own childhood and school days, revealing his love of practical jokes and passion for chocolate! The Solo Gallery moves on the Dahl's adult life, and how he was inspired by his real-life adventures to become a writer, including his time in the RAF and his explorations of Africa.

This gallery holds the carefully preserved original writing hut where Dahl wrote. The Story Centre is full of hands-on activities to encourage children (and adults) to discover their own inner writer.

The museum outlook is pretty clear from the sign in large letters on the outside of the building. The sign reads, 'IT IS TRULY SWIZZFIGGLINGLY FLUSHBUNKINGLY GLORIUMPTIOUS'.

This is much more than a museum about Dahl's life; it is indeed a 'Story Centre', aiming to help visitors young and old to build their writing skills and enhance their own creativity. There are regular writing and creativity workshops and courses, free drop-in daily craft activities, free storytelling on weekends and Buckinghamshire school holidays.

Every child over the age of 5 gets a free Story Ideas Book to write their own story ideas while they explore the museum. The whole experience is aimed at getting children to enjoy reading and writing, and to have fun exploring their own goofy, whacky, creative ideas.