“ I have never before, in my long and eclectic career, been gifted with such an abundance of natural beauty as I experienced filming War Horse on Dartmoor.” Steven Spielberg.

9 Reasons to Visit Exeter this Summer

Exeter is a small city that packs a big punch. Our excellent location provides visitors the best of both worlds – whether you’re after a busy city break or a secluded, quiet break in the countryside, Exeter has it. Our entertainment and activities are second to none, our fascinating history and culture, delicious food and world-class events partner together to perfectly create the ultimate city escape.

Not to mention we’re incredibly close to Dartmoor National Park, making Exeter a must-visit whilst you’re exploring glorious Devon!

It’s a city rich with history

Exeter is a city with fascinating history and heritage bursting at the seams! Pre-dating the arrival of the Romans in AD 50, the city’s history is certainly one-of-a-kind.

Tourists can discover our city’s past by visiting our fantastic attractions, most of which are free to the public. Walk through the doors of our magnificent Exeter Cathedral, admire the Gothic architecture and history dating back 900 years and even take a roof top tour and be blown away by the spectacular views.

Embark on a free walking tour of the city and discover hidden gems with our famous Exeter Red Coat Guides, departing daily from the West Front of Exeter Cathedral, and seasonally from the Custom House Visitor Centre on Exeter’s historic Quayside.

A trip to Exeter isn’t complete without visiting our award-winning Royal Albert Memorial Museum. This incredible attraction is home to fascinating displays and galleries, fabulous exhibitions and modern amenities. These displays reveal Devon and Exeter’s rich history and global connections. Exotic animals, birds and insects delight children and the World Cultures galleries display remarkable items from all over the world.

Exeter’s story doesn’t stop there! Click here to find out more about our incredible history and heritage.

Exeter is the foodie capital of the South West

Exeter is the ultimate destination for all foodies! Our location in the South West, surrounded by the countryside and close to the coast, means that our city has endless choice of incredible local produce.

The Exeter Food and Drink Trail celebrates the city’s local produce on one map, what are you waiting for? Download it yourself and plan your foodie route.

Family-friendly is written all over

Exeter is a fantastic place to visit for couples and groups, but it is also a very exciting city for families to explore.

In our city you’ll find award-winning attractions the whole family will enjoy. Just outside of Exeter you’ll find Crealy Theme Park & Resort, home to over 60 thrilling rides and attractions and Wildwood Escot, an outdoor family day out with animals, mazes and more!

If the kids (or adults!) are animal obsessed, the World of Country Life is a must-visit, where you can hand feed a deer or llama, walk a pygmy goat or bottle feed a lamb. Or meet a furry friend at The Donkey Sanctuary, learn interesting facts and even adopt a donkey!

Family-fun in Exeter is endless, visit our attractions page for further inspiration. Not to mention there are many opportunities to #ExploreIndoors during your family trip.

Fabulous indie shopping quarters

Looking to shop ‘til you drop during your city break? We’ve got you. Exeter is packed with eclectic independent retailers to help you find that perfect gift, a gorgeous item for your home or a treat for yourself! Here are just a small handful of independent shopping quarters in our city:

  • Gandy Street
  • Cathedral Quarter
  • Magdalen Road
  • St Thomas
  • Queen Street
  • Castle Street
  • Fore Street
  • South Street
  • North Street
  • Sidwell Street
  • Topsham
  • Exeter Quay

It’s great to shop local and support a small business. Shopping online is an easy option for so many of us, but we seem to forget the many benefits of shopping local. Check out our 7 reasons to shop local in Exeter’ blog to inspire you to explore our indie scene, you won’t regret it. Don’t forget to click here to view our shopping quarters page.

Endless opportunities for outdoor adventure

In Exeter it’s no secret that we love spending time outdoors! This is reflected in the opportunities for outdoor adventures in the city.

Hire a bike form Saddles & Paddles, Route 2 Topsham, Co Bikes or Darts Farm and explore what the Exe Estuary Trail has to offer and enjoy spectacular sights along the way. Will you cycle to Dawlish Warren, Topsham or Exmouth? Rent a canoe, kayak or paddleboard from AS Watersports or Haven Banks and test your skills on the water as you travel peacefully along Exeter Canal.

Or pack your picnic baskets full of local goodies (try Darts Farm, Quicke’s Cheese or Exeter’s Farmer’s Market!) and lay your blankets down within one of our many glorious outdoor green spaces.

Exeter is very ‘instagrammable’

The city scenes, the beautiful rolling Devon hills and the blissful coastline – we’re sure you’ve already heard that our city is pretty amazing to look at. Don’t believe us? Check out our 12 months of eye-catching pictures of Exeter and find out for yourself!

Our culture is so addictive

From the food we eat, to our way of life, our creative minds and our fascinating history – it’s safe to say that Exeter has a rich cultural heritage.

Head to the Royal Albert Memorial Museum for vibrant exhibitions and collections, book a seat at Exeter Northcott, Exeter Barnfield, Cygnet Theatre or Exeter Phoenix for fantastic local performances or explore Devon and Exeter Institution’s independent libraries and archives, which are virtually unchanged.

Exeter has been awarded UNESCO City of Literature status. This recognises 1,000 years of unbroken history around reading. Keen to find out more about this status? Check out our blog for all you need to know.

The city is home to world-class events

We have the history, the food and the activities, let’s not forget about the exciting events that take place across the city each year.

In previous years, Powderham Castle has hosted a number of world-class names including Little Mix, Olly Murs and the highly-anticipated Radio 1’s Big Weekend 2016. In summer 2022, the incredible grounds will welcome Michael Bublé to the stage.

Our city is home to some of the biggest events in the county, with the local-favourite Devon County Show returning to Westpoint Arena 2nd-4th July 2021, the new adventure-filled Nature Valley Gone Wild Festival kicking off at Powderham Castle between 26th-29th August 2021 and the retro Let’s Rock Exeter Festival returning to the castle on 11th September.

Sport fanatics will not be disappointed when they visit Exeter, as our resident teams Exeter Chiefs and Exeter City Football Club participate in regular matches, which have just welcomed back fans to support and cheer in person. Not to mention visitors will be able to experience the fun at Exeter Racecourse, with regular race days and family events!

You can reach Dartmoor in 40 minutes

Our central location in Devon means that we’re in easy reach of fantastic attractions and natural beauty spots that the region has to offer.

From Exeter, it takes approximately 40 minutes to drive to the closest part of Dartmoor. This gorgeous National Park is home to some pretty spectacular sights including magnificent tors, secluded villages, ancient woodland and of the course the famous Dartmoor ponies. Not the mention the land is packed with intriguing history, heritage and folklore – there isn’t a day out like Dartmoor!

Did you know? 2021 is the 70th anniversary of the designation of Dartmoor as one of UK’s first National Parks, on 30 October 1951.

 Tempting local food and drink, spectacular events, glorious green open space and much more awaits you in Exeter. Visit www.visitexeter.com and let our city inspire you.11