Tuesday, 23 April 2013


On Day 1 of our holiday in Dartmouth, and buoyed-up by the success of the previous week’s National Trust fest, and facilitated by the Google Keep app which my 7yo introduced to me (list-making writ-large on your mobile … colour coding & everything!), I compiled a list of possible days out. 
Obviously my family were thrilled with this regimented approach to relaxation, but humoured me enough to start the week off with a visit to Greenway, Agatha Christie’s house.  This is set in this secluded, almost tropical woodland descending down to the river Dart, with rather wonderful wooded and garden walks around the Valley.

We had actually visited once before, when Harry was a toddler and I remember regretting not bringing the pushchair as there were one or two walking-related tantrums. But Katie’s almost a year older and we didn’t particularly fancy carting the pushchair on a crowded ferry with three of them in tow, so we risked it.  And as luck would have it the ‘carry me’ scenarios were pretty much kept to a minimum, thanks largely I think to Katie’s development of an exciting new game called 'More Chair' at Greenway.  I won’t go into the rules of this, suffice to say they are relatively straightforward and approximately 50 rounds of 'More Chair' ensued until we were all somewhat More Chaired out.  It is fair to say that Greenway is very well serviced for places to sit and take in the views.  Anyway, as we’d done the 50s-restored house previously, and bearing in mind the Katie factor, we decided to concentrate on the gardens today.

There was a nature trail on offer, but despite Charlotte’s enthusiasm this was a bit too unstructured for the younger two, so we deviated off into more chaotic exploring, interspersed obviously with many games of ‘More Chair’ and ‘It’.  There was an air raid shelter and a lovely walled garden, but most of the time was spent on the loops of the gardens that scaled the valley.  Obviously this was fuelled by some National Trust trusty soup; there were no children’s lunch boxes on offer, but luckily this was swallowed fairly easily, and made up for later with ice creams.

You can get to Greenway by car, but I don’t think it’s particularly straightforward or has much capacity, most people come by boat.  Last time we got the ferry over from Dittisham, which is only just across the river.  This time we caught it from Dartmouth, which was £25 for the five of us (K was free), and lasted maybe half an hour.  So probably not the most cost efficient option, but as a way of multi-tasking in a boat-trip to a day, a good one.  And the boat had a bar and selecting of pacifying confectionary, which seemed like wise additions in the light of K’s over-confidence near boat edges on the return journey.

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