Family Adventure at the Roald Dahl Museum: A Delightful Day Out in Great Missenden

Outside of museum

Our Story: From London to Buckinghamshire

Hi! Welcome to our review on Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre. Here’s a back story to who we are… we’re ex-Londoners who moved to Buckinghamshire about 5 years ago. Sebastian is 9 and Tamara is 7 (and the adults, Sundip and Soraya, are too old to disclose ages)! Whilst there are some days we miss city life, we have embraced the country ways (with the exception of working out how to get muddy boots off without getting covered in mud).

We love exploring new areas, going on day trips, and making the most of any free time available in between kids’ sports and birthday party commitments.

Family at museum entrance

Discovering the Roald Dahl Museum

With Wonka on the big screen and a rainy afternoon to kill, we thought it was high time we visited the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire.

We decided to try our luck and drive over without pre-booking as we had won a Golden Ticket allowing family free access to the Museum for a year. Tickets are otherwise £7.95 for adults and children 5 years old and over. Under 5s go free. Ticket prices are expected to increase in January 2024. Tickets can be pre-booked online and give ticket holders Museum entry for 12 months.

The Museum is a short drive from us and whilst there is no car park on location, the town car park (paid) is a 5-minute walk away round the corner on Link Road. There is also some free street parking on the weekend. It is also possible to get to Great Missenden by train directly from London Marylebone and Aylesbury.

Outside of museum

Our Experience at The Roald Dahl Museum And Story Centre

The Arrival and First Impressions

The ticket office was quite busy when we arrived; however, we still managed to get in on a Saturday afternoon during the school holidays.

The Museum is usually only open Thursday to Sunday; however, it has extended opening during Buckinghamshire school holidays (check their website for full details). If you want to avoid crowds, try going on a weekday.

Exploring the Town and The Roald Dahl Museum Entrance

The town of Great Missenden is very pretty, and we passed lots of quaint shops and restaurants on the way to the Museum from the car park. The outside of the Museum gives you a hint of what to expect inside, and you cannot help but smile when you see the BFG painted on its wall.

As you come in, do not be tempted to run through the huge purple gates as the ticket office and shop are on the left! The staff were super friendly and welcoming and gave Sebastian and Tamara an activity sheet and pencil and told them what to lookout for in order to complete it to get a prize.

Brother and sister arriving at museum

The Roald Dahl Museum Experience

The Museum itself is arranged around a central courtyard filled with outdoor seating. You enter the first room, called the “Boy Gallery” through large chocolate bar doors. This room is dedicated to the life of Roald Dahl and was absolutely fascinating (maybe a little more so for the adults than the children). Inside the room is an RAF jet the kids can climb into and pilot uniforms that they can try on.

They have also relocated into this room the contents of Roald Dahl’s shed where he wrote some of his most famous books for over 30 years. The shed is a thing of magic and contains an extensive display of mementoes (including the ball joint of Dahl’s femur, shavings from his spine, and a ball of silver foil created from the chocolate wrappers he ate whilst writing). The shed is displayed just as it was when he worked there.

Dahls writing hut

Interactive and Educational Fun

Through the shed is the “Solo Gallery”. The space sets out the history of some of the Roald Dahl’s films, has a screen showing movie clips, and has Willy Wonka’s suit on display. There is also a fun interactive quiz game aimed at parents to find out how fun they are.

Next door “The Story Centre” is full of interactive stations where children can colour, make up silly sentences using magnetic words, dress up, and read Dahl’s books. Tamara really enjoyed bottling her dream like the BFG. She is sure it will come true! This area was so much fun but a little busy. The craft room at the back is aimed at younger children and we did not participate in the felt craft as it was very busy and there were no available chairs.

The Roald Dahl Museum had opened a pop-up factory upstairs; however, there was very little there other than some soft play toys. There was no body in there when we went up.

Colouring station

Storytelling and Refreshments

On the other side of the courtyard is the Lower Babbling Room used for storytelling. The Museum has regular events throughout the year with different themes. At the moment it is heavily Wonka themed. Unfortunately, there were no readings when we were there.

You can also find a café downstairs selling sandwiches, hot drinks, and snacks. There is an indoor seating area as well as tables and chairs in the courtyard.

Wrapping Up the Visit

At the end of the visit, we went back to the ticket office to return the activity sheets in exchange for a prize. The people at the till were really lovely and made a big fuss over the drawings. They were very good at reassuring the kids that the sheets did not have to be fully completed and they could finish them at home if they wanted. The kids were given a sticker and a story ideas book that went down really well.

The Museum was very kid-friendly with a buggy park near the entrance and a set of toilets on both sides of the Museum.

Matilda Statue

Final Thoughts

We all really enjoyed the visit! There were lots of fun interactive zones that the kids loved and Roald Dahl’s life was so interesting it kept the adults entertained. I would like to go back when it is slightly quieter so that we can feel less rushed and spend more time reading the exhibits. I loved the quotes throughout the museum. A timely reminder to be a little more playful in 2024!

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