When the crime writer Agatha Christie was born in Torquay on Devon’s glorious south coast, the town was a popular seaside resort. It was 1890, the start of Queen Victoria’s last decade as monarch, and Torquay was a fashionable destination for all sorts of people. There were those looking for a permanent home by the sea as well as holidaymakers in search of long hours of sunshine and a mild climate.
Scene of the crime
In many ways, Torquay remains much the same today and its impressive setting still evokes a sense of its Victorian heyday. A local steam train attraction adds to the atmosphere; you can travel from Paignton to Dartmouth, alighting at Churston, just as Hercule Poirot does in Christie’s 1930s detective novel The ABC Murders. The Queen of Crime herself used this station when she had a summer home nearby. The house, Greenway, overlooks a glorious sweep of the River Dart and is now managed by the National Trust.