A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of going to Great Missenden to explore The Roald Dahl Museum and the wonders that It offered. A few of my friends and I decided to go on a little adventure as we all study Children’s Literature and Roald Dahl is a perfect example of a great children’s author. I am using Roald Dahl’s work as part of my dissertation for my masters and this became a great opportunity for me to delve into Dahl’s life and how he created the things he did.
Great Missenden was a lovely place to visit and The Roald Dahl museum is situated in the heart of the town. It is such a wonderful attraction if you love all things Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake (illustrator). From the entrance to the end you are pulled into a magical world of colour and uniqueness. The Wonka gates to the museum were specially designed by Warner Brothers as the original film set gates were too big for the space that they had. The whole museum had a feeling about it that you were being transported into Roald Dahl’s books.
The shop/entrance was magnificent with the whole room filled with Roald Dahl inspired merchandise, from prints to clothes, bedding, books, badges, stationery, toys and everything else you can imagine. I have never seen so many Roald Dahl things in one place.
The actual museum was lovely, there were rooms explaining each part of Dahl’s life and what inspired him as a writer throughout the years. Even the doors to one of the rooms was a big Wonka chocolate bar (see picture)
For a child, it is spectacular, the time and effort that this museum must have taken to produce such wonderful things. However, as an adult, I still had lots of fun finding out information and doing crafts with my friends. It took about 2 hours to get around the actual museum and then a little more time in the shop, we could have spent longer there but it was a great time anyway. The things that made it special was that it wasn’t just facts, there were games and images and words that you could create. It was all very hands-on and interactive which is wonderful. I also had a great time with my friends making bids and planes at the children’s craft section. It was such a lovely experience and even though our ages range from the early to late twenties we loved the chance to become children again.
The other thing that we found was that the museum has gone a step higher with interacting with their customers by not only having the physical museum that you can explore but also there is a walk through town to see all the things that would have inspired Dahl when he lived there. This walk is shown by a map/leaflet that has lots of different facts and images on explaining the different points of interest.
On top of that, there is also a woodland walk which again Roald Dahl would have taken something similar on his walks. My friends and I decided to do both of these trails and loved it. This nature walk was great, all the flowers were just starting to come up and the woodland was nice and fresh from the spring weather. We had a lovely time exploring Great Missenden from this trail and how beautiful it was. This also filled up the rest of our day as we stopped for lunch before we went on this walk. Overall it was a great day and I would highly reccomend a trip out there especially if you don’t live too far away. It is a nice place just to spend a few hours.