We’ve mentioned this a couple of times, but Devon was the birthplace of the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie – not only was she born in Torquay, but she based several of her novels in and around the county and even had her summer home built in the English Riviera. Greenway is now under the management of the National Trust and has events taking place all year around to help celebrate Christie and her influence on literature.
If you are a fan of Agatha Christie and want to follow in her footsteps, here are the places in Devon you need to visit.
In Torquay, Christie’s birthplace, you’ll be able to follow the Agatha Christie Mile which takes you around some of her favourite haunts and you’ll also be able to spot a bust of the lady herself in the gardens by the harbour. You’ll find the stops along the tour here as well as a few bonus places that every Christie fan should know about!
- Beacon Cove, Torquay
We all know about Torquay’s main beach but this is a secluded little cove that back in Christie’s day was a popular spot for young ladies to swim and bathe. It is also where she almost drowned while swimming with her nephew. The cove is a little off the beaten track so you can avoid the crowds here and it is a lovely place to rest for a while, especially on a sunny day.
- The Princess Gardens, Torquay
Designed and opened during the Victorian era, these gardens have some wonderfully landscaped gardens, a fountain and tropical palm trees which were imported from New Zealand. From here you have lovely views over the harbour and you can easily access the theatre and of course, the bust of Agatha Christie, which was unveiled to celebrate her centenary.
The gardens are featured in her novel The ABC Murders – so a must for fans of the book.
- Princess Pier, Torquay
Torquay’s pier has stood proudly on the seafront since the 1890s and was another favourite place for a teenaged Agatha. According to family, she would roller blade along the pier and you can see photos of her doing so at the town’s museum.
- Torre Abbey, Torquay
This is another stop featured on the Agatha Christie Mile, but it is a great place to visit whether you’re here for Christie or not. Torre Abbey has been standing at its position above the town since the 1100s and is one of the best-preserved abbeys of its kind in the south west. There is lots to discover about Torquay here but the main attraction is the garden. One part of the gardens is inspired by Christie and features poisoned plants to commemorate her vast knowledge of poisons.
- The Imperial Hotel, Torquay
This hotel located near the seafront is a remanent of Torquay’s Victorian past and Christie is just one of the many famous names that have visited there, others include Napoleon III and King George V. The hotel itself featured in two of her novels, the Peril at End House and Sleeping Murder – though under different names
- Barton Road, Torquay
Agatha Christie was born on Barton Road, at Ashfield House to be exact. At the time, it was a grand Victorian manner but has since been demolished to make way for new developments. You can still find the spot where the house stood however, just look out for the blue plaque. Though the road looks a little different than it did when Christie lived there, you might just recognise some of it from her novel Postern of Fate, which featured a house based on her own.
Located just outside Torquay is the village of Cockington. The village is full of picturesque thatched cottages and the fine Cockington Court, a Tudor style manor house surrounded by parkland. Agatha Christie was friendly with the Mallock family who once lived there and would often visit them – plus it is the perfect place to see the English Riviera as it would have been during Christie’s day.
- Kents Cavern, Torquay
One of the oldest tourist attractions in South Devon, the cave system is part of the UNESCO English Riviera Global Geopark and provided the inspiration for the caves that featured in Christie’s book the Man in the Brown Suit.
- Burgh Island, Bigbury on Sea
A trip to Burgh Island is a must – especially for those of you who haven’t experienced a ride on the famous sea tractor. There is a hotel on the island that has also housed some well known names and appeared in two novels, And Then There Was None and Evil Under the Sun.
- Elberry Cove, Brixham
Like Beacon Cove, this was another favoured swimming spot of Christie’s. Located near Brixham, the cove provided the scene for a murder in the ABC Murders.
- Greenway, Brixham
As Agatha Christie’s former holiday home, this is the ultimate place to go to see how the writer lived and worked. The manor house is now managed by the National Trust and has retained much of her décor. The trust holds several events and activities throughout the year which are themed around Christie and her creations.
Have you ever followed the Agatha Christie Mile around Torquay? Let us know!