Discover the Best Things to Do in Exeter – Your Ultimate Guide

Welcome to our ultimate guide to the best things to do in Exeter. Located in the heart of Devon, this historic city has a wealth of attractions and activities to offer visitors. Whether you’re interested in delving into its rich history, exploring its beautiful parks, or indulging in its culinary delights, Exeter has something for everyone.

Discover iconic attractions and hidden gems, and make your visit to this vibrant city an unforgettable experience. With our insider tips and recommendations, you’ll find the best places to visit in Exeter, the must-see sights, and top activities to do during your stay. Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways:

  • Exeter offers a plethora of experiences that cater to the interests of diverse travellers
  • The city boasts iconic attractions, beautiful parks, and a vibrant cultural scene
  • Exeter is a paradise for food lovers, and its surrounding countryside is stunning
  • For adventure seekers, the city offers plenty of thrilling outdoor activities
  • Exeter hosts a range of colourful festivals and events throughout the year

Immerse Yourself in Exeter’s Rich History

Exeter is a city with a fascinating past and no trip would be complete without taking a closer look at some of its iconic attractions.

Begin your journey by visiting the Exeter Cathedral, a true masterpiece of Gothic architecture that dates back to the 12th century. This awe-inspiring structure contains the longest unbroken stretch of Gothic vaulting in the world, and is a must-see attraction for any visitor to the city.

Next on the list is Rougemont Castle, a medieval castle with a rich and complex history. The castle is now in ruins, but exploring its grounds will transport you back in time and give you a glimpse of the city’s fascinating past.

Don’t miss the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, which is one of the finest museums in the country. This museum showcases a wide range of exhibits spanning art, history, and natural sciences. It’s a great place to learn more about the city’s rich history.

Experience Exeter’s Must-See Sights

Exeter is home to several must-see sights that are not to be missed. If you’re a fan of historic architecture, then taking a stroll down Gandy Street is a must. This charming street is lined with historic buildings and is home to some of the city’s best independent shops.

The Guildhall is another iconic sight that should be on your list of places to visit in Exeter. This building dates back to the 14th century and is one of the best examples of medieval architecture in the city.

Make sure you take a walk along the Exeter Quayside, which is a bustling area full of bars, restaurants, and cafes. This is a great place to soak up the atmosphere of the city and take in the stunning views of the River Exe.

Must-See Sights in ExeterDescription
Guildhall14th-century building with medieval architecture
Gandy StreetCharming street with historic buildings and independent shops
Exeter QuaysideBustling area full of bars, restaurants, and cafes

Embrace Nature at Exeter’s Beautiful Parks

Exeter is not just a city of history and culture, it also boasts several beautiful parks that offer a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Here are some of the top attractions and activities to enjoy in Exeter’s parks:

The Exeter Quay

No visit to Exeter is complete without a stroll along the Exeter Quay. This picturesque spot offers stunning views of the River Exe, and is the perfect place to unwind and soak in the natural beauty of the area. Take a leisurely walk, or hire a bike and explore the area on two wheels.

Northernhay Gardens

The oldest public open space in England, Northernhay Gardens is a tranquil oasis in the heart of the city. With its beautiful flowers, hedges, and trees, this park is a haven for nature lovers. Take a book and relax on one of the many benches, or enjoy a picnic with family and friends.

Haldon Forest Park

For the more adventurous visitors, Haldon Forest Park is a must-visit attraction. Explore the forest on one of the many walking or cycling trails, or take to the treetops for an adrenaline-fueled adventure. With zip wires, high ropes, and tree-top adventures, there’s something for everyone at Haldon Forest Park.

Whether you’re seeking a peaceful escape or an adrenaline-fueled adventure, Exeter’s parks have something for everyone. Explore the beauty of the area and immerse yourself in nature at these top attractions and activities.

Discover Exeter’s Cultural Scene

Exeter is a city steeped in history and culture, boasting a variety of attractions and places to visit. Whether you’re looking to explore the city’s museums, theaters, or art galleries, Exeter has something to offer every type of traveler.

One must-see destination is the Exeter Phoenix, a creative hub that showcases a range of contemporary art exhibits and performances. It’s the perfect spot to immerse yourself in the city’s artistic side and discover local talent.

If theater is more your thing, the Exeter Northcott Theatre is a great place to catch a show. With a diverse range of performances, from comedy to dance, there’s something for everyone. And for those interested in live music, Exeter has a thriving scene with a range of venues to choose from.

Attraction Description
Exeter Phoenix A contemporary art hub showcasing local talent.
Exeter Northcott Theatre A theater with diverse performances including comedy and dance.
Exeter Corn Exchange A historic building that hosts concerts, comedy shows, and exhibitions.

For history buffs, Exeter’s cultural scene also includes a range of museums and historic sites. The Royal Albert Memorial Museum is a great place to start, with exhibits spanning art, history, and natural sciences. And for those interested in the city’s medieval past, the ruins of Rougemont Castle are a must-see.

When planning your trip to Exeter, be sure to check out the city’s tourism website for information on current cultural events and exhibits.

  • Exeter Phoenix: a contemporary art hub showcasing local talent.
  • Exeter Northcott Theatre: a theatre with diverse performances including comedy and dance.
  • Exeter Corn Exchange: a historic building that hosts concerts, comedy shows, and exhibitions.

With its rich history and vibrant cultural scene, Exeter is a city that offers something for everyone. So whether you’re a culture vulture or simply looking to explore the city’s unique attractions, be sure to add Exeter to your travel itinerary.

Indulge in Exeter’s Culinary Delights

Exeter is a paradise for food lovers, with a diverse range of culinary delights to experience. One of the top activities in Exeter is exploring the vibrant Exeter Farmers’ Market, which offers fresh local produce, meats, and baked goods. Be sure to try some of the famous West Country cheeses, as well as the traditional sweet treat of fudge that the region is known for.

For a classic British experience, indulge in a traditional cream tea at one of the city’s charming tea rooms. Savor homemade scones topped with clotted cream and jam, paired with a freshly brewed pot of tea.

For those looking to explore the local food scene, Exeter is home to numerous award-winning restaurants that emphasize locally sourced ingredients. From fine dining to casual eats, Exeter has it all. Some of the must-visit restaurants in the city include The Fat Pig, a cozy and quirky spot known for its inventive dishes, and The Rusty Bike, a popular gastro pub that serves delicious comfort food.

Explore Exeter’s Surrounding Countryside

If you’re a nature lover, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to explore the stunning countryside surrounding Exeter. Here are some top activities and travel tips:

  • Take a scenic drive through Dartmoor National Park, which boasts some of the most rugged and awe-inspiring landscapes in the UK. Keep an eye out for the park’s famous wild ponies!
  • Visit the picturesque village of Topsham, just a short drive from Exeter. With its charming streets and stunning estuary views, it’s the perfect place to relax and unwind.
  • Don’t forget to explore the Jurassic Coast, which stretches from Exmouth to Studland Bay and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire the stunning cliffs and beaches, and keep an eye out for fossils!

To make the most of your countryside adventure, be sure to pack sturdy walking shoes, a map or guidebook, and plenty of snacks and water. Safety is key, so don’t venture off marked trails or underestimate the power of the elements.

Experience Exeter’s Thrilling Outdoor Adventures

If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, Exeter has plenty of top activities to offer. From kayaking and hot air balloon rides to rock climbing and abseiling, you’re sure to find an outdoor adventure that gets your heart pumping.

One of the best ways to experience the city is by taking a kayak or paddleboard along the River Exe. You’ll enjoy panoramic views of the city from the water and get a chance to see local wildlife in action. For a bird’s eye view of the city, take a hot air balloon ride and marvel at the stunning Devon countryside from above.

Looking for a challenge? Try rock climbing or abseiling at one of the nearby cliffs. You’ll get a chance to test your skills and enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape at the same time. Whatever adventure you choose, be sure to take proper safety precautions and follow the guidance of experienced guides.

Before embarking on any outdoor activity, be sure to check the weather forecast and dress appropriately for the conditions. Wear comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes, and pack plenty of water and snacks to keep you fueled up for your adventure.

These are just a few of the top activities in Exeter for thrill-seekers. Ready to experience the city’s wild side? Follow these Exeter travel tips and get ready for an unforgettable adventure.

Enjoy Exeter’s Shopping and Nightlife

Exeter offers a delightful shopping experience that caters to all tastes. The city is home to a plethora of shops, ranging from trendy boutiques and vintage stores to well-known brands and department stores. The historic Quayside area boasts a charming mix of shops, cafes, and pubs, perfect for a leisurely afternoon stroll. The award-winning Princesshay shopping center is undoubtedly one of the city’s top attractions, with over 70 stores and restaurants to explore.

Once you’ve finished shopping, why not indulge in Exeter’s vibrant nightlife? The city has a fantastic selection of bars, pubs, and clubs, catering to all tastes. If you’re looking for a traditional English pub experience, head to The Old Firehouse, known for its cozy atmosphere and delicious pizzas. For a more modern vibe, check out The Book Cover, a popular cocktail bar with quirky decor and a lively atmosphere.

If you’re visiting Exeter during the festive season, don’t miss the city’s magical Christmas markets, full of festive cheer and fascinating stalls. Here, you will find everything from handmade crafts and jewelry to delicious local food and drink.

Overall, Exeter’s shopping and nightlife scene will leave you spoilt for choice. Don’t forget to add these experiences to your Exeter city guide and make the most of your visit to this charming city.

Attend Exeter’s Colourful Festivals and Events

Exeter is known for its vibrant festivals and events throughout the year. Whether you’re into music, food, or cultural celebrations, there’s always something going on in this lively city. Here are a few must-attend events to add to your Exeter itinerary.

Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink

If you’re a foodie, you won’t want to miss the Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink. This annual event takes place in the spring and brings together some of the region’s best chefs, producers, and culinary experts. Sample delicious local produce, attend cooking demonstrations, and enjoy live entertainment throughout the weekend.

Exeter Respect Festival

Celebrate diversity and cultural understanding at the Exeter Respect Festival. This free event, held in the summer, features music, dance, and art from around the world, as well as workshops, talks, and interactive activities to promote social cohesion and community building.

Exeter Christmas Market

Round off the year with a visit to the Exeter Christmas Market. This festive event takes place in the heart of the city and features over 50 stalls selling handmade gifts, decorations, and food. Enjoy a cup of mulled wine, sample some traditional mince pies, and soak up the magical atmosphere of the holiday season.

Exeter Craft Festival

Discover the best of West Country crafts at the Exeter Craft Festival. This event takes place in the summer and showcases the work of over 100 artisans, from potters and glassblowers to woodcarvers and textile designers. Shop for unique gifts and souvenirs and watch live demonstrations throughout the festival.

These are just a few of the many festivals and events that make Exeter such an exciting destination. Check the city’s event calendar for more information and plan your visit accordingly. Don’t forget to book your accommodation in advance, as many of these events attract large crowds and are popular with both locals and tourists alike.


Exeter is a charming city that offers something for everyone. Its rich history, beautiful parks, vibrant cultural scene, and thrilling outdoor adventures make it a perfect destination for travelers of all kinds. The city’s culinary delights, diverse shopping options, and lively nightlife add to the overall experience.

Plan Your Visit Today!

Visit Exeter for a day or a week and explore all that this vibrant city has to offer. Don’t miss the iconic attractions, hidden gems, and colorful festivals that make Exeter a unique and unforgettable destination.

Whether you’re traveling solo, with family, or with friends, Exeter is sure to leave a lasting impression. So pack your bags, book your accommodation, and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime in one of England’s most charming cities.


Q: What are the best things to do in Exeter?

A: Exeter offers a plethora of experiences, including exploring iconic attractions, immersing yourself in the city’s rich history, embracing nature at beautiful parks, discovering the vibrant cultural scene, indulging in culinary delights, exploring the surrounding countryside, experiencing thrilling outdoor adventures, enjoying shopping and nightlife, and attending colorful festivals and events.

Q: What are some iconic attractions to visit in Exeter?

A: Some iconic attractions in Exeter include Exeter Cathedral, Rougemont Castle, and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum.

Q: Which parks are worth visiting in Exeter?

A: Exeter Quay, Northernhay Gardens, and Haldon Forest Park are beautiful parks in Exeter worth visiting.

Q: What is there to explore in Exeter’s cultural scene?

A: Exeter’s cultural scene offers art galleries like the Exeter Phoenix, theaters like the Exeter Northcott Theatre, and music venues like the Exeter Corn Exchange.

Q: What culinary delights can be found in Exeter?

A: Exeter is a food lover’s paradise with options like exploring the Exeter Farmers’ Market, indulging in a traditional cream tea, and dining at award-winning restaurants.

Q: What is there to explore in Exeter’s surrounding countryside?

A: Exeter’s surrounding countryside offers attractions like Dartmoor National Park, the village of Topsham, and the Jurassic Coast.

Q: What thrilling outdoor adventures can be experienced in Exeter?

A: Exeter offers thrilling outdoor activities such as kayaking or paddleboarding along the River Exe, hot air balloon rides, and rock climbing or abseiling at nearby cliffs.

Q: What is the shopping and nightlife scene like in Exeter?

A: Exeter boasts a diverse range of shops and boutiques for shopping enthusiasts, and a lively nightlife scene with bars, pubs, live music performances, and trendy clubs.

Q: What festivals and events take place in Exeter?

A: Exeter is known for its vibrant festivals and events throughout the year, including the Exeter Festival of South West Food and Drink and the Exeter Christmas Market. Check the city’s event calendar for more information.




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