Discover a city with a fascinating story to tell
To many, Exeter is the place at the end of the M5 that you pass on your way to south Devon and Cornwall. But anyone who doesn’t take the time to stop and explore this remarkable city is missing a real treat.
It has just about everything you could wish for in a city break – an important history, magnificent buildings, fascinating places to visit, a lively arts programme and one or two surprises. Planning a visit? Here’s our selection of top-rated things to do, places to stay and culinary adventures to seek on your Exeter Weekend Escape.
Things to do in Exeter
A good place to start is with Exeter’s most iconic site: its spectacular cathedral. Rising up from spacious lawns, the building that has dominated Exeter’s skyline for centuries can be seen in all its glory – the two great towers date from 1110, while the beautiful west front was completed in the 14th century. While inside, look up to take in the longest unbroken Gothic vault in the world.
Back outside, the Cathedral Close is a lovely place to linger on a sunny day, with lots of bars, cafes and restaurants looking out onto the cathedral green. Once you’ve refreshed, a five-minute walk over to Paris Street will see you discover another of Exeter’s unique attractions – its medieval Underground Passages. Located directly under the High Street, no similar system of passages can be explored anywhere else in Britain. While the passages have remained the same for centuries, the Underground Interpretation Centre is full of interactive exhibits that change regularly.
A wander along Exeter’s revitalised historic quayside is a must on your visit – it’s easy to imagine the historic trading vessels moored up alongside the quay as you admire one of the city’s most picturesque areas. Discover 2,000 years of history in the Custom House Visitor Centre, where lively displays tell the Exeter’s many tales.
Recommended thing to do in Exeter
Where to eat in Exeter
Top-quality locally soured produce and characterful settings feature strongly in the AA Rosette restaurants in and around the city.