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Visiting Green Gables House on Prince Edward Island in Atlantic Canada

Athlyn Green makes her home minutes away from the Bay of Fundy. She enjoys the huge tides, rugged coastlines, and stunning vistas.

A House Trimmed in Green Inpires a Story

Green Gables house as it appears today.

Green Gables house as it appears today.

Green Gables House Fires Iimagination of Anne Lovers and Calls Them "Home."

When we think of Marilla and Matthew, Anne and Gilbert, and the events that touched their lives, one could almost believe they were real people. Lucy Maud Montgomery's characters, with their human failings and triumphs, through the details of their daily lives in the Maritimes during the late 1800s through to the end of WWI, (and as discovered in the Green Gables books), have put a real farm on the north shore of Prince Edward Island, Canada, on the world map.

People the world over fell in love all over again with the series when it was portrayed in the Kevin Sullivan film and broadcast as a television movie in 1985 via the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Viewers had read all the details in the books but now they could actually see into Anne's world, a time when there was no central heating or indoor plumbing, when good, solid family values were the order of the day. The two-part miniseries earned the distinction of being the highest rated program to ever appear on Canadian television. In 1986, the film appeared on PBS in the U.S.

Megan Follows was the perfect Anne, as was Johnathan Crombie the perfect Gilbert, and who didn't love Marilla (Colleen Dewhurst) or Matthew (Richard Farnsworth)?

And, of course, there was the magic of the island and the house itself. Green Gables captured imaginations and hearts.

In 1986 work began to further restore the home to more accurately portray it, as described in the Anne books. To everyone who ever longed to return to their roots, Green Gables became a symbol of "going home" and the comfort that particular type of nostalgia brings.

"It's lovely to be going home and know it's home... I love Green Gables already, and I never loved any place before."

Anne and Mathew approach Green Gables.

Anne and Mathew approach Green Gables.

A May Visit

We visited the property in late May when they were just opening for the season, so while nothing was yet blooming, things were starting to green up. And while not truly open yet, a pleasant young lady allowed us inside Green Gables.

Green Gables House, Prince Edward Island in Spring

Green Gables House in Spring--not yet open but we were allowed inside and got to explore the rooms.

Green Gables House in Spring--not yet open but we were allowed inside and got to explore the rooms.

Green Gables Receives Numerous Visits Each Year

This article helps acquaint visitors with the house and land around it.

Anne's Theme, Hagood Hardy

An Island Well Loved

• The Micmac Indians who settled the island called it Abegweit, meaning, a land cradled upon the waves.

• Jacques Cartier called it "the fairest land 'tis possible to see."

Green Gables is surrounded by forest and is situated minutes away from Cavendish Beach off the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.

Lucy Maud was born a short distance away in Clifton, now New London.

After her mother's death, she went to live with her grandparents, who lived in Cavendish, just up the road from the Green Gables farmhouse..

As many are aware, "Green Gables" had its inspiration in the actual homestead of L.M. Montgomery's relatives. The farm belonged to David and Margaret Macneill, cousins of Montgomery's grandfather, and it was just a stone's throw from the house Maud lived in with her grandparents.

Lucy Maud, living nearby, could follow the path through the woods down to the farm. She visited often, and stayed at the MacNeill homestead. It was this farm, set away in a remote corner of Canada, that fired the creation of Green Gables and the story of an orphan girl who finally found a place she could call home.

  • Like Marilla and Matthew, David and Margaret were an elderly couple who ran a farm on the north shore of Prince Edward Island.
  • Like Anne, Lucy Maud was inspired by natural elements of brooks, woodland paths, and forest around the farm, and she explored these with delight.

The actual Green Gables House, as well as the site of the author's Cavendish home have received the 2005 designation as part of Lucy Maud Montgomery's Cavendish National Historic Site.

With the Passage of Time, the Island Received a Number of Names


Ile St-Jean

Island of St. John

Prince Edward Island (in 1799, named for Queen Victoria's father)

Scroll to Continue

Anne and Diana


A Visit to Green Gables

After a turn-in from the highway, visitors follow a lane to the parking area. From the parking lot, one can enter the grounds. Some of the first buildings to be seen are the outbuildings.

Green Gables Barn--inside the barn, interpretive displays guide visitors through farm life of the time, with an overview of the history of Cavendish. An award-winning film, "A Celebration of Imagination - the Life of L.M. Montgomery" chronicles events in the author's life.

Green Gables Barns & Outbuildings

Image: Green Gables Barn

Image: Green Gables Barn

Gables Timeline

  • Green Gables Farm was first settled in 1831 by David Macneill Senior.
  • David and Margaret's niece, Mrytle, married an Ernest Webb and they lived in the home. When Lucy Maud visited the island, she stayed with them at Green Gables.
  • In 1936, the Webb's sold the property and it became part of Prince Edward Island National Park.



The outbuildings accurately reflect farm buildings of the period. Visitors can view the barn, a granary, and the woodshed. These buildings are a close match to the farm Montgomery would have known and loved, while growing up nearby.

Green Gables Visitor Center & Interpretive Displays

A Visitor Center offers an audio-visual presentation, which details the the history of the site, with an exhibit highlighting the life and writings of L.M. Montgomery.

