The BFG in Pictures is a nostalgic experience for all the family

The BFG in Pictures is a nostalgic experience for all the family

Families can come and reminisce with Roald Dahl’s much-loved Big Friendly Giant for the ‘BFG in Pictures’ exhibition now starring at Torre Abbey, Torquay. Family reviewer, Lucy Fenn, shares her experience of the show, which is open now until 1 September.

When I think of this Roald Dahl story it takes me back to being a child sitting in a library reading. There’s something about this book, such an iconic children's character that brings your imagination alive and the fact I can now share this with my son is wonderful. That's the beauty of stories, they are something that will be around forever, the joy of picking up a book and being captivated by characters, taken into their world is something so special.


The BFG in Pictures is a touring exhibition from House of Illustration. This is currently being showcased in Torre Abbey and features reproductions of Quentin Blake's illustrations for Roald Dahl’s loved story. Here you can see 40 original artworks, there are also unpublished illustrations that failed to be used when the book was first published in 1982, these have never been displayed on a public exhibit before. Blake first completed the illustrations but Dahl rejected them, Blake then created a second set collaborating with Dahl which are published today.


The BFG played a big part in Roald Dahl’s life with him telling the story of the BFG to his own children. The story is about a giant who catches dreams and takes orphan Sophie (who was named after Roald's first grandchild) back to his cave which is surrounded by other giants who aren't quite the same as this friendly one we come to learn. The BFG has his own language which is called Gobblefunk but we can always understand him.

When we arrived at Torre Abbey we were greeted, given a map and shown where to head for the BFG exhibition. We also had access to the other rooms and the garden, I would 100% take a whole day to explore this wonderful venue.


Walking into the art room and seeing the illustrations in person was wonderful, you can feel the magic that Quentin Blake was trying to portray. I don't feel my son Austin had so much care for the illustrations but when we headed downstairs to the other room his eyes lit up! Walking in you are greeted by a life size Papier-mâché BFG, it's really quite breathtaking, Austin ran up to it straight away. The room is huge and well equipped for children, they had chalkboards on the walls, a drawing table in the middle and a rail of BFG costumes for the kids. I think Austin’s favourite part was definitely dressing up as the BFG and making mum and dad wear some matching ears, he really got into the part with his dream catcher net running around the room.


As you turn around the corner of the room you can see all the colours flowing out of the cave, Austin was so excited by all the lights and dream jars inside the cave. We actually made a dream jar a week prior with the Scrap Tots sessions that run at Torre Abbey, so he loved seeing that taking pride of place in the room.


There are also lots of other rooms and exhibitions inside Torre Abbey for you to explore included in the normal admission price, you also have the gardens to roam around. There is a beautiful green house that we always stop in and have a browse of plants (our favourite being the banana tree).


Torre Abbey itself is a great place for all ages to come and discover something new, learn a piece of history and overall have a great day out. We had a lovely time spent here and I would highly recommend seeing this exhibition and catching the illustrations whilst you can, a true piece of art.

Torre Abbey’s Museum BFG in Pictures exhibition is running up until 1 September. Entry included with normal admission fee. Adults £8.00, Under 18s go free. Wheelchair and buggy access available. For more information visit:

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