Monday, 18 April 2011

The Island that inspired Agatha Christie


On Sunday, I had the sudden urge to go to the coast! Although we had quite a few other things to do (work, garden etc..) Alan felt the same, so without further delay we dropped everything and drove to South Devon.

The first place we went to was Noss Mayo, it was a lot busier than I recalled. The last time I went there was about 15 years ago or so and was not during the holiday season. So many cars this time, it was a nightmare navigating through the narrow road leading to the harbour. After a short time there we drove on to Newton Ferrers where we stopped and had a walk.


We left Newton Ferrers and headed for Bigsbury-on-Sea, on the way there we drove through Modbury, a pretty little town. Alan and I stayed there a couple of years ago.


As we arrived in Bigbury-on-Sea we were greeted with a view of Burgh Island.

It looked more like a summer's day, adults and children were playing and sunbathing on the sandy causeway.
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This surfer almost knocked people down with his kite as he appeared to temporarily loose control of it. It only just missed them!


View looking back to Bigsbury-On-Sea


Pilchard Inn on the left


I was really looking forward to seeing the famous Burgh Island Hotel. Famous, as it was here that Agatha Christie wrote two of her novels "Evil under the Sun" and "And Then There Were None". Both stories are set on the island. The hotel was also used for the TV version of "Evil under the sun" with David Suchet as Poirot.







I had hoped to have afternoon tea at the hotel and perhaps get a glimpse of this beautiful room


but my hopes were dashed when I saw this sign at the entrance:

:-(( Oh well, we will just have to go and stay there some day...


I contented myself with walking around the island admiring the views all around it.










Remains of a former chapel

As I walked around I could imagine how this place might be the perfect setting for an Agatha Christie story. The Art Deco hotel, the dramatic scenery and steep cliffs...




By the time we decided to make our way back to Bigsbury-on-Sea, the tide had covered the causeway so we waited for the sea tractor.



Funny looking thing but it does its job well.



Goodbye Burgh...





Time to head back home...

I hope that you all had a good weekend.

A bientôt!

Isabelle X

Thank you to Elegancemaison who added some very interesting information about Burgh Island in her comment below. Here is a picture of the book mentioned. It looks like a must have book if you are interested in Burgh Island or Agatha Christie. I shall certainly be getting a copy of it.


39 comments:

Jem said...

It looks like you had a wonderful day - I can't explain just how much I love Devon and Cornwall, I'd move there in a heartbeat! :-)

What a shame you couldn't take tea at Burgh Island! I've often sat coveting the interiors on their website, can't imagine a lovelier place to stay!

Jem xXx

KC'sCourt! said...

Looks a lovely day and brought back memories for me, we had a lovely day there back in the mid-eighties when our boys were very young, the hotel wasn't restored then it was just a shell of a building. It is a pity you couldn't have tea there, I bet lots of people are disappointed too.
Julie xxxxxxx

Kylie said...

Burgh Island Hotel looks beautiful...there is something very special and slightly scary about those trees inside the front gate.
Loved this post...thank you

Anna said...

That place looks wonderful, how exiting with all that history!

Anna x

Scrappy Grams said...

Oh, my such beauty that I've only imagine while reading Christie and Pilcher! The sights leave me breathless!
I came here via le monde de Catherine. I'm now a follower. :)

Jessie said...

I love to visit Bigbury! We spotted dolphins out to sea last time we walked around the island.You should go to Greenway house next time you're in Devon, it used to be Agatha Christie's holiday home. Its beautiful this time of year as the magnolia trees are in blossom.xx

Ivy Black said...

Just lovely! I fancy a stay on Burgh Island.x

Cinzia said...

I love so much your country!!!
It's wonderful...
Cinzia

delia hornbook said...

Such beautiful photo's the colour of the sky is just amazing when taken by the coast. dee x

a mermaids purse said...

oh i havent been there for almost a year- i must visit the island again, yes we were disapointed too that you couldnt get closer and have a cup of tea- i love the tractor that takes you to the main land- you feel so high up...but fun!
just further on around the main land beach we found beautiful star fish the time we went- hidden amongst the rocks in the tidal pools...beautiful place! ;0)

lovely piccys isabelle x

Madelief said...

Hi Isabelle,

It looks like you had a lovely day out! I can remember Burgh Island from the Poirot series. It's 'Art Deco' isn't it? What a pity is wasn't open to visitors.

Have a good evening!

Lieve groet, Madelief

Blondie's Journal said...

Thank you for the fun tour, Isabelle! It looks like you had a lovely day. I enjoyed all of the pretty scenery and a glimpse of the Burgh island Hotel. My mother was a big fan of Agatha Christie and would have liked seeing your pictures. The ones you took on the cliffs are breathtaking! So glad you had a great day!

XO,
Jane

Pomona said...

It looks a beautiful place - what a lovely way to spend your weekend.

Pomona x

It's me said...

What a beautiful place to be !! thanks for sharing with us ....love love love Ria....xxx...

Elegancemaison said...

What bores the new owners of the hotel are. We visited and stayed several times in the 1980s under the previous owners about whom the current owners are very scathing. But Tony and Bea Porter were such lovely people and true Art Deco period enthusiasts. Bea's sister is Barbara Hulanicki of Biba which was named for their other sister. Tony and Bea rescued the hotel and pub and island from ruin by selling everything they owned because they believed in their dream. Even at the time we thought them too trusting of the many helpful 'advisers' on the running of a hotel.

We and our young children joined in the 'Run The world' charity event organised by Tony and Bea on the sands of the causeway in 1985.

Later Tony wrote a book about their experiences
http://www.tonyporter.co.uk/book.htm

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

Thank-you-much for taking us along on your delightful day away. Lovely all!

And also thank you for the background information. I didn't know any of that. :-) Must rent that tv version of 'Evil Under The Sun.' To see the hotel, in all its art deco beauty.

Gentle hugs,
...♥...

SarahB said...

What a shame you didn't get to have afternoon tea at the Burgh Island Hotel - just this afternoon I watched an episode of Kirstie's Homemade Home and she had a tour of the hotel looking for inspiration for her bathroom, it looked fabulous!!

S x

My Spotty Pony said...

I have always wanted to go to Burgh Island. Such a shame they do not offer afternoon tea to non-residents.
I am glad you still had a wonderful day and with such beautiful weather too. Thank you for sharing it.
Abby x

Vintage Sunday said...

Thank you so much for the wonderful tour Isabelle! I loved that particular episode of Poirot too! What a shame they do not welcome non-residents for tea! Oh and that sea tractor looked like so much fun! Thank you so much for sharing your lovely day out with us! Love Brenda xo

josephinetalepeddler said...

Glorious day out, Isabelle. Glad you followed your impulse to go. All work and no play. Alan and you will have to book for an anniversary night there. I can imagine you in that setting. I remember on Love My Dress that beautiful bride who married there. David's parents have visited the island as well as they are both Christie fans. On our next trip to England, I'd love to visit all the Christie haunts. I've just started re-reading all her books as the films have taken over a bit in my mind. And I remember the Kirstie show when she used the bathroom for her inspiration and the book looks fascinating. I haven't seen that one! xx

Marydon said...

What an absolutely fabulous capture of this beauatiful place ... TY for taking us along on your trip. Yes, it is easy to see why a book could inspire from this awesome setting.

Have an EGGS-TRA blessed Easter ~
TTFN ~
Marydon

June said...

Oh this was wondeful Isabelle!!! What beautiful pictures of a beautiful place. The views are amazing. I could never get that close to the edge of that cliff!!!! You are one brave girl.
sending hugs...

Lululiz said...

Such a gorgeous part of the country, and beautifully photographed.

wendz said...

I've just had to go to Google maps to see where all of this is - how lovely to be able to drive there for the day. I have been down that part of the world once, in 1993, on my honeymoon (to my ex-husband, who is a Belgian now living in France) - and I loved it so much I still yearn to go back.

It looks beautiful. And I love that quirky sea tractor.

Thanks for that post - it was so interesting and the photos were great.

Angie Burrett said...

You look as if you had the most fabulous day - that beach is so lovely. Another place nearby which is worth a visit is Bantham - lovely beach, great pub which does fresh crab sandwiches etc. and thewalks are wonderful. You can see Burgh Island, but the sea tractor doesn't go from there. But I would recommend - it is lovely. Angie

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

What a gorgeous, gorgeous place! So picturesque and calm...save for the rogue kites!!!

Sarahx

Jeannies Bottle said...

This was a very interesting post. Wish I could go to England!!

Jeannies Bottle said...

This was a very interesting post. Would love love love to go to England!

Sylvia said...

Looks like you had a wonderful day out, Isabelle !
I enjoyed reading this post, beautiful pictures and I love reading Agatha Christie's novels.
That book of Burgh Island looks interesting too.
Thanks for sharing !
Wish you a nice evening,
Sylvia

andamento said...

Gorgeous photos. It seemed an excellent day out, well worth leaving the chores for another time.

June said...

Thanks for the tour. Oh, to sit on the cliff tops and read an Agatha Christie but not to get too close to the edge!
June

paprika rose said...

I'm so happy to have stumbled upon your blog! I have such a passion for the English landscapes and British mysteries...especially Poirot!!! So, this was an enjoyable read.
Cheers! Agnes

sarah-jane down the lane said...

Heavenly Isabelle! My in-laws live in Thurlestone and Noss Mayo is a favourite of ours too! As for Burgh Island, LOVE IT!
So happy I stopped by, it is so lovely to see your pics and be reminded of happy times,

Happy Easter to you all,

Sarah x

The Vintage Bazaar said...

You lucky thing to even get that close to Burgh Island! It is somewhere that I have always wanted to visit too! Several years ago I was lucky enough to buy a couple of the old hotel chairs. The new owners had replaced some of the Lloyd Loom chairs with modern versions! Perhaps we will also get to stay there one day! Lizzie x

Cottage Garden said...

I loved this post Isabelle. I remember going to Burgh Island many years ago. Your photos are fab.

Jeanne
x

Antonia said...

Thank you very much for your lovely comment on my blog Isabelle. I wish you very happy Easterdays, Antonia

Monica@The White Bench said...

Isabelle,
I so enjoyed this post! I've been fascinated by that place since the very first time I saw it in Evil under the Sun with Suchet. Hope I will be able to visit someday.
Monica xo

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Whoa. How awesome! I want to go there! I adore AC.

Lady Cherry said...

Aww l guess they got fed up with Christie tourists, how mean of them. Would love to see that!