"I'd rather walk calmly along and do without flying and thud."


Restoration Efforts Have Added More of the Anne Factor

Next, visitors see Green Gables House, which has been restored to a typical farmhouse of the late Victorian period. A walk through the house is like a walk through the late 1800s and one can't help feel a sense of appreciation for being able to take a step back in time and experience what it was like to live then. You don't just "see" Green Gables, you "feel" it.

By utilizing photographs taken by L.M. Montgomery, Parks Canada curators were able to choose accessories, curtains, wallpaper, and carpets for Green Gables and perhaps this is why visitors have the sense that they have been transported back to Anne's time.

When walking through the house, you almost expect to see Marilla or Matthew or Anne and there is almost a feeling of sadness that they aren't there to share time with you.

The Parlor--a Room Mathew Wouldn't Have Stepped Foot in

Image: Period Furniture in Green Gables Parlor

Image: Period Furniture in Green Gables Parlor

The sitting room at Green Gables where Anne would have entertained Diana and served her what she thought was raspberry cordial.

Image: Green Gables Sitting Room

Image: Green Gables Sitting Room

Since 1936, the Macneill Home (Green Gables Farm) and the surrounding acreage (Prince Edward Island National Park) have been maintained by Parks Canada.

The bedroom as described in the Anne books, even to a dress with puffed sleeves.

Image: Anne's Bedroom at Green Gables

Image: Anne's Bedroom at Green Gables

A Commemorative Volume

Treasury Recreates Anne's World

I enjoyed reading this book and found it was like stepping through an invisible doorway and into Anne's world. With wallpaper of the period trimming the pages, and offerings and activities, as mentioned below, this treasury has lovingly recreated Anne's life at Green Gables in what is truly a special commemorative volume.

  • Recipes Anne would have made, including Marilla's plum puffs
  • Handcrafts as they were done in Anne's day, including how to make crocheted lace and a pressed flower picture
  • Flowers, as would have grown in Anne's garden and instructions on how to candy violets to use as garnishes and edible treats
  1. Learn about day-to-day life at Green Gables.
  2. Read quotations from the Anne books
  3. Enjoy 150 full-color reproductions of original paintings and sketches.
  4. Take a tour of the island through the drawings and maps, including a specially-designed Anne Tour of Prince Edward Island.

A must-have for those who love the Land of Anne.

If you were out in a great big woods with other trees all around you and little mosses and June Bells growing over your roots and a brook not far away and birds singing in your branches, you could grow, couldn't you?"

— L. M. Montgomery

Brooks, Trails, Woods, Sand and Surf Part of Anne's World

"The island is the bloomiest place ... I've always heard that Prince Edward Island was the prettiest place in the world."

The creek and woods near to Green Gables were explored and loved by Lucy Maud, the sandy beaches and red sandstone cliffs nearby touched her soul, and these natural places of beauty played a part in the story and in the movie.

She described them so eloquently and thus stirred the imaginations of her readers. It was this coupling of memorable characters with memorable natural places that drew in a vast audience.

Just as Lucy Maude did while growing up, visitors can enjoy the sights and sounds of "Anne's world" today.

"It'll be three years before I finish medical school. Even then there won't be any diamond sunbursts or marble halls."


Green Gables Trails

Nature lovers will enjoy exploring two trails on-site.

  • Balsam Hollow Trail--begins as Lover's Lane. Visitors can take a 30-minute stroll through a shady forest to the soft sounds of a babbling brook.
  • The Haunted Wood Trail--take a 45-minute walk through a woodland area.

Make sure to read the interpretive signs for insights about L. M. Montgomery.

In the woods I like to be alone for every tree is a true old friend.

— L. M. Montgomery

Lover's Lane


A brook was laughing to itself in the hollow. Brooks are always in good spirits... those gay vagabonds of the valleys.

— L. M. Montgomery

Fast Facts About PEI

  • Canada's birthplace
  • Canada's smallest province (140 miles long by 40 miles across)
  • Red roads that come from iron-rich soil
  • Good farm land

Anne, From Her Bedroom Window, Would Have Looked Out Over This

The home is situated on a hill that slopes down to a creek. The Haunted Wood, as portrayed in the stories, goes up on the other side.

Learn More About Green Gables, Lover's Lane & the Haunted Wood

Special Places Anne Loved in and Around Green Gables

LanesOrchards & WoodsPlaces

Birch Path

Mr. Barry's Field

Dryad's Bubble

Lover's Lane

Mr. Bell's Field


The Avenue

Orchard Slope

Lake of Shining Waters

White Way of Delight

The Haunted Wood

Victoria Island



Violet Vale




View From Field (Orchard Slope) Looking Towards Green Gables

Image: Field Overlooking Green Gables House and Outbuildings

Image: Field Overlooking Green Gables House and Outbuildings

Island Places Used in the Anne Books

Lucy Maude incorporated many actual places on the island and these occur in her books, with different names. What are some of these?

  • Anne took a ferry from Nova Scotia across to P.E.I. This would have been at Pictou, NS.
  • She then took a train to "Bright River," which was in actuality Hunter River.
  • She arrived in Avonlea (Cavendish).
  • New London Harbour (Four Winds Harbour)
  • Carmody (Stanley Bridge).

Island Places in the Kevin Sullivan Films

  • Dalvay-by-the Sea in Grande Tracadie (White Sands Hotel)
  • Orby Head (Anne and Diana stood on a cliff)
  • Rustico Bay (east of Cavendish)
  • Shore Road (where Anne and Marilla drove to see Mrs. Spencer)

If You Can't Get to the Island, Why Not Take a Virtual Tour? Explore Lover's Lane & the Haunted Woods

  • Go to the Google map below.
  • Find Green Gables.
  • Drag the little orange man over until you see blue lines.
  • Set him down on any of the trails to go exploring.
  • Once you are positioned on the trail, click on the directional arrows (over on the right) to move forward and start exploring.

Aerial View of Green Gables, Orchard Slope (right) and Lover's Lane (bottom)

Getting to Green Gables

Green Gables is located on Route 6 in Cavendish (Avonlea in the Anne books) on Prince Edward Island. Head north from Charlottetown and follow Route 2 west to Hunter River. Turn right onto Route 13 to the intersection of Route 13 and 6 in Cavendish. Turn left from Route 13 onto route 6. Green Gables is located on the left, a short distance from the intersection.

It's a pleasant drive northward with fields and glimpses of water at every turn. Travelers will see plenty of road signs pointing the way. The route is well-marked.

The Land of Anne

Sites of Interest Near Green Gables House

Cavendish Beach is minutes away from Green Gables House, allowing visitors to view the landscape that inspired the Anne books. Located on the North Shore of Prince Edward Island, Cavendish beach fronts the Gulf of St. Lawrence and is in Prince Edward Island National Park. It extends 8 km from New London Bay in the west to the red sandstone cliffs in Cavendish East. Expect to see the Lake of Shining Waters, sand dunes, and sand that stretches for miles.

Naturally, the shore was part of my life from my earliest consciousness. I learned to know it and love it in every mood.

— L.M. Montgomery

Red Cliffs border the Shore Drive, where Marilla and Anne drove in the buggy to see Mrs. Spencer


Touching Scenes

Order of the Books

  1. Anne of Green Gables
  2. Anne of Avonlea
  3. Anne of the Island
  4. Anne of Windy Poplars
  5. Anne's House of Dreams
  6. Anne of Ingleside
  7. Rainbow Valley
  8. Rilla of Ingleside
  9. The Blythes Are Quoted
  10. The Road to Yesterday

A Must-See if You Are in Atlantic Canada

For those who visit the Island, there's much to see and do, and setting aside a day or more is a good idea, in order to fully experience and enjoy the farmhouse with the bright green shutters and a gable, and areas nearby, where it all began.

© 2011 Athlyn Green


Donna Herron from USA on April 17, 2017:

Prince Edward Island has always been one of the places I'd love to visit. And although I've never read Anne of Green Gables, the Green Gables House definitely looks like a wonderful place to visit. Thanks for sharing the history and details of this house and the book. Pinning on my travel board!

shakiba on April 11, 2017:


how lucky you are..

the stories of Avonlea changed my life.

It's my wish to visit there before I die.

I do love Road To Avonlea.

thanks a lot.

Athlyn Green (author) from West Kootenays on January 01, 2017:

AuraGem, thank you. I enjoyed putting this article together. Montgomery truly created a magical world that many of us enjoy visiting over and over again.

MJFenn on March 15, 2012:

One of the most famous places in Canada, which certainly puts Prince Edward Island on the map, so to speak. (Another one in PEI would be Province House, Charlottetown, where the 1864 conference took place which set in motion the chain of events which led to Confederation in 1867.)

AuraGem from Victoria, Australia on September 10, 2011:

O what a magic hub! I read Anne of Green Gables so many times that finally if I did choose to read the book again, I had to be careful that pages didn't fall out! It was a loved book! Wonderful to see the borders of fiction, fantasy and reality blurring so beautifully!

Athlyn Green (author) from West Kootenays on August 24, 2011:

Hi Thelma,

I'm hoping to get over to the island again and will take lots of pics. Rustico is a neat area, as well as Wheatley River, Park Corner and New London.

The beaches are expansive with very soft, white sand on the north shore and I think of Marilla in the story talking about the north shore area.

Across the road from Green Gables, visitors are given pins and a drawing as a keepsake, or this was done when I visited there.

It is worthwhile to check out Lucy Maude's birthplace in New London. From there, one can look out over the beaches of Cavendish.

Thelma Raker Coffone from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA on August 24, 2011:

Athlyn if you go back for pictures please share with us. It is a place that is on my list to visit someday but still pretty far down the list. Thanks for following me!


Athlyn Green (author) from West Kootenays on August 23, 2011:

Hi Thelma,

I love the theme song, too. I'm learning it on piano. I would like to go back to Green Gables in summer and take photos.

Thelma Raker Coffone from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA on August 23, 2011:

I enjoyed your hub and you can tell that you put a lot of work into it. I especially enjoyed the theme song which is very beautiful. I rated it UP.

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