Located in the southwest of England, Exeter is a charming city steeped in history and culture. With its rich heritage, vibrant arts scene, and picturesque surroundings, Exeter offers a plethora of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages. From exploring historic landmarks to indulging in culinary delights, there is no shortage of things to see and do in this captivating city. In this guide, we will take you on a virtual tour of Exeter’s must-visit destinations and experiences, helping you unlock the sweet spot that makes this city a hidden gem in the UK.

Historic Landmarks

1. Exeter Cathedral

Exeter Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter at Exeter, is a stunning example of Gothic architecture. Dating back to the 11th century, this iconic landmark boasts intricate carvings, a vaulted ceiling, and the longest uninterrupted medieval vaulted ceiling in the world. Visitors can explore the cathedral’s interior, including the impressive astronomical clock, the Exeter Book, and the tranquil cloisters.

2. Exeter Castle

Exeter Castle, also known as Rougemont Castle, offers a glimpse into the city’s medieval past. Built in the aftermath of the Norman Conquest, the castle features a well-preserved gatehouse and a grassy motte where visitors can enjoy panoramic views of Exeter. The castle hosts various events throughout the year, including open-air concerts and food festivals.

3. Underground Passages

A unique way to delve into Exeter’s history is by exploring the Underground Passages. Dating back to the 14th century, these passages were originally built to supply the city with fresh water. Visitors can take guided tours to learn about the engineering marvels behind these passages and the role they played in Exeter’s past.

Cultural Experiences

1. Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (RAMM)

The Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery is a treasure trove of art, artifacts, and natural history exhibits. From Egyptian mummies to contemporary artworks, RAMM offers a diverse collection that showcases Exeter’s global connections. The museum regularly hosts exhibitions, workshops, and events for visitors of all ages.

2. Exeter Phoenix

For a taste of the city’s vibrant arts scene, head to Exeter Phoenix. This multi-arts venue hosts a wide range of performances, including live music, theater productions, film screenings, and art exhibitions. The venue also features a cafĂ© bar where you can relax and soak in the creative atmosphere.

3. Historic Quayside

Take a leisurely stroll along the Historic Quayside to experience Exeter’s maritime heritage. Lined with charming pubs, cafes, and independent shops, the quayside offers a picturesque setting for a day out. You can also take a boat trip along the River Exe or explore the historic warehouses that have been transformed into shops and restaurants.

Outdoor Adventures

1. Dartmoor National Park

Nature enthusiasts will find paradise in Dartmoor National Park, which is located a short drive from Exeter. This vast expanse of moorland and forests is perfect for hiking, horse riding, and wildlife spotting. Highlights include the iconic tors, ancient stone circles, and the wild ponies that roam freely across the landscape.

2. Exeter Canal

For a more leisurely outdoor experience, take a walk or cycle along the Exeter Canal. This picturesque waterway stretches from the quayside to the countryside, passing through tranquil meadows and wooded areas. You can also hire a canoe or kayak to paddle along the canal and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

Culinary Delights

1. Exeter Farmers’ Market

Indulge in the flavors of the region by visiting the Exeter Farmers’ Market, held on various days throughout the month. Here you can sample local produce, artisanal cheeses, freshly baked bread, and homemade treats. The market is a great place to meet local producers and immerse yourself in Exeter’s food culture.

2. The Fat Pig

For a delicious meal in a cozy setting, head to The Fat Pig. This gastropub is known for its hearty British dishes, including gourmet burgers, steaks, and seasonal specials. The pub also offers an extensive selection of craft beers, ciders, and wines to complement your meal.

Shopping and Entertainment

1. Princesshay

Princesshay is Exeter’s premier shopping destination, featuring a mix of high-street brands, designer boutiques, and independent stores. Whether you’re looking for fashion, homeware, or gifts, you’ll find plenty of options in this stylish retail center. Princesshay also boasts a selection of restaurants and cafes for a quick bite or a leisurely meal.

2. Exeter Northcott Theatre

For evening entertainment, catch a show at the Exeter Northcott Theatre. This acclaimed venue hosts a diverse program of performances, including plays, musicals, dance shows, and comedy acts. With its modern facilities and welcoming atmosphere, the theater offers a memorable night out for theater enthusiasts.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the best time to visit Exeter?

The best time to visit Exeter is during the summer months (June to August) when the weather is warm and sunny. However, spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) also offer pleasant temperatures and fewer crowds.

2. How can I get around Exeter?

Exeter is a compact city that is easy to navigate on foot. You can also use public transportation, including buses and trains, to travel within the city and to nearby attractions.

3. Are there any day trips from Exeter that I can take?

Yes, there are several day trips you can take from Exeter, including visits to Dartmoor National Park, the Jurassic Coast, and the picturesque villages of Devon.

4. What is the local cuisine of Exeter?

Exeter is known for its traditional British fare, including pies, pasties, and seafood dishes. Don’t miss trying the famous Devon cream tea, which consists of scones, clotted cream, and jam.

5. Is Exeter a family-friendly destination?

Yes, Exeter offers plenty of family-friendly attractions, such as the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Crealy Theme Park, and the Exeter Underground Passages. Families with children of all ages will find something to enjoy in the city.

Unlocking the sweet spot in Exeter requires immersing yourself in its history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you’re exploring ancient landmarks, savoring local flavors, or embarking on outdoor adventures, Exeter has something for everyone. So pack your bags, set off on an unforgettable journey, and discover the hidden treasures of this enchanting city.


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