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Walk in Agatha Christie’s footsteps in Devon

To see where the Queen of Crime got her inspiration, head over to Devon, South West England.

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The English Riviera

Famous for its palm trees, fine beaches and distinctly British seaside charm, it’s no wonder Agatha Christie spent so much time in Devon, and Torquay in particular. Fortunately for Christie fans, almost all of the places most closely associated with her are open to the public, including most of the county’s magnificent beaches.

The English Riviera

Torquay Museum

This museum has the only dedicated Agatha Christie Gallery. Paying homage to television adaptations, as well as Christie’s texts, it has a “Poirot’s study and lounge,” that features furniture, books, pictures and fireplaces used in the TV films, along with other features from the detective’s beautiful London Art Deco apartment. You can also see many of Agatha Christie’s personal effects, from handwritten notes, to some of her clothes and dozens of first editions of her novels.

Torquay Museum

529 Babbacombe Rd, Torquay

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Burgh Island

Just a glance at this magnificent island and its Art Deco hotel are all you need to realize why it would prove to be such an inspiration to the author. Christie wrote one of her most famous novels, And Then There Were None, during one of her stays here. Meanwhile, the Hercule Poirot mystery Evil -Under The Sun was also filmed here. The hotel itself is a wonderful example of Art Deco architecture and the place -almost oozes drama, heightened by the fact that it’s unreachable on foot during high tide – which is also the best time to arrive, because you may be lucky enough to be ferried across on the unique hydraulic Sea Tractor, designed in 1969 by Robert Jackson, who accepted a case of champagne in payment for his work. No Agatha Christie pilgrimage is complete without a trip here.

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Greenway House and Gardens

This estate was the beloved holiday home of Christie and her family and is featured in many of her novels, including The ABC Murders, Five Little Pigs and Dead Man’s Folly. She moved here with her husband Max Mallowan in 1938 and they stayed until their deaths in 1976 and 1978 respectively. The carefully preserved house contains beautiful collections of books, botanical china and other artefacts accumulated by the family over the years. Be sure to visit the romantic garden and courtyard. Along with a restaurant and activities for all ages, there’s naturally a secondhand bookstore, too.

Galmpton, Greenway Rd, Kingswear, Brixham

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Torquay’s Mystery Mile

More than anywhere else, Torquay is most closely associated with the author. Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller was born on 15 September 1890 in Ashfield on the northern edge of the seaside town. In her honor, a sightseeing walk along the seafront has been devised, giving visitors the chance to retrace the author’s footsteps and see many of the places mentioned in her books. Among many highlights, look out for the Grand Hotel, where Christie spent her honeymoon night with her first husband, Archie Christie, in 1914 and which has a suite named after her. Also, enjoy Torre Abbey Gardens, with plants that would provide inspiration for many a mysterious death, and Princess Pier, where Christie used to love to go roller skating. To add a little extra spice, the walk also gives you the chance to solve a mystery along the way.

Photo: The Imperial Hotel

The Imperial Hotel

This legendary Victorian hotel, dating back to 1866, was the inspiration behind the Majestic Hotel, a location used in three of Christie’s novels, Peril at End House, The Body in the Library and Sleeping Murder. Spectacularly located on the cliffside, there are wonderful views across the bay from here – Beatles fans would also be interested to hear that the Fab Four were among many of the hotel’s celebrity guests.

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