If you’re a fan of Agatha Christie, Poirot and Miss Marple, then a visit to Torquay, in the English Riviera, is a must. We visited in spring last year when the woodland in the grounds of Greenway, Agatha’s holiday home, was filled with wild garlic and bluebells. It was stunning.
We spent the first day of our weekend on a steam train, two ferries, exploring Agatha’s home and travelling back to Torquay on a vintage 1940s bus. Our second day involved a guided tour around all the places associated with Agatha. Torquay Town Hall; a former hospital where Agatha worked during the First World War, the Dispensary; where she gained valuable knowledge about poisons, Ansteys Cove, and the seafront of Torquay. It was a fascinating weekend which offered a glimpse into the life of this intensely private writer.
Five Places to Visit in Agatha Christie’s Devon
1. Catch the Steam train from Paignton to Kingswear with the Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Boat Company. This is a thirty minute train journey to Kingswear. You can choose to upgrade and travel in the Observation Car, which has wonderful views of the scenery and comfy armchair seats. You will pass through the stations of Churston (from the ABC Murders) and Greenway on the journey. Once at Kingswear a ferry will take you over the river to Dartmouth.
2. Take the ferry, the Christie Belle, to Greenway. Once in Dartmouth you can then take the ferry to Greenway. This will take you up the River Dart where you’ll see the first glimpse of Greenway along with the boat house, the scene of the murder in Dead Man’s Folly. (Also used in the ITV film.)
3. Greenway, Agatha Christie’s former home now owned by The National Trust – now this is the big event. Agatha Christie’s holiday home. Not only do you get a sense of what Agatha herself experienced; you can explore various rooms in the house as well as the gardens, but you also feel like Poirot walking the paths after he was summoned there by Ariadne Oliver in Dead Man’s Folly. From here you can catch the Vintage Bus back to Torquay.
4. The Agatha Christie Mile. From The Imperial Hotel (which was used in various novels) to The Grand Hotel (where Agatha and Archie spent their honeymoon) explore Torquay’s seafront. You can discover various places associated with Agatha including Princess Pier where she would roller-skate and The Pavilion where her first husband, Archie Christie, proposed.
5. The Agatha Christie Literary Trail – this literary trail takes you through the English Riviera and South Devon. Many of Agatha’s novels were actually based on real locations. We already know Greenway was used for Dead Man’s Folly, but you can also visit, for example, Elberry Cove and Churston, one of the settings in the ABC Murders and the two golf courses; one in Torquay and one in Churston, which inspired the novel Murder on the Links.
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