Dahlicious Days Out: Phizzwhizzing Adventures
Road Dahl’s stories inspire so many young people to love books, but did you know his writing can also inspire days out too? Penny started with a day out at The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, before uncovering the scrumdiddlyumptious places around the UK which inspired Dahl or were featured in film adaptations of his work.
The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire.
Great Missenden was Dahl’s home for over 30 years and nestled in this beautiful little English village are many places that feature in his stories as well as a museum dedicated to his craft.
My highlight at the Roald Dahl Museum was Dahl’s writing shed, which is packed with hands on activities to get the imagination flowing. The links between objects and his books are very visual; I loved discovering that bone shavings from an operation Dahl had sat by his desk and soon found their way into the language of the BFG.
Following a trail from the museum you can head into the woods that inspired Danny Champion of the World, or take a map from the museum and head along the high street to see the tiny 1970s style village library where Dahl imagined Matilda going. Two red vintage petrol pumps inspired Danny’s Dad’s Garage in Danny Champion of the World and Crown House was where Dahl imagined Sophie’s bedroom in the orphanage to be.
Dahl is buried in the graveyard in the Church Of St Peter and St Paul, his children have created a moving memorial to him, using words from The Giraffe, The Pelly and Me.
Why not have a scrumdiddlyumptious lunch in Dahl’s local the The Nag’s Head, which is now a fantabulous gastro pub which you can see animated in Wes Anderson’s film Fantastic Mr Fox.
More Dahl adventures around the UK:
Hatfield House was used as the location of the Salt family house in the film of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, it has a farm park and large gardens to explore.
Bamburg Castle was used as the backdrop in The BFG. Giant footprints were created in the sand on the beach, and then barrels of water were pumped over them to create the impression of the tide washing the footprints away.
Dahl loved chocolate, on his desk is a giant ball made of foil wrappers from his daily indulgence. Bournville and York are the places to take chocolate lovers!
The Nestle Rowntree factory in York produced 1000s of chocolate bars for the Johnny Depp blockbuster Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Visit York’s Chocolate Story, take the Chocolate Trail from the Visitor’s Centre, or book in for a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory themed afternoon tea at The Grand Hotel every second Sunday of the month.
Charlie and the Chocolate lovers can tour a real life chocolate factory at Cadbury World, Bournville. Highlights for us were the liquid chocolate and plenty of tasting opportunities!
The Quiraing, The Storr, the Fairy Glen and the Old Man of Hoy on the islands of Skye and Orkney formed the mystical backdrop for Giants County in The BFG.
In London visit visit Buckingham Palace where Sophie and the BFG warn the Queen of the fearsome child-eating giants. You can visit The House of Illustration the museum set up by Roald Dahl’s illustrator, Quentin Blake in Kings Cross, or catch Matilda and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, the musicals.
The White Cliffs of Dover feature as the setting for the climax of James and the Giant Peach, where James launches the peach off the cliffs to escape his evil aunts. Do be careful though, stay away from the edge!
The film adaptation of The Witches was filmed in part at the Headland Hotel, Newquay.
A blue plaque marks the former sweet shop in Llandaff, Cardiff where Roald and his friends played a trick on the miserable owner Mrs Pratchett, by putting a mouse in a jar of gobstoppers. The story is told in his book Boy. Cardiff Bay is full of great things to do with the kids - we loved the Dr Who Experience and Tecnhiquest and even has the stunning Dahl Plass named after the man himself.
If you are in Tenby, Wales look out for the blue plaque to mark the holiday cottage Roald Dahl stayed in at Easter every year during his childhood. One day I will book it for a holiday!
Have you uncovered any more Dahl themed days out? Do let us know in the comments.