If you are looking for a place to visit in the South West which is perhaps just a little bit out of the ordinary, how about the home of the legendary crime writer Agatha Christie. Greenway was her family holiday home in the 1950’s and calling it a magical place would have to be something of an understatement.
Greenway Gardens is situated in Galmpton which is near Brixham, South Devon. It is possible to jump on a ferry in Torquay which will take you there but if driving it is important that you telephone beforehand and a car parking space will be reserved for you. A recent addition on the transport to Greenway gardens front is an original 1950’s single decker bus which picks up at various points around Torbay throughout the day and drops visitors off directly at their destination.
So what is it about Greenway which makes it such a special place and why is it somewhere that comes so highly recommended as a place to visit. Well, as soon as you walk into the main hallway of the house itself you instantly realise what a happy house this must have been. It is a well documented fact that Agatha Christie was in love with the English Riviera with this wonderful part of South Devon being the influence for some of her most well known books.
The house and gardens are situated on the banks of the River Dart and still, after all of these years, it is still the stand out property even though there are now some pretty spectacular properties to rival it. There is a lovely story of when Agatha Christie first viewed the property with the intention of buying it. Her and her mother had always admired it from afar and when the agent told her what the asking price was she thought it was a bargain at £16,000, but the agent had in fact said £6,000!
Greenway Gardens is now run by The National Trust and they really have done a superb job of keeping the house and gardens just as they were when Agatha lived there with her family. The gardens have a mysterious feeling about them and the immaculate lawns which lead down to the river really are a sight to behold.
There is some fantastic film footage on show and the guides who’s job it is to show visitors around are able to share a wealth of information which will leave even someone who has little interest in the queen of crime thrillers, completely spell bound by the stories on offer.
It should be remembered that Greenway Gardens can get really busy during the summer months and on these occasions, a timed ticket system is put in place. If you are planning a visit I would always recommend a quick phone call first to find out how busy it is likely to be, and you can then plan accordingly.
Something else which is quite special about Greenway is the cafe, dining room and tea room which are situated both in the house and in the grounds. It is one of those cases where it is definitely paying that little bit extra to enjoy a cup of tea or a meal, and imagining yourself trying to solve one of Agatha Christie’s enthralling crime thrillers.