Ten places in Devon associated with the Queen of Crime Agatha Christie
PUBLISHED: 10:49 09 March 2015 | UPDATED: 12:09 17 March 2015
2015 will see celebrations marking 125 years since the birth of Agatha Christie, the queen of crime and creator of much-loved detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. Heidi-Charlotte Murray gets her little grey cells working and suggests 10 places to visit in Devon that directly link to the great author.
1. Greenway House and Gardens
This extraordinary estate was the beloved holiday home of the famous and much-loved author Agatha Christie and her family.
Now owned by the National Trust, the house has been carefully preserved and contains beautiful collections of books, botanical china and archaeology, all accumulated by the family over the years. The house also boasts stunning archaeological features, including a romantic garden and courtyard. Perfect for a summer afternoon. For details go to the Greenway website.
2. Burgh Island
Surrounded by sandy beaches and silver seas, this breathtaking little tidal island is well known as the setting for Agatha Christie’s novel And Then There Were None. The famous Hercule Poirot mystery Evil Under The Sun was filmed there.
It home to the luxurious Burgh Island Hotel where Agatha Christie stayed. A fully restored and revived 1930’s home, it exudes glamour and class. For enquiries and or bookings for the hotel, head over to the Burgh Island hotel website.
3. International Agatha Christie Festival
In celebration of what would be her 125th birthday on 15 September, the English Riviera is hosting an International Agatha Christie Festival to honour the life and works of the Queen of Crime. Taking place at Torre Abbey and running from 11 September to 19 September, an array of events will take place that are suitable for the whole family and even for those of you who, like most of us, have a real soft spot for a good book. All enquiries to be directed to the official Agatha Christie festival website.
4. Elberry Cove
This picturesque and peacefully pebbled beach is tucked neatly away just outside of Paignton, so tucked away in fact we wouldn’t blame you for missing it. It was one of Agatha Christie’s favourite little bathing spots and featured as the setting for the untimely death of one of her characters Sir Carmichael Clarke, in her famous novel The ABC Murders. Although not accessible by car, it is only a short walk away from Broadsands beach. Framed by wooded hillsides and crystal waters, Elberry Cove is the perfect location for a picnic or just a day out with the dog.
5. Kents Cavern
These infamous caves and caverns are best known for their jaw-dropping archaeological and geological features, as well as for providing the inspiration for Hampsley Cavern in Agatha Christie’s novel The Man In The Brown Suit. An impressive little spot within walking distance of Torquay’s town centre and a great day out for all ages with informative tours around the caverns from well-trained history experts. For any enquiries regarding this destination, you can find everything you need on the official Kents Cavern website.
6. Torquay’s Mystery Mile
As part of the illustrious English Riviera, Torquay is also the place where Agatha Christie was born. To mark this celebrity connection, a special walk has been created, complete with a mystery for you to solve along the way. Taking in 10 different landmarks, all dotted around the harbour and all spread out across reasonably flat ground, (apart from one hill!) you will learn about the authors life and collect clues to solve the days mystery. There are also plenty of opportunities to stop off for a much needed cup of tea and is an ideal little idea for a relaxing day off. For all information check out the Torquay Mystery Mile.
7. Torre Abbey’s Poisonous Gardens
Torre Abbey Gardens are inspired by the achievements of Agatha Christie and her knowledge of pharmacy and poisonous plants, which are used to kill off over half of her victims. The beautiful but sinister range of plants on show include the sources of cyanide, morphine and ricin to name but a few. There are also plenty of activities to educate and engage visitors with children and families, such as activities and tailored backpacks for all of your exploring needs. All enquiries can be found on the Torre Abbey website.
8. Greenway Ferry
Having spent the beginning of her life right here in Devon, why not explore the scenery which influenced Agatha Christie’s many novels. Luxury ferries travel around the South Coast, allowing visitors to revel in the beauty of the coastline. Operating throughout the day, you can put yourself in the crime writer’s shoes as you explore the surroundings which influenced some of the worlds best-loved crime novels. All information is housed over on the Greenway Ferry website.
9. The Imperial Hotel
If you’re looking for a relaxing weekend away, The Imperial Hotel in Torquay is the perfect getaway and incidentally the inspiration behind the Majestic Hotel, a location used in three of Agatha Christies well read novels, Peril At End House, The Body In The Library and Sleeping Murder. This 4 star sea-side hotel prides itself in its AA rosette restaurant, 152 exemplary kept bedrooms, on-site swimming pools and it’s 10 minute walk from the bustling town centre. It also well accommodated for children. For all enquiries and booking information, please visit the Imperial Hotel website.
10. Agatha Christie Gallery
Trace the eventful life of one of the worlds best crime writers by visiting Torquay Museum, home to a recently redeveloped and improved gallery dedicated solely to the life, novels and plays of Agatha Christie. For admission prices and information, the museum’s official website has all necessary information.