Saturday, 13 August 2011

Greenway

One of the National Trust places that we visited in Devon was Greenway - summer home of Agatha Christie, and then main residence for her daughter and family. A fabulous place to visit.
The house stands proudly on the banks of the river Dart. I think the grandson of Agatha Christie still lives on the estate. The setting is perfect, but the interior of the house is just amazing. My son laughed at me all way through the house (in fact all way through the holiday for one thing or another!) as I kept saying in every room "I bet she was a Virgo" - turns out her birthday was the 15th September so I was right! I just felt so at home amongst all her clutter - and believe me she had plenty - she never threw anything away (who does that sound like?). Nothing in the house has been brought in - everything was already there. As with most places these days, photographs are not permitted inside the property, so I cannot show you the fabulous frieze that was painted by a U.S. Naval Officer around the walls of the library when the Navy were housed here during the war, and which the family kept. Its stunning. I loved the way that Agatha had books and reading matter all over the house - in every room. I believe that you can stay in the house in the flat at the top of the house (as a National Trust self catering property), but I would have loved to have been Agatha's house guest. Everything in her home so beautiful, and used. Her tea cups with the butterfly handles were a favourite. I hadn't realised that you could book ahead for lunch in her kitchen - I'll remember this for next time.
The NT are trying to encourage visitors to think of "Green ways" that you can visit this property, so they have laid on ferry's from Dartmouth and Totnes, and you can catch this great little vintage bus from Torquay.
The gardens are gorgeous - but very steep in places as the banks of the Dart are exceptionally steep. Everyone was surprised to see a Swimming Pool!


You get lovely views across to the pretty little village of Dittisham (more later).
We spotted this enormous grasshopper!
I think this is a Tulip Tree (Michela will correct me if I'm wrong!). The smells around the garden were delightful. Some of the NT volunteers were stripping a tree of its enormous berries. They looked like giant Blackberries, but we were told that they were Mullberry's from the Mullberry tree. They let us taste some and I can honestly say that they were the juiciest, fruitiest berries I have ever tasted. Time to bring back the Mullberry me thinks!
I loved the colour combination of these Dahlias and took a photo so that I might remember to plant some next year.
Being National Trust - of course the tea rooms were excellent. This is what happens when you send hubby for cream teas for 3!!! And the young man doesn't even like tea!
If you get chance, do visit Greenway - I know you would love it.
I'll show you the other NT property we visited next. It was from the same era, but totally different - equally wonderful though.

23 comments:

John Gray said...

THAT WHITE IRON FENCING IS LOVELY ISNT IT?
couldnt find you some of those plates and cups etc
did try!!!

noelle said...

Hey , you're back,I've missed you! Looks like you've had a fabulous time!! xx

Louise said...

That's what I call a cream tea - two big scones?!! Usually it's just the one!

It looks like a lovely place to visit!

Louise said...

P.S. I forgot to say, your grasshopper lookeed more like a cricket to me so I've had a quick dip into one of my wildlife books and I think it's either a great green cricket or an oak bush cricket?

Lyn said...

when I heard the National Trust had opened Greenway I just knew I wanted to visit...it's on my list Diane!
xxx

**Anne** said...

This looks like such a lovely place to visit.
Am I really not the only Virgo that lives in clutter and is a hoarder? I thought Virgo's were supposed to be organised, have places for everything, I feel much better now.
Anne xx

Sheffy said...

This looks a beautiful place to visit. Even the cream tea looks spectacular.

greenthumb said...

That looks so pretty, England has so much history, Australia is only just over 200 years old.

topchelseagirl said...

I've just joined the NT and am looking forward to lots of nice days out. I'd love to see this one, but it is a bit far. LOVE the old bus! x

ChrisJ said...

Oh how I love cream teas! But I confess I would have wanted double that amount of cream! But the scones look good.

Susan T said...

I love your holiday posts Diane, you should work for the tourist board. I have a book about Greenway, a fabulous house, say what you like about the NT but they do preserve properties that otherwise would be lost to time and decay.

Rosie said...

Looks wonderful - I'd love to visit Greenway. I think the tree might be a Magnolia Grandiflora but I'm not sure! I'm a Virgo and I have reading matter in every room, too:)

Dolly said...

What a wonderful start to my Sunday! thank you. I have always wanted to go to Greenway. When I visit a friend in Paignton my trip is not complete without a trip on the steam train to Dartmouth and back. But I always seen to run out of time for Greenway sadly. I would love to have seen a photo of that frieze. I have been to the Singer House though and that was quite something!

Blueberry Heart said...

look at those SCONES....faint....I think I need something to perk me up now after the sight of those...is it too early for a G&T?? off to find the reserve bottle under the kitchen sink.....!!

Have a good day - good to see you had such a good time!!

BH x

Anna at the Doll House said...

I can just picture Poirot mincing along the terrace. Wonder what he would make of English cream teas.

Anna

Mac n' Janet said...

I'm such an Agatha Christie fan, I'm currently rereading a bunch of her early works. Must visit her home sometime, it looked lovely in your photos. I could picture Miss Marple staying there.

Ellouise88 said...

So glad you had a lovely time in dear ole Devon, AND the weather was kind to you: what more could you ask for? Salcombe is so pretty and I haven't been there for years. I cam feel a trip coming on...

Michela said...

Ha ha! We exchange favours, eh Diane?! :D Of course, Rosie is right, it's a Magnolia tree!
Devon cream tea, such a legend in Blogland!
xxxx

two bones and a bagle said...

Oh that looks lovely I would have had to get my knitting out in a Miss Marple fashion. Cream tea looked goooood.

We saw Mulberry trees at Greenwich - I had no idea what they are but clever Mr Bones knew - there were loads and they were squashed on the floor. Wished ~I had tasted one - from the tree not the floor of course.

Little Blue Mouse said...

It looks a lovely place, it's a shame you couldn't take photos inside though, it sounds fantastic.

Lisa said...

I would love to travel to visit the house on that vintage bus!
Now, that;s what you call a cream tea!
Lisa x

Jewel said...

Wow what a beautiful looking house! And what a fantastic afternoon tea, the size of those scones! x

Janice said...

wow, interesting. We visited very similar places during our short break to Brixham in July. We are from Exeter, so it's only down the road. Coleton Fishacre was a pleasant surprise - very lovely. If you ever get 'down our way' again, A La Ronde is very lovely too!! You have made Devon sound idyllic, so refreshing to get such a viewpoint from someone who doesn't live here!