Readers Digest
Magazine subscription Podcast

My Great Escape: Lovely Greenway


1st Jan 2015 Travel

My Great Escape: Lovely Greenway

Julie Hall from Gloucestershire went back in time to Agatha Christie’s home in Devon.

While staying at the Grand Hotel in Torquay last year—where Agatha Christie spent part of her honeymoon—I seized the opportunity to visit a place I’d long wanted to see: Christie’s beloved holiday home, Greenway. 

It was a train ride to Paignton, then a steam-train ride along the “English Riviera”. Walking slowly up Greenway’s path, my excitement began to build, along with my nerves. Could Greenway really live up to my expectations?

Image via Weary Ploughman

I needn’t have worried: as I turned the corner onto the driveway I stopped at the sight of a dazzlingly white Georgian house, flanked by scarlet azaleas. It’s a sight seen many times during the television adaptations of the Poirot novels, and I wouldn’t have been surprised to see Poirot, Captain Hastings or Ariadne Oliver emerge onto the porch.

Inside, it’s easy to believe that it’s still the 1950s and Agatha is merely on the lawn playing croquet. Everything has been left as it was, with the family’s great collections—artefacts, books, silver photo frames—on view in every room. Agatha had known the house as a child, referring to it as “the loveliest place in the world”.

No visit to Greenway would be complete without seeing the famous boathouse—the scene of the crime in her novel Dead Man’s Folly. There’s a palpable feeling of calm mystery oozing out of its brickwork, with views over the River Dart.

Afterwards, I sat on a bench on the porch and drank in the sunshine, the riot of colour in the flower beds and the tantalising glimpses of the river through the trees. I completely understood the hold that Greenway had on its famous owner. Only the thought of the steam-train journey back made it possible to leave. 


Read our review of the BBC's And Then There Were None

Browse Agatha Christie at the Reader's Digest shop


Loading up next...
Stories by email|Subscription
Readers Digest

Launched in 1922, Reader's Digest has built 100 years of trust with a loyal audience and has become the largest circulating magazine in the world

Readers Digest
Reader’s Digest is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (which regulates the UK’s magazine and newspaper industry). We abide by the Editors’ Code of Practice and are committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism. If you think that we have not met those standards, please contact 0203 289 0940. If we are unable to resolve your complaint, or if you would like more information about IPSO or the Editors’ Code, contact IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or visit