Attractions in Exeter
Exeter’s Cultural Heritage
The City of Exeter started as a small Celtic settlement until the Romans established a city there around 50 A.D. Today, there are still some remains of the ancient Roman city wall built during this time. However, the historic cityscape is now mostly shaped by medieval architectures. On a stroll through the city you will encounter a few traditional buildings which are now home to some of the area's best eateries and boutiques.
Exeter’s rich history can be experienced firsthand at the magnificent Exeter Cathedral. Its façade tells the story of the development of the Gothic architectural style. Such a grand monument is not constructed overnight, it takes decades, often even centuries to complete. The architects during this period developed new techniques that allowed for even more detailed elements throughout the Cathedral. Take a seat on the Cathedral Green and enjoy the view of this outstanding building, then head inside to experience its majestic atmosphere.
Photo: Gary Campbell-Hall, CC BY, flickr.com
If you enjoy history and and are looking for a unique adventure, embark on a visit the Exeter Underground Passages. While on a tour, their guides will tell you the amazing story of this network of subterranean passages. Though these historic monuments are present throughout the UK, only Exeter's Underground Passages welcome visitors.
The Royal Albert Memorial Museum is not just a bad weather alternative. The award-winning museum is a place for the whole family – hosting fun events for children and changing exhibitions, the RAMM opens its Victorian doors to visitors of all ages.
Along the Historic Quayside
A visit to the Exeter Hisotric Quayside is an absolute must! Only a short 15-minute walk from the city centre, the Historic Quayside has everything needed to brighten your day and fill it with wonderful memories.
A bustling trading centre, this beautiful maritime port site is a hot spot for locals and visitors alike. Here are a few recommendations with ideas for every liking:
- Get some nice food and drinks with local specialities in one of the waterside pubs.
- Events: The Quayside is host to some thrilling events – in combination with the location, you can have fun in a unique atmosphere.
- Hire a kayak/canoe or a SUP: Test your skills on the water or, if you’re an expert already, follow River Exe to the Sea.
The Greens and Blues of Exeter
In addition to its lively city centre filled with boutiques, eateries and cultural spots, Exeter’s distinguishing feature is its closeness to the outdoors. Exeter is a city where everyone can find a home – even if it's just for a short time. Students, locals and outdoor enthusiasts can all find an activity to enjoy during their time in the city.
All around Exeter are green spaces, ideal for cycling, walking and getting your daily dose of fresh air. Well-signposted trails lead to enchanted parks and gardens, like the Northernhay Gardens, Rougemont Gardens or the Exeter University botanical garden.
Walk everywhere on foot
Start your visit in Exeter right by getting to know the city on a guided tour. The free Red Coat Guided Tours are the perfect opportunity to get introduced to the cities’ ancient monuments and how they help shape the cultural heritage of the city today. Each tour lasts about 90 minutes and starts at the Hooker Statue on Cathedral Green. Find more info on the notice boards outside the Cathedral and the Visitor Center.
You can easily find your way around the city yourself by following, for example, the Exeter City Wall Trail – suitable for the whole family – to learn about the history of the Roman wall. The Exeter Green Circle offers plenty of routes with varying distances for everyone’s liking.
Exploring on two wheels
With a bike, it’s easy to get around Exeter, as this city is very cycle-friendly, with a large cycle network to keep you safe on quiet and traffic-reduced routes.
Expand your city tour and cycle along to Exeter Green Circle to enjoy the peace and quiet in the blooming and flourishing landscape of the surrounding area. The Exe Estuary Trail guides you around the Exe Estuary to Exmouth and Dawlish – with its amazing views, the 26-mile-long trail is ideal for exploring the whole region.
Throughout the city, there are plenty of opportunities for bike and equipment hire to bring your family along. For example, from Saddles and Paddles at the Quayside.
More outdoor adventures – on land and in the water
Speaking of paddles… River Exe defines the cityscape and enhances Exeter’s unique atmosphere. Just 10 miles to the south, it flows into the sea, which makes it the ideal place for a water adventure.
Starting at Exeter Quay, the Canal is perfect for testing the waters. If you have always wanted to try kayaking, canoeing or the SUP, this is the perfect place. The calm water of the canal is ideal for beginners. Farther down the River Exe, the rapids challenge you to a wild water experience you don’t want to miss.
After the industrial times at Exeter Quay had been over, the industrial buildings got a second chance. The spacious atrium of the city’s former electricity works was turned into and climbing centre, with various climbs for young and old, beginners and experts. If the weather is not on your side, explore the South West’s largest indoor wall. But if the weather is good, you can enjoy the sun rays while abseiling from one of these impressive buildings.
Public transportVisit www.traveldevon.info to find more information on getting around Exeter and Devon by public transport, including Park & Ride services and a handy interactive bus map.
Excellent road, rail and air links make Exeter conveniently close to the rest of the UK. Wherever you are, you are not far away from the breathtaking scenery of one of the most beautiful areas in the country.
Leave the car behind and let someone else do the driving! Why not travel in comfort by train, a family-friendly option with main-line stations located at Tiverton, Honiton