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Take the train and celebrate International Children’s Book Day

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International Children’s Book Day takes place on 2 April 2012 – and you can mark the occasion by taking the train to discover locations with links to your kids’ favourite authors and books, including the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre.

Read on to find out more about the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, as well as other places you can visit to celebrate International Children’s Book Day – and check our journey planner for cheap train tickets before you set off on your literary trail.

International Children’s Book Day was established in 1967, by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), and takes place each year on or close to 2 April – the birth date of Danish fairy tale writer Hans Christian Anderson.

This year’s event takes place on 2 April itself – and it’s the perfect opportunity to get your kids inspired by the world of words, by planning a train journey to some of the UK’s most enchanting literary hotspots.

Take the train to Great Missenden…and visit the Roald Dahl Museum

Roald Dahl (1916 – 1990) was one of the UK’s best-known and most-loved children’s writers, producing a whole host of children’s classics, including ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, ‘The BFG’, ‘Matilda’ and ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’.

Jump on board a train to the village of Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, and you can learn more about Dahl and his literary creations at the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Telling Centre.

This fantastic interactive museum is ideally suited for anyone with little bookworms in the family. It contains two galleries, each packed with exhibits relating to Dahl’s life and works. The Solo Gallery has recently been refurbished – and here, you can see Roald Dahl’s Writing Hut, complete with its original well as a number of other new exhibits.

Creative youngsters can also let their imaginations run wild in the Story Centre, where they can dress up and make up their own works of fiction.

While you’re in Great Missenden, you can also take a self-guided walking tour to see locations linked to Roald Dahl and his works. Dahl lived in the village from 1954 until his death, so there are plenty of significant places to see, including Dahl’s final resting place, the graveyard of St. Peter and St. Paul Church – the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre has a downloadable ‘Village Trail’ guide on its website, so you can find the important sites easily.

Gypsy House, where Dahl lived, is still the home of his widow, Felicity Dahl, so you can’t visit it – however the family do open the gardens on a number of days each year. You can find out more information on the National Gardens Scheme website.

Getting to Great Missenden is simple when you travel by rail. Take the train to London and you can catch a connecting service to Great Missenden Station from London Marylebone Station. The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre is just a few minutes’ walk from Great Missenden Station.

Other literary locations that little ones will love

Oxford – Jump on board a train to Oxford and take your family on a literary walking tour. This beautiful city has been home to many children’s authors, including Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and Lewis Carroll.

Oxford Official Guided Walking Tours have a number of literary themed tours on their current schedule, so you should be able to find one your kids will love. Tours available include: ‘Pottering in Harry’s Footsteps’, the ‘C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien Tour’, the ‘When Alice met Harry Tour’ and the ‘Oxford Children’s’ Stories Tour’.

London – Take the train to London and you’ll find a wealth of places to visit. Head to Kensington Gardens to see the capital’s famous bronze statue of Peter Pan or take a guided Harry Potter walking tour.

Don’t have kids – not a problem. Make the most of it by indulging the luxurious grown-up gastronomic twist on a children’s classic provided by Sanderson Hotel and its Mad Hatter Afternoon Tea service.

Do you have any ideas for places to visit on International Children’s Book Day? Let us know below…

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