Greenway, Dartmouth, Devon
Step into the 1950s and the land of Devonshire cream teas at Greenway, the much-loved holiday home of Agatha Christie, the nation’s favourite crime writer.
Visit Greenway With a National Trust Day Out and Cream Tea Experience
- Over 300 National Trust properties to visit
- Cream Tea for two voucher
Go on a 1950s Summer Holiday
For Agatha Christie, Greenway, her holiday home in Devon was all about family time, eating and relaxation. Each morning would begin with tea and biscuits followed by breakfast and a gathering in the library to discuss the day’s activity. The family enjoyed playing croquet, tennis and clock golf. They also had a dressing up box of clothes (some are poignantly still hanging in Agatha’s bedroom).
Take a Peek at The Confessions Album
Make sure you look at the family ‘Confessions Album’. In 1954, Agatha wrote that her idea of happiness was ‘Sunshine and quietness’ and that her present state of mind was ‘Deeply happy’. Eating was clearly a very important holiday activity. ‘Fruit, lobster, ice-cream and roast beef’ were noted as her favourite foods.
Though the rain pours down there is always eating. Agatha Christie, An Autobiography 1977
See Her Tableware Collection
As you tour the house, you’ll see the collections that were gathered by the Christie family. In the winter dining room, the cupboards are literally piled high with dinner services, tea services, decorative china and domestic glass. Agatha kept a handwritten notebook listing all their purchases in great detail.
See How the Family Celebrated
Family celebrations including birthdays and Christmas were enjoyed at Greenway. Agatha’s 80th birthday was celebrated with a huge picnic on Dartmoor, followed by a grand dinner in the dining room at Greenway. They served Krug champagne and the dinner included her favourite dishes of hot lobster followed by blackberry ice-cream. Take a look on the side table and you’ll see her large ceramic lobster dish on display.
Enjoy a Devonshire Cream Tea
Eat Lunch in Agatha’s Kitchen
If you’re visiting on a Wednesday or Thursday, treat yourself to lunch in Agatha’s actual kitchen with its high ceilings, stone-flagged floors and Aga (pre-booking required). Take a peek in the Butler’s Pantry to see the bottles left over from family parties, some bearing the signatures of guests.
Picnic in the Grounds
Look Inside The Vinery and the Peach House
Green-fingered foodies will enjoy a wander around the extensive gardens with its nationally significant plant collection. Take a look at the Vinery and the Peach House, where delicious peaches and nectarines are grown. You can buy surplus produce from the garden for a small donation.
Do The Greenway Walk
Keen walkers can follow the six mile Greenway walk which leads you to the house from Torbay. There’s also a lovely walk back to Dartmouth via Kingswear with plenty of opportunities to pick blackberries en route so enthusiasts can re-create Agatha’s favourite ice-cream.
- If you’re staying in nearby Dartmouth, travel to Greenway by ferry. Tickets can be purchased from the National Trust Shop in the town
- Alternatively, board the steam train at Kingswear alighting at the new Greenway station on request
- Visit in October for the Dartmouth Food Festival or in September for the Agatha Christie Festival
WHERE TO STAY IN DEVON
Historic Dartington Hall in Totnes boasts a medieval courtyard and beautifully landscaped gardens.
Rooms from £66 a night.
Kaywana Hall offers modern rooms and a pool and is 15 minutes’ walk from the lower Kingswear ferry.
Rooms from £150 a night.
Keep me on a lead and you can take me for a lovely walk in the gardens. They have water bowls for me in the courtyard. It’s assistance dogs only in the house though.