About 10 minutes outside of Paignton, in a little village called Galmpton, there stands a gorgeous house on the banks of the River Dart. The house is called Greenway and was the holiday home of the famous author Agatha Christie. Even though it is only down the road from us we have never be. But during the Easter holidays we finally paid it a visit.
Greenway, which is now managed by the National Trust, was the beloved holiday home of the famous and much-loved author Agatha Christie and her family. And as you arrive and walk down the driveway you can see why. The views of the River Dart are simply gorgeous. And on a hazy spring day the sun shimmers off the water.
The house is set in the 1950s, when Agatha and her family would spend summers and Christmases here with friends. They would relax by the river, play croquet and clock golf. Agatha would also read her latest mystery to their guests. The family were great collectors, and the house is filled with archaeology, Tunbridgeware, silver, botanical china and books.
We enjoyed a lovely tour around the house. My eldest took part in a kids trail and it really gets you looking around. Our favourite room was Agatha’s bedroom. The treasures they brought home from their travels were lovely to see. I fell in love with this chest of drawers that they brought back from Africa.
After the tour we took some time sitting in the strategically placed deckchairs on the lawn at the front of the house. This is where we planned our next move of how to tackle the Cadburys Easter Egg Trail.
The trail took us through the gardens around the house and we found some amazing hidden gems. The walled gardens are home to a restored peach house and finery, as well as an allotment cared for by local school children.
There are longer walks through the garden down to the river. You can visit the Boathouse, which is the scene of the crime in one of Agatha’s most famous books ‘Dead Man’s Folly’. We didn’t venture that far down, but it certainly gives us a reason to go back and visit again.
After the excitement of taking part in the trail we visited the cafe and endugled in the lovely ice cream that was available.
We are actually not National Trust members, but I am seriously considering it. We have been having some lovely days out at their properties recently.
Top Tips when visiting Greenway
- Call ahead and book your parking spot. The Trust are keen to limit the disruption to the local village with the number of cars travelling through to visit Greenway. So they have set up time slots for parking. I found this easy to do.
- From the car park there is a long walk down to the entrance. So don’t forget the buggy if you have a little one, it is a long walk back up. All the trails through the garden can accommodate buggys too.
- If you are visiting with people who do struggle to walk they do offer a buggy service between the house and car park.
- When entering the house ask about the kids trails. They have a couple for different ages. They are definitely worth doing.
Upstairs in the house there are a number of apartments that various family members stayed in when visiting Greenway. You can actually now hire out these apartments and stay on the Greenway estate. There are also a number of other lodges around the estate which you can hire. How amazing would that be! Waking up to the views of the River and being able to have a wander around the estate before visitors arrive sounds heavenly.
We really enjoyed our trip to Greenway, and I know we will be going back again to see what we missed. I imagine the estate is gorgeous whatever the season, but for me, Spring was a delight.
What National Trust properties are your favourite? I would love to hear about them in the comments.