With the recent celebration of Roald Dahl day – on the author’s birthday, 13th September – and the 50th anniversary of the publication of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, it was high time for a visit to the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre.
The museum in Great Missenden is a charming, busy space, with Wonka gates and other donated props from the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory film adaptations. There are photos and extensive paraphernalia from Dahl’s life with the centrepiece being the idiosyncratic contents of his writing hut (like his old reading lamp weighed down by a golf ball on a piece of string).
There is also a large interactive area where children are encouraged to let their imaginations run wild – from playing word games to creating a stop motion film – and pose in a replica of Dahl’s chair.
When you’ve had your fill of the delights on offer in the museum, you can walk outside to the high street and see the real inspirations behind Dahl’s work – the red petrol pumps from Danny the Champion of the World, the library from Matilda – and explore the countryside he inhabited.
Continue the Dahl trail with a trip to the exhibition of the work of long-time collaborator and illustrator extraordinaire, Quentin Blake.