How to enjoy a stay in Exeter
Exeter is a beautiful and historic city and the county town of Devon. I love the fact that you can still see the Devon hills when you are in the centre of the city. To help you enjoy your stay, here are some places you can visit.
What you'll need:
Some comfortable shoes.
A street map of Exeter (link to print one below).
The Cathedral. Founded in 1050 there is a real sense of history when you enter the building. What ever your religious beliefs it is hard not to be moved by the beautiful carvings, vaulted roof and stained glass windows. Visit the side chapels where there are often small exhibitions. Light a candle. Have a moment of peace.
The Quay. Exeter quay is a bustling place with local craft shops, antique, curio and retro shops, as well as cafes and bars. Walking along by the river, popping into the shops and stopping for a drink and a bite to eat is a delightful way to spend a few relaxing hours. For the more energetic you can follow the footpath towards the coast and walk for miles into the open countryside and stopping at the pub along the way.
The Underground Passages. The passages were originally built in the 14th century to carry fresh water from natural springs right into the heart of the city. The passages were vaulted to allow maintenance. On a visit you will see exhibitions, a video, learn about the history and have a guided tour. This is the only tourist attraction of its kind in Britain.
Guided Tours. To learn more about aspects of Exeter - from the city's history to its ghost stories there are various free guided tours on offer all year round. Most tours last 90 minutes. Timetables can be obtained from the Tourist Information Centre or online by clicking on the link below.
St Nicholas Priory. This is a rare opportunity to visit an Elizabethan home and gain an insight into life in Tudor times. Originally a monastery it was turned into a family home in the mid 1500s and is now furnished as it would have appeared in 1602. Open on Saturdays only during school term times an everyday in the shool holidays it is well worth a visit.
St Catherine's Almshouses. The ruin of the Almshouses and chapel that were built in 1457 and bombed in 1942 can be found in Princesshay in the city centre. In 2007 as part of a major redevelopment, some artwork was displayed showing icons of medieval and modern times and quotes from the almshouses records depicting aspects of the lives of its residents.
Gandy Street Shops. If you love shops that sell something different and unique, you will love Gandy Street shops. Glassware, jewllery, gifts, art and clothing can be found here as well as cafes. There is also the Pheonix, a theatre and arts centre. Pop in to find out what's on or visit their website - www.exeterphoenix.org.uk
Main shopping centre. If you like modern shops, designer shops, departments stores and chains the look no further than Exeter city centre. From M & S to Debenhams, HMV to Waterstones, Zara to Karen Millen its all here for a great shopping experience.
Bars and Restaurants. When you are ready for a cup of coffee or glass of wine, a cornish pasty, a pizza or a three course meal, you will be spoilt for choice. Many of the known chains are here as well as the delightful vegetarian restaurant, Herbies. Have a wander round and take your pick. Booking is advisable on busy evenings.
Travel. Getting to Exeter whether by car, train or coach is easy. By road Exeter is accesible from the M5 and the A30. The Park and Ride solves parking problems. Exeter St Davids station has frequent trains from London, the Midlands and Cornwall. For cheap train tickets, see the link below. Coaches travel from all over the country.
Exeter is a wonderful city and also a great place to stay to explore the wonderful Devon south coast, Dartmoor and Exmoor. With a mild climate and such a lot to do, you can't help but enjoy yourself!
If you want to have a break from city life, the coast is just 10 miles away