Autumn family fun at Greenway

 Schoolchildren working in the garden at Greenway, Devon

Summer is fading into autumn, and with the leaves turning on the trees, there are lots of things for families to enjoy. Agatha Christie and her family spent their glorious holidays at Greenway, walking through the woodland garden, playing games and spending quality time together. Why not follow in their footsteps?


Fancy a game of soft ball tennis? You'll find the tennis court complete with soft-ball tennis ready and waiting for you. Over the autumn and winter months the croquet lawn is having some TLC, so won't be available for games of croquet. The garden team will be preparing a re-seeding the lawn, which is looking worn-out after a busy summer. 


Explore the garden

The woodland garden is perfect for an autumnal stroll. With leaves turning vivid colours and the crunch of them underfoot, and fruit ripening in the Walled Garden, there is lots to discover. There are some unique elements in the garden which children love:


The vegetable plots

In the Walled Garden there are vegetable plots filled with unusual and interesting plants grown by volunteers. The showstoppers at this time of year are the grapes ripening in the Vinery. At the top of the Walled Garden there is an allotment which is cared for by school children from Galmpton Primary School.


The Boathouse and Battery

From the Boathouse you could count the boats on the river, which is always bustling with activity; trawlers, river cruises, a paddle steamer and kayakers can regularly be seen. It's also a great place to watch wildlife, such as the occasional seal in the river, and birds including kingfishers and heron. The Battery is complete with cannon, which always captures little-one's imaginations.


Garden tour

The garden team lead a free tour every day at 2pm, which lasts about 45 minutes and is a great way for families to discover the highlights of Greenway garden.



There are free trails for kids to do in the house and garden. In the house you can choose between the animal trail, perfect for younger kids, and the Agatha Christie packing trail. The animal trail involves spotting animal figures and ornaments around the house, and the more challenging Agatha Christie packing trail is a great way for children to investigate Greenway's collection as they help Agatha Christie and her husband Max Mallowan pack to go on an archaeological dig. 
The garden trail is a lovely way to encourage children to explore Greenway garden, searching for different things from nature such as flowers with more than five petals, and includes activities such as bark rubbing. 
The house trails are available to collect at the entrance to the house, and the garden trail is in visitor reception.


50 things to do before you're 11 ¾

At Greenway there are lots of 50 things to do before you're 11¾ that you can tick off your list. Autumn is a good time to do these things:
12. Make a trail with sticks
You're sure to find a stick or two if you take a walk through the woodland garden. Why not lay a trail to help you find your way back?
2. Roll down a really big hill
If you head to the Top Garden you'll see a lovely grassy hill to roll down.
33. Catch a falling leaf
You'll be spoiled for falling leaves to catch in the garden.


The Gazebo

The Gazebo in the Walled Garden is a lovely place to read and relax. There are a couple of baskets with books in for families to read, and blankets to wrap up in on chilly days. 


Half-term fun

Pumpkins will be dotted around the garden, carved with poetry as part a special creative trail this half-term, encouraging families to discover words around the garden and write their own poetry. £1 child, normal admission prices apply. On Thursday 26 October Greenway's writer-in-residence Roselle Angwin will be leading a pumpkin poetry word harvest from 11am-1pm. You could join her to collect words from the pumpkin poetry trail, to create your own poetry. You will also be able to create a craft pumpkin covered in your poem. The word harvest is free to join, normal admission prices apply. 

Look out for pumpkins at Greenway
A family looking at pumpkins growing
Look out for pumpkins at Greenway