Greenway - Agatha Christie's Happy Summer Home

Agatha Christie bought Greenway in 1938 and spent summers there for much of the rest of her life. Many of her novels, written in the Middle East where she accompanied her second husband, archaeologist Max Mallowan, were edited and completed at Greenway.

Following a multi-million pound restoration,Greenway was opened to the public in 2009. The restoration focuses the house in the l950s when The "Queen of Crime" was at the height of her powers. It is full of family collections, including many pictures of Christie and her family enjoying the house, and rich with atmosphere. Walking through the house, visitors have the unmistakable impression that family members have just left the room.

The real treat for avid Christie fans are the number of "crime scenes" from her novels around the house and grounds.

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A Feast of Clues and Crime Scenes for Christie Fans

© Ferne Arfin

Agatha Christie's "Ordeal by Innocence"

In the murder myster about a childless couple who shelter children evacuated from London and adopt five of them after World War II, Greenway was the model for the fictional Sunny Point. The story, in which one of the characters suffers from amnesia, is based on Christie's own wartime experience housing evacuees at Greenway and her own amnesia following the end of her marriage to Archie Christie. The book was said to be among her personal favorites.

"Five Litte Pigs"

The first of Christie's novels to achieve first edition sales of 20,000, this book is set at Greenway, the home of fictional philanderer and murder victim Amyas Crale. Christie set the novel in 1926 - the year her own first marriage broke up.

"Dead Man's Folly"

Greenway stands in for Nasse House, scene of a murder mystery weekend party, where a real murder takes place. The body is discovered in the boat house, based on Greenway's own boat house, (inset above), beside the River Dart. Visitors to Greenway who leave time to explore the grounds can walk down to the boat house. The tiny village of Galmpton, just below Greenway, is the book's "Nassecombe" and the "Hoodown Youth Hostel" is based on the Maypool Youth Hostel in a Victorian Mansion near Greenway.

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Essential Information for Visiting Greenway

Greenway from the river
© Ferne Arfin

Greenway is above the River Dart, a few miles from Torquay and Brixham (making it a natural for visits during the annual Agatha Christie Festival in September).

Key information:

  • Address: Greenway Road, Galmpton, near Brixham, Devon TQ5 0ES
  • Telephone: +44 (0)1803 842382
  • Open from early March to end of October. See the website for hours and admission fees.
  • Catering: Lunch is available in Agatha Christie's kitchen. Advance booking is essential. There is also a licensed cafe and shop in the barn/visitor center.

Important Travel Information

In line with its green policy, and to prevent heavy traffic through the nearby village of Galmpton,The National Trust discourages driving to Greenway. Only limited parking is available on the site and it must be booked in advance. Other options include:

  • Greenway 1940s Vintage Bus, daily from Torquay, Paignton and the Brixham park and ride. Visit the website or telephone +44 (0)1803 882811 for more information.
  • Greenway Ferry Services operate boats from Torquay, Brixham, Totnes and Dartmouth. The walk from Greenway Quay is steep and uphill but transport can be arranged if needed.
  • Dartmouth Steam Railway and Riverboat Company run a delightful little steam railway train from Paignton. Churston, the nearest station, is about two miles away.Find on a map
  • Walkers can take the Dart Valley Trail from Kingswear or Dartmouth. It's a nine mile circuit from Dartmouth, including a crossing to Kingswear by passenger ferry. The Greenway Walk from Brixham is a 6.5 mile circuit but can be joined from Churston Station, two miles from Greenway.
  • Bike racks and lockers are available for cyclists. Find on a National Cycle Route

Stay at Greenway

Really keen fans might want to stay at Greenway. The National Trust operates three vacation rentals.

  • The Lodge, just inside the entrance to the woodland garden, sleeps two plus baby.
  • The South Lodge, the former head gardeners house, sleeps six plus baby
  • And most exciting, the Apartment, on the top floor of Agatha Christie's own home, sleeps up to 10. The kitchen of the Apartment is decorated in a 1950s style - though the appliances are modern.

Find out more about rates and availability of vacation rentals

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