Greenway Garden ramble
Greenway House, Greenway Road, Galmpton, nr Brixham, Devon TQ5 0ESRoute details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
A large, secluded woodland garden on the banks of the River Dart with rare plants and magical glimpses of the river and the surrounding countryside. Greenway was the home of the crime writer, Agatha Christie.
- Grade of walk: Trainer (all rounder)
- Type of walk: 'Beautiful Views', 'Flora & Fauna'
- Bus stop
Start: Greenway visitor reception, grid ref: SX876548
From the car park turn left down the drive to the visitor reception, which is sign posted.
Glimpsed between garden trees or from the river, Greenway has been admired for over 400 years. On the site of a Tudor house, the central part of this building is late 18th century. Built by merchant adventurer, Roope Harris, the cost of its construction probably contributed to his bankruptcy in 1800. The side wings were added in 1815 and an east wing with a billiard room in 1892, which was later demolished by Agatha Christie in 1938. As you walk past the house, find the most recent change a 21st-century entrance to the Greenway holiday apartment.
From the reception, walk through the stable yard (where the shop is). Turn sharp left and walk a short distance, turning through the second archway on the right into the north walled garden. Here, the peach house was restored in 2010 and the nursery is privately tenanted. Plants are sourced from Greenway and Coleton Fishacre. Walk through the House and leave via the walled garden at the far left arched doorway. Follow the path which has a wall running along the left side of it, until you reach an archway on the left, go through the archway and turn right up the lane which has two concrete tracks.
Glasshouses only began to become features in many gardens in the mid 1800s. Here, in the north walled garden, the early and ornate vine house is distinctive for the chimneys which mark each end of its structure. Of later design, but present by 1865, is the central western hot house, which has a cast iron boiler. The simple peach house was built by 1890, with peaches trained along the back wall and over the semi-circular trellis. The most recent addition, the central eastern glasshouse, was built by 1954.
Walk up the lane to a house marked South Lodge Holiday Cottage and the Top Garden hill. On the left is an area known as the Plantation, with older plantings of rhododendrons from previous owners.
Tucked away amongst the planting around a gentle pond is the 'Greenway Bird'. Once a quarry from which the stone to build Greenway was taken, this is now a tranquil spot and haven for insects. The Bird is one of two statues by Bridget McCrum, kindly given to us by Rosalind Hicks, daughter of Agatha Christie. A well travelled artist who has worked on archaeological excavations and is interested in ancient sites, Bridget Mccrums work seems particularly appropriate for Greenway. Find her other piece, Mother and Child, in the Hydrangea Walk.
At the junction before South Lodge, bear to the right which takes you into the Top Garden. Here you can admire the River Dart and Dartmouth itself. Next to this is the Summerhouse, awaiting sympathetic renovation. From the Top Garden walk downhill along the hedge line, along a serpentine path, passing a clump of black bamboo on the left. Carry on round the bend in the path and take a right turn which is marked towards the house. The bird pond is just a little further on this path with a seat to enjoy the tranquillity of this spot.
The sculpture beside the pond - known as the Greenway Bird - was created by Bridget McCrumm. From the pond, walk along the main path towards the house through The Bluebell Bank.
As you walk towards the house, the gardens open up into parklands, with brilliant spring colours of primroses and bluebells.
Continue to walk past the house, with the house on the left and the walled garden on the right to the stable yard and visitor centre.
We hope that you really enjoyed this one-mile walk. The National Trust looks after some of the most spectacular areas of countryside for the enjoyment of all. We need your support to help us continue our work to cherish the countryside and provide access to our beautiful and refreshing landscapes. To find out more about how you too can help our work as a volunteer, member or donor please go to www.nationaltrust.org.uk
End: Greenway visitor reception, grid ref: SX876548
- Trail: Walking
- Grade: Moderate
- Distance: 1 mile (1.6km)
- Time: 30 minutes to 40 minutes
- OS Map: Landranger 202
A circular walk around the parameter of the woodland garden. There are some steep sections in places. Dogs are welcome but please keep them on leads.
- How to get here:
By bus: take the vintage Park and Ride bus from Torquay & Paignton to Greenway. Contact 0845 4890418 for details
By train: Paignton, 4.5 miles (7.2km)
By car: Pre-booked cars only. Contact 01803 842382 to reserve a space
- Contact us