Torquay's Agatha Christie Mile (and a few extras!)
The Agatha Christie Mile was established in 1990 to mark Agatha’s centenary year and includes specific locations marked with centenary plaques on a one-mile route and is easily accessible from Heathcliff House - we've added a couple of extra points of interest which makes the walk a bit more than a mile!
Start at Heathcliff House (formerly Torre Vicarage and template and inspiration for Murder at the Vicarage), walk uphill to Barton Road to view the Birthplace blue plaque at the former site of Ashfield.
Return down the hill and follow South Street down to All Saints Church, where Agatha Christie was baptised. We then suggest that you head down Bamfylde Road onto Avenue Road then down onto Falkland Road and make a stop at Torre Abbey Gardens which is the home of Agatha Christie’s Potent Plants collection inspired by the poisons and potions in her books.
Return to Falkland Road and onto Rathmore Road towards the sea front, passing Torquay Railway Station where the Grand Hotel sits imposingly overlooking the sea. This is where Agatha spent her honeymoon night with Archie Christie after getting married in Bristol on Christmas Eve 1914.
Continue along the sea front passing the Princess Theatre to the Princess Pier, built in 1890 and a favourite spot of Agatha’s for roller-skating. Here too are the Princess Gardens opened in 1894 to honour Princess Louise, Queen Victoria’s daughter, built to classic Victorian design with an ornate fountain, crowded flower beds and Torbay Palms imported from New Zealand, the gardens feature in the ABC Murders.
Continue along the front to the The Pavilion, this architecturally interesting building was opened in 1912 as a grand concert hall, Archie Christie proposed to Agatha after a Wagner concert here.
Stop near here and admire the Agatha Christie Bust created by Dutch sculptor Carol Van Den Boom-Cairns. Walk along The Strand, a popular meeting place in the early part of the 20th Century, young Agatha would have shopped with her mother at the department store, William and Cox which is now Hoopers.
Agatha’s father Frederick Miller was a prominent member at Royal Torbay Yacht Club on Beacon Hill, Torbay has a rich maritime history and the 1947 Olympic watersports took place at Torquay.
Close by is Beacon Cove which was once the Ladies Bathing Cove, there is a good view from the café terrace at Living Coasts. The Imperial Hotel is a little further on and featured in a number of novels and is described as Hastings as ...."In its own grounds on the headland overlooking the sea.
The gardens of the hotel lay below us freely interspersed with palm trees. The sea was of a deep and lovely blue."
Finally make your way back to Torquay Museum on Babbacombe Road, Agatha’s father was a Fellow of the Torquay Natural History Society which managed the original collections for the museum including the artefacts excavated from Kents Cavern.
The museum is home to the UK’s only dedicated Agatha Christie Gallery which was created with the help of the Christie family and includes unpublished images of Agatha and provides and insight into her life and works.
Torquay’s Agatha Christie Mile Leaflet download it here
Some images included with kind permission from www.englishriviera.co.uk