Exeter is a great place to visit for a city break or even for a longer holiday. There’s plenty to do in the city itself, and venture a little further afield and you’ll find moors, beaches and plenty of hiking trails to explore.
Devon’s capital is just off the M5 and takes roughly three and a half hours to reach from London. The fast train from London Paddington gets travellers there in just two hours, and there’s also a regional airport.
Situated on the Exe estuary, Exeter has a rich history, dating back centuries. Stroll through the city and you’ll be able to see the remnants of the old Roman and medieval walls, and hints of Exeter’s illustrious Tudor history can also be found down tiny alleys and seldom-used paths.
Making A Trip Of It
Exeter is ideally situated for people driving into the south-west. It’s not too far from Bristol and Bath (perfect if you’re planning a multi-location trip), and a wonderful place to stay for a few days as you’re travelling onwards to Cornwall.
However, that’s not to say that Exeter is only a ‘stop-off’. Here are just a few of the attractions to enjoy:
- Exeter Cathedral. The cathedral is very much at the heart of the city – quite literally! The site of the building was founded back in 1050, and the cathedral itself is notable for its impressive multi-ribbed ceiling and famous astronomical clock. Outside, pretty Cathedral Green is the ideal place to relax on the lawn and watch the world go by.
- RAMM. Exeter’s museum (the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, or RAMM), is a treasure-trove of artefacts, stuffed animals and hands-on activities. It caters well for children, with plenty of family-friendly activities; but make no mistake, people of any age will enjoy wandering around it.
- Quayside. Head to the south side of the city and you’ll find the beautiful Exeter Quayside. Some historic buildings remain down here (like the Customs House), and there are also some fantastic riverside restaurants and cafes. If you fancy a stroll, head along the river to the Double Locks pub, which is a big favourite with the locals.
- St Nicholas’ Priory. This ancient priory dates back to 1087 and is incredibly well-preserved. It’s just off lively Fore Street, which is one of the city’s best shopping streets – especially if you love independent shops and vintage stores.
- Night Life. There are several excellent restaurants, bars and pubs in Exeter; ideal for getting dressed up, slapping on some perfume and hitting the town, (Copycat Fragrances are ideal for holiday scent splurges, a lit
tle message from our sponsor). The Exeter Phoenix Centre is the city’s cultural hub and has musical and theatrical running throughout the year.
Part of the reason Exeter is so popular is that it’s conveniently situated to reach numerous South Devon beaches. It’s also only half an hour’s drive from Dartmoor; one of the UK’s most visited locations. If you’re looking for a holiday that blends bustling city life with plenty of spectacular nature, Exeter should definitely be one to consider.