Travellers exploring London this summer may have noticed something strange – around the city are a selection of 50 dream jars inspired and designed by a group “absolutely squiffling” British treasures in lieu of one of the countries potentially best known authors, Roald Dahl. Dahl’s “whizzpopping” novel The BFG, or Big Friendly Giant, was released almost 35 years ago, and this year Stephen Spielberg’s cinematic adaptation arrived on the big screen on the 1st of July, which is three months before the 100 year anniversary of Dahl’s birth. Whilst the trail may be largely set in and around London, there are also three spread across Birmingham, Cardiff and Cheshire, and all of them are designed by celebrities and organisations varying from Professor Stephen Hawking and Graham Norton to Team GB.
The novel may be approaching its 35th year, however aims to maintain relevant and topical, as shown by events such as this in addition to the updated cinematic productions. In its essence, The BFG is a book which aims to encourage kindness, creativity and imagination, with the eponymous character and protagonist Sophie using these good qualities in order to protect and unite their species. The book discusses many important and current topics, too, all of which aim to be expressed and explored now by the dream jars and the artists behind them, such as Simon Cowell’s dream jar, “For the Love of Animals”, which promotes awareness for animal rights.
The event in itself also may be more than a promotional celebration of Roald Dahl, his novel and the movie, however, as at the end of the exhibition, the intention is for the jars be auctioned and all proceeds aim to be offered to Save the Children and Roald Dahl’s marvelous Children’s Charity, which endeavor to fulfill the dreams and potential of children and offer them the best possible start to life. In addition to this ambition, the event also aims to provide families with the opportunity to travel around London and experience it on foot, promoting this by supplying travellers with suggested routes and activities which may allow them to see many of London’s potentially prolific sights and cultural opportunities.
One such route which may be of interest to tourists is “Her Majesters Trail”, which takes reference from the books footsteps in and around Buckingham Palace, St. James’ Park and Harrods, allowing travellers to see some of Kensington’s finest, most affluent sights. Or, if families wish to see more of the city’s sights in the central areas of London, the “Splendiferous City Trail” may more so suit their needs, taking them from St Paul’s Cathedral through to the Museum of London, and enabling them to see other famous sights of the city along the way such as the Tower Bridge and the Bank of England. A final trail which may appeal to tourists especially may be the “Gloriumptoious River Trail”, which takes its travellers through landmarks both contemporary and Elizabethan, showcasing Borough Market, The Shard and The Globe Theatre.
Whilst the book was potentially written whilst many parents of today’s young generation were children themselves, the revival of it as a contemporary movie which encourages family outings, fun and imagination may create engaging travel opportunities for Brits and tourists alike. In addition to the health benefits of exploring London on foot, it may also give the opportunity to these adventurers to find new and intriguing streets, shops and locations, potentially creating memories which may last for years to come.
What might families and travellers gain from exploring cities such as London on foot?