Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Torquay and Agatha Christie, part 2

On our second day in Torquay we submerged ourselves in Agatha Christie.  We parked in Paignton to board the steam train to Greenway Halt to visit Greenway House, Christie's holiday home, and now a National Trust property, thanks to her grandson Mathew Prichard.

I LOVE to travel by train, especially steam train though I haven't been on one since I was a young girl.  It has been one of my "things to do" for a couple of years now, and I was so excited to take this journey.  And yay, the train (and ferry they also run) is dog-friendly, it cost a whole £1 for Dusty's ticket :)

Because we were stopping at Greenway Halt which is a "request stop" we had to sit in specific carriages, and we had one all to ourselves.  It was so lovely and felt like stepping back in time sitting in this carriage

Greenway Halt is the tiniest platform, but keeps up the Christie link as you can see from the photo, with body outlines, a "scalp" (ick) and an old milk churn

We had a 20-30 minute walk from the "station" to the house, and it was pouring down with rain, but we didn't care, and when we arrived we huddled under the canopies in the courtyard for a delicious afternoon tea :D

Another way to get to Greenway is by the 1950's bus, which was parked up just waiting for a photo!

We took it in turns to go into the house as Dusty wasn't allowed in the house itself.  Photos aren't allowed inside, but I can tell you that the house itself is fabulous.  It's been left as it was when the family were there, all their own furniture, pictures, even some of Agatha's and her daughter Rosalind's wardrobe.  It was amazing to immerse myself into her life and I really did feel like I stepped back in time.

We also took a walk around the fantastic gardens, which include the Battery below

and the infamous Boat House - this is the Boat House from "Dead Man's Folly" and one of the docents I had a long chat with told me that later this year David Suchet (aka Poirot) will be filming Dead Man's Folly at the Boat House!  How exciting is that!

It was an awesome day and although we were tired and soaked through we had another train trip to enjoy, Dusty loved the train and even fell fast asleep on the journey home.

It was a great couple of days, and for an Agatha Christie fan, a true delight! x

Monday, 22 April 2013

Catching up - Torquay & Agatha Christie, part 1

I can't believe it's been so long since I've posted.  I've caught a bug a couple months ago and still haven't really recovered from it.  As such I've gotten behind on most things!

Back in March we went away for a few days to Torquay with Dusty dog.  The weather was atrocious but we had a great few days.  We stayed at the Imperial Hotel, which has dog-friendly bedrooms and also has an Agatha Christie link - not only for her Torquay links but also because she based many of the hotels in her books in her version of the Imperial - and me being a HUGE Christie fan I was very happy to have that link.

The hotel's public areas are really beautiful

It's also the start of the "Agatha Christie Mile" which runs from there to the Grand Hotel.

We had an amazing view from our room:

this photo was our one clear dry evening

Next door to the hotel is a darling little bathing cove where Agatha herself used to bathe

and these days you can also find the Living Reef - which looks rather Jurassic Park-ish, but no pterodactyls, rather lots of sea birds

I hadn't visited Torquay since I was a tween, and of course it being the off-season it was rather quiet

The pier would be lovely in sunshine

Sadly we couldn't go into the Royal Pavilion as it's being renovated inside, but it's a beautiful building from the outside

The rocky coastline near our hotel was stunning

Part of the Agatha Christie mile, a bust of Agatha herself can be found nestling in a tiny oasis garden

More tomorrow on our steam train trip to Greenway, Christie's holiday home. x