Top six Agatha Christie experiences this summer and autumn

Our roundup of the best events and themed walks happening in Devon to celebrate the life (and crimes) of Agatha Christie.  

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The first new Poirot mystery in 40 years is about to be published, and to celebrate we’re exploring Agatha Christie country in Devon in BBC Countryfile Magazine‘s September issue, on sale on August 8.

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Here’s Eve Betts’ pick of the best events and themed walks happening in the area this summer, celebrating the works of the Queen of Crime. 

1. The Agatha Christie festival

Celebrating the works of crime writers across the world, the festival, based in Torre Abbey in Torquay, will feature talks by writers (including Sophie Hannah, author of new Poirot book The Monogram Murders), boat trips, kid’s detective trails, performances of Christie’s plays, talks on poisonous plants and tons more. Read the full programme here. 

14-21 September

2. The Agatha Christie Sea Swim

As part of the Agatha Christie festival, brave fans are pulling on their wetsuits and clipping on their nose plugs for a one mile swim starting at Broadsands Beach, Paignton. Agatha Christie herself was a keen swimmer and often bathed near Elberry Cove. The event will raise funds for both the Devon Air Ambulance Trust and the Torbay Surf Life Saving Club.

Sunday 21 September, 12pm-5pm, £20

3. Murder Mystery Weekender

The Old Swan Hotel at Harrogate is infamous as the place where Agatha Christie was found after mysteriously dissappearing, and this autumn it’s inviting eager detectives to polish up their little grey cells and join them for a weekend of mystery and hilarity. From Friday until Sunday, you’ll be reveling in clues, red herrings and shadowy events before deciding who the culprit is.

From 19 September, £199 per person

4. Agatha Christie Literary Trail

Book lovers take heed, a literary trail through the English Riviera and South Devon is at your fingertips. In the warmth of the Devonshire sun, explore the most inspirational sites behind 20 of Agatha Christie’s novels, including the original Majestic Hotel – or the Imperial Hotel of Torquay – which features in Peril at End House and The Body in the Library. If the fancy takes you, take a ride on the train to Churston Station and potter down to Elberry Cove, locations that both appear in The ABC Murders.

To read the literary trail leaflet

5. Open air cinema – Evil Under the Sun

What better way to enjoy a murder mystery movie than in the open air at Agatha Christie’s glorious home, Greenway? Evil Under the Sun is screening in Greenway’s walled garden on the 16th of September. Popcorn and a barbecue complete every Christie fan’s evening.

16th September, 8pm, £8

6. Agatha Christie’s Mile Torquay

Retrace the footsteps of the Queen of Crime along Torquay’s seafront. The Agatha Christie Mile begins at the Grand Hotel and leads you along some of the famous author’s favourite spots. Visit Princess Pier, where Agatha Christie spent her childhood rollerskating her way up and down the sea front, or wander round Torre Abbey Garden where you’ll discover the Potent Plants collection, which inspired potions and poisons in her books. 

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Read an in-depth guide to the Agatha Christie Mile.