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Birthday Outing to Greenway

Finally managed to get to Agatha Christie's holiday home beside the beautiful River Dart. Whilst... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
lucylou2016
,
Torquay, United Kingdom
via mobile
Meeting Lady Agatha Christie

Meeting the creator of our Belgian detective mr Hercule Poirot and not only, but as Lady Agatha... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
LaMaisonBelge
,
Larnaca, Cyprus
via mobile
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Reviewed July 21, 2013

Unfortunately on the day we visited Greenway it was rather crowded. Visitors need to be aware that car drivers need to prebook for the car park. The house itself is quite interesting as all he contents are from the time of Agatha Christie who used this as a holiday home. Lots of family photos and interesting "clutter". Fantastic position overlooking the River Dart. Worth a visit.

1  Thank Gillian G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NTEnglishRiviera, Marketing and Communications Intern at Greenway, responded to this reviewResponded July 26, 2013

Thank you for your review. It does sound like you managed to enjoy your visit despite all the crowds. Hopefully we will see you again some time when it is much quieter.

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Reviewed July 19, 2013

We decided on a weeks holiday in Dartmouth so that we could go to Greenway as we are all big Agatha fans. There's limited parking and so they recommend you arrive by other methods; bus, train or boat. This was a welcome day away from Devon's skinny roads for our nominated driver!! However the Greenway Ferry website gave the impression that whichever of the outgoing ferries you got on, there would be a set return time and this really put us off booking in advance because we didn't know how long we were going to be. We were told the same at the National Trust shop BUT when we got our tickets which we purchased directly from the Greenway Ferries Kiosk there were no times detailed on the tickets. We thought buying a ticket guaranteed there was space on the boat - it doesn't! In reality it works on a first come first served basis and so we were glad we got in the queue early. We were told the boat (the Christie Belle - aaaaahhh!) could hold 98, but over 120 got on! Luckily, it didn't sink and we all got there in one piece. I'm putting this in the review so that people are aware and I do also think that NT should have a think about the way they communicate with people about the transport options. Additionally, when we arrived at Greenway Quay, we discovered it was one hell of an uphill climb through the trees to actually get to the house, and our boat had a lot of elderly people on it. This hike wasn't advertised on the website or member handbook! Apparently there is a courtesy bus, but it wasn't there when we got off the boat. The boats run to a schedule, so you would think the courtesy bus would manage to be in the right place at the right time. The climb nearly finished off a few potential visitors before they got anywhere near the house!! So getting there was an adventure in itself and it could be off putting for a less determined group.

The house itself was packed! I have never been to a National Trust property that was as busy as this. I believe it used to be timed entry but is now free flow. On our way in, we were told we should have come on Saturday, as it's their quietest day. In fact we went on a Wednesday and were told it was their busiest day. Why not share this information with the world and put it on the website?! Anyway, it really was packed and it was impossible to get a photo of the outside of the house with no people in it. To their credit, they had put deck chairs in the shade for people to rest and recover from the 30 degree heat. It was impossible to even enter the house at first as the hallway was blocked, probably because the route through the house passes through it several times. Firstly, you enter there, then later you end up back there after leaving a room, and if you are lucky a room guide sends you upstairs. However in my case the room guide for the hall was BLOCKING the stairs! Once you've taken a look around upstairs, you come back down the same staircase into the hall again and there are still 2 directions for you to choose from! So I feel the bottlenecks in the hallway could have been lessened by the room guides doing a better job and also by the route being better marked. Other NT properties use rope to indicate the direction, but there was none in use here. On the one hand it was nice that there was no rope, but if it is going to be that busy every day, I think they need to have a rethink, just to get some flow round the house. It was disappointing that people could not view the kitchen at lunch time because it was being used to serve meals, luckily I saw it but many others did not. It's a nice sentiment being able to have a meal in Agatha Christie's kitchen, but the house is just too busy for that, I think the room needs to be opened up to spread out the volume of visitors. I was disappointed that we weren't given a map on entry, when I clearly saw other guests walking round with them. We didn't know how to get to the boathouse, how far away it was, and whether we had time. I didn't think they were using the grounds as well as they could have done. They could have directed some of the visitors to other areas with just a little bit of planning and alleviated the traffic problems inside the house. All in all I think that for the house, timed entry would have been better and for the gardens, a map is crucial.

There is a lot of information in the house, and the "scrapbooks" in each room were excellent. The only problem being, people stood around where they had picked up the information and caused bottlenecks whilst they read the information. They might have been unsure about sitting down as this is not allowed in many NT properties, but I asked on the way in and was told I could sit on any green chair, so after I had picked up a scrapbook I would plonk myself in the corner for a good read. The house honestly is a treat and for anyone who has read Agatha Christie books there is an element of the familiar about each room you enter. I enjoyed learning about her archaeology trips with her husband Max Mallowan and seeing some of the trinkets she brought back. A visit to Greenway really does make you feel like you met Agatha and knew her so well. So I suppose that means they have done a good job with the exhibitions inside and there is no doubt, there was more information available here than in any other NT property I have ever been to.

2  Thank sticky11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2013

The website is awkward and nearly made us lose the will to live when we tried to book a car parking space so we decided to arrive by steam train instead. Luckily it was a pleasant day as the walk from through woodland from Greenway Halt is long and mainly uphill. We are regular walkers & reasonably fit but it still took us nearly 30 mins to get there and a good 20 mins to return later; the difference being due to it being mostly steeply uphill to get there.

The view from the house over the river was lovely but the house itself and gardens were rather disappointing. Quite a bit of the house wasn't open and the remainder was crowded and cluttered with mainly cheap knick-nacks which made it feel rather like being in a junk shop despite there being some fine pieces of georgian furniture. The concept of a pianist playing in the sitting room is good but less loud would be nicer and kinder on the ears.

The walled gardens could have done with a bit more attention and seemed a bit tired.A few more seating places wouldn't go amiss.

All in all, it didn't feel as if it was good value for the steep entrance price.

Thank CarolRichmond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2013

Agatha Cristie's summer house is filled with all sorts of interesting objects. This National Trust property is staffed by knowledgeable volunteers who are clearly enthusiastic about the house. The gardens are delightful and there is plenty to do here for at least half a day.

1  Thank Tom C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2013

We took two teenagers to visit Greenway last week and they were very interested. We took the steam train there and the ferry back. The whole day out was excellent. The house is in a breathtaking position, the gardens are lovely and the tea room/cafe was very pleasant. It was particularly nice to sit on the lawn, in the sun, on the deck chairs provided.

Thank Yvonne630
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NTEnglishRiviera, Marketing and Communications Officer at Greenway, responded to this reviewResponded July 17, 2013

Thank you for your review - I'm so glad to see that you and your family enjoyed your visit to Greenway. What a nice way to get travel as well by combining the steam train and ferry - great thinking. I'm very pleased that you felt the whole day was excellent - I'll pass on your comments to the team.

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