If you’ve done any research on Roald Dahl’s life, you’ll be aware that Roald Dahl lived in the village of Great Missenden for over 30 years. Roald Dahl’s home, where he wrote his famous stories like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the BFG, is found in Great Missenden as well as a dedicated Roald Dahl museum. Therefore if you’re a fan of the Roald Dahl books, Great Missenden, which is an easy train ride from London, is a must visit.
How to get to Great Missenden
Great Missenden is found in the Chiltern Hills in Buckinghamshire, just outside of London – in fact, it’s so close you can still use your London Oyster Card all the way until the train station before Great Missenden. To get to Great Missenden from London you can catch a train from London Marylebone Train Station. The train ride takes just over 40 minutes and leaves every 30 minutes on weekdays. You can find out more on train times at Trainline. The train station is located right in the village and therefore taking the train is one of the simplest ways to the village.
The Roald Dahl Museum at Great Missenden
An absolute must do when visiting Great Missenden is visiting the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre. While it is directed for young children and families, I visited in my late 20s and enjoyed the visit, reliving a few of my favourite childhood stories. The Roald Dahl museum is relatively small and you can visit it in 60 minutes (or more with young children). Here you walk through the different rooms, each dedicated to different parts of Roald Dahl’s life.
In addition, there is also a shop where you can buy Roald Dahl branded merchandise, quotes and books. I purchased the two Roald Dahl autobiographies – Boy and Going Solo from the shop.
Roald Dahl Writing Hut
Roald Dahl is known for writing many of his famous stories inside a dedicated hut in the garden in his home. This was relocated (piece by piece, with everything put in its original place) to the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre so everyone can see it behind clear glass. Roald Dahl kept this hut in a very unique way.
Roald Dahl things to see around Great Missenden
In addition to enjoying the sights on display in the Roald Dahl Museum, the museum also gives out trail maps of the village and countryside surroundings where you can follow in the footsteps of Roald Dahl.
By following the Village Trail you can discover places like the Great Missenden library. The Village Trail map states the library where Matilda used to go as a child was based on this library.
While here you can stop by Matilda’s cafe across the road… Can’t think of what inspired the name…
Continue along the High Street until you see the Petrol Pumps (at 64 High Street). They are said to have inspired the fuel pumps in Danny, the Champion of the World. Plus, they look super sweet.
Just down the road from the petrol pumps, you’ll come across the Crown House (at 70 High Street), which is said to inspired the orphanage in the BFG.
Once you’ve explored the village high street, follow the Village Trail map to the Church of St Peter and Paul:
Roald Dahl’s Grave and Church of St Peter and Paul.
You can find the Church of St Peter and Paul just outside the Great Missenden village. Follow the instructions, which will take you uphill and over a road before arriving at the church. When you arrive, you’ll see the well kept graveyard to the left. Head over and you’ll find the Roald Dahl memorial in the centre. Follow the BFG sized foot prints on the grass to Roald Dahl’s grave.
While I was here, the back of the graveyard behind the church caught my eye and I spent a little bit exploring a very old, overgrown graveyards from a different century.
You can download a copy of the Roald Dahl Museum Village Trails map from their website here.
Countryside walks around Great Missenden
After exploring the village, the Roald Dahl Museum also provides a Countryside Trail to follow. This trail takes you through Angling Spring Wood and Atkin Wood. These woods are suggested to be the inspiration behind Fantastic Mr. Fox and Danny, the Champion of the World. I enjoyed getting out in the fresh air and following the instructions provided (as the trail you follow is not sign posted). This walk took approximately 70 minutes, but may take longer for some others.
You can download a copy of the Roald Dahl Museum Countryside Trails map from their website here.
Great Missenden Roald Dahl Check List
I spent about four hours in total exploring Great Missenden; however, if you have young children I would factor in a lot more time. I also didn’t stop for lunch, having brought sandwiches. It was a very easy day out with the train taking you right into Great Missenden and everything in the village being so close to each other.
When visiting Great Missenden, be sure to check off the below
- Roald Dahl Museum
- Great Missenden library
- The petrol pumps
- Crown House
- Church of St Peter and Paul
- Angling Spring Woods
- Atkins Wood
- And if you want, the first photo in the blog was taken where the butchers used to be at 80 High Street.
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