Week 1: Story Saunter

Posted by
The Learning team at the Roald Dahl Museum
Posted on
9:00am, 23rd July
Make Stories Like Roald Dahl - week 1

Welcome to week 1 of our Make Stories Like Roald Dahl summer challenge.

This week you will find out how taking a walk can inspire your ideas, just like Roald Dahl!

Roald Dahl's walks of inspiration

Roald Dahl would saunter through the village of Great Missenden and up and down its High Street on most days. Sometimes he would collect and send parcels at the Post Office; sometimes he would buy eggs from the local farm; sometimes he would take his dog Chopper for an afternoon walk.

But whatever else Roald Dahl was doing, his walks around where he lived were also an inspiration for his ideas for stories.

The great sights of Great Missenden!

We love to share with our visitors the locations here in Great Missenden that helped Roald to create stories.  Here are some which will help you make your own Story Saunter around your local area.

Sophie’s Norphanage

Crown House Great Missenden

A home here in Great Missenden which gave Roald the idea for Sophie’s Norphanage in The BFG. He imagined BFG striding down the road and arriving at Sophie’s window to blow dreams through.

Imagine who could come gallumping down your road to arrive at a house.


Danny’s Dad’s Garage

Great Missenden Petrol Pumps

The amazing Shell pumps on the village High Street are one of the inspirations for the garage that Danny’s dad works at in Danny, Champion of the World. Roald Dahl might have especially noticed these as his first job after school was working for Shell!

What do you notice most when you walk down your road? 


Matilda’s Library

Great Missenden Library

Remember how Matilda trundles along the High Street to visit the Library all by herself, much to Mrs Phelps’ surprise? Roald Dahl used the Great Missenden High Street as the idea behind this journey – he’d done it plenty of times himself! The Library at one end of the High Street was his inspiration for Matilda’s journey.

When Matilda’s mum goes off to the bingo, he even had the bus ride to Aylesbury in mind!

Where does a walk from your house take you?  Is it an easy journey or a challenge?


The Railway Bridge

The Railway bridge

Another place that Roald Dahl would have walked through most days was also his favourite spot for family storytelling. Roald would take his children with him for a stroll and tell stories as they gathered under the railway bridge. Sometimes, these were even spooky tales!

Where can you stop on your walk?  What sort of story might suit this spot?


Family challenge: complete your own Story Saunter!

Think of a jourmey from your house and complete the activities that we’ve given in bold above. When you finish your thoughts, put them all together. Can you find a way to connect them? Do you need to add other ideas? Do you want to leave one out? 

You should now have a story idea! Write it, draw it, act it out or just tell us about it using #MakeStoriesLikeRoaldDahl

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With Michael, from the Museum's Front of House team.

Find out more about the blog series

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