Super Spots in Devon – Exeter
Full of character and ancient history, Exeter is the capital city of Devon and provides the county with a central base for education, medicine, commerce and culture. The city is also home to the magnificent Exeter Cathedral, which dates back to Norman times.
If you are planning a trip, a holiday, or a short break with us in South Devon, Exeter has something to offer people of all ages to enjoy all year round.
Here is our top 6 guide of things you must do while visiting this bustling city.
Getting to Know Exeter Inside Out
Exeter has a colourful past, and the evidence of this can be seen in architecture, buildings, monuments and sights that still stand. Take a tour with a professional company and as well as being guided round the best sights you’ll also hear the. Exeter Red Coat Guided Tours offer a variety of on-foot tours, each based on a different aspect of the city’s history. These free walks leave on most mornings from the city centre and you will get to hear the fascinating stories behind the city’s best sights. Make sure not to miss Gandy Street, a wonderful old cobbled thoroughfare, or Parliament Street, which, at just 25in wide at one point, is among the narrowest in the UK. There's also a two-mile circular walk around the old city through the city's famous formal gardens.
There is also Exeter’s Underground Passages, where groups will get to venture down Medieval tunnels under the city’s streets.
Award Winning Treasure Trove
Interactive family exhibitions, innovative collections and imaginative events have won The Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM) a clutch of awards. The museum opened in 1868 to promote Queen Victoria's husband's vision of bringing art, science, design and technology together for the people. It reopened in 2011 with a new wing, and beat national competition to be named 2012 Museum of the Year as well as winning the Visitor Attraction of the Year award at the 2012 Devon Tourism Awards. Its collections include one of the largest natural history collections in the country as well as local artefacts and lace. Children will love the butterflies, beetles and bugs and Gerald the stuffed giraffe.
Exeter's quayside offers plenty of opportunities to get a little physical. Kayaking or canoeing is another way to explore the area as well as being great fun. If the sun is shining then you could paddle from Exeter Quay to two nearby waterside pubs, the Double Locks and The Turf. – a great way to spend an afternoon! The quay now offers a couple of climbing centres, where instructors are always happy to help first-timers.
Going a bit Gothic
It would be impossible to miss Exeter Cathedral on a visit to the city – and you wouldn’t want to. With its twin Norman towers and Gothic styling’s, the Cathedral is the distinguished central feature of this old city. The magnificent west front features sculptures of monarchs Alfred, Athelstan, Canute and William the Conqueror sitting cross-legged, as if they are chatting. As you’d expect, there are tours both guided and self-guided, but there’s always something going on in addition to the beautiful architecture; there are event throughout the year including workshops and recitals plus a cafe under the fabulous vaulted stone ceiling where you can get a infamous Devon cream tea.
Shop Till you Drop
Exeter offers one of the newest and best city centre shopping experiences in the South West. Princesshay and the high street have most of the big name favourites that you’d hope to find, while the castle quarter has lovely independent shops. If you don’t mind a short trip out of town then head to Darts Farm: an award-winning farm shop/shopping village with a wide selection of local produce to nibble on.
A Stepping Stone Away
You would be mad not to get out into the beautiful countryside that surrounds the city. Whether you want a quiet gentle stroll or an exhilarating mountain biking experience, there’s something for you at Haldon Forest Park. These 3,500 acres of woodland are just fifteen minutes from Exeter. You can also unleash your inner Tarzan and go on a tree-top adventure with the Go Ape! high ropes climbing facility also located at the forest